One Book

Dec 31, 2009

Posted by Doris

One BookHave you read that one book? For many of you who know what I’m talking about, you know what I mean, for others, you might be confused.

Remember that one book? That “one book” that makes sense, that helped you connect with the world, the one that you could not stop talking or thinking about. Have you read it?

I truly hope you have.

My goal in my adult life has been to help promote literacy. I’ve always wanted to help kids find that “one book.” For many children, the Harry Potter series was that “one book,” for others it might have been Twilight, Hunger Games or To Kill a Mockingbird. For those of us who are avid readers, we know the sweet richness that a good book can bring into our lives.

I’ve seen it happen in my home, in my classroom and while talking to people online, but once you see that fire lit and the desire to read bite someone it becomes an addiction. Unlike my white chocolate chip and macadamia nut cookie addiction, this habit is a good one.

Unfortunately for many people, that “one book” has yet to be discovered.

Think of a life without the imagination of Captain Hook or The Hardy Boys, missing the joy of flying on a broom or shuddering as you read about a woman and her Scarlett Letter. Picture your life without that one book. See that one book doesn’t just ignite you for a moment, it lights your way to other books. Your mind begins to dream and rise above the clouds, eventually your heart follows and you realize anything is possible. All of this came from that one book.

Which brings me to the point of this blog entry.

The start of a new year, and a new decade often bring about “resolutions” that should prompt us to improve ourselves. This year I’d like to ask you to share something to improve someone else.

One Book

It’s that simple, just share a book. How you share it is up to you. Donate a book to your library, take an old book from your shelf and just leave it at the mall, just share the written word with those around you. Share one book with the world. You might not know whose life it touches. (of course I’d suggest sharing Harry Potter, but the choice of books is up to you)

If you are a teacher, librarian or a school administrator I’d like to suggest something else. Start a new “Read it forward” movement in your community. This movement involves creating a common schema (or prior knowledge for those non-education-lingo speakers) for a large group of students. This “One Book, One School, One Community” movement helps promote literacy in a community by giving students one common piece of literature they’ve all shared. (You can read the details here in Education World.)

I am part of a program like this in my own district. We held a pep rally featuring drill teams, drum lines and a pie eating contest for our own reading of Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie. (Yes, I took a pie in the face for literacy) The experience has been so rewarding as I sit back and listen to the kids talk about the book. Even more rewarding was standing in line at Kroger listening to two moms discuss the book unknowing that I was a teacher in the district.

One of the greatest ways to help improve the world around us is to improve the literacy of it’s occupants. This year I encourage you to share one book with the world.

Have a safe and wonderful 2010!

~ Doris

17 Responses to One Book

Avatar ImageDorisTLC says: Happy 2010 to you too! I love to give and get books. I've had a couple of tough months this year, reading was the only thing that really helped me overcome the depression and move on. Thanks for popping into the blogs! DorisAvatar ImageLillylove says: Haven't gotten over here to the blogs in awhile. I was happy to find this one of yours. Such a wonderful & excellent thought to pass along. I never really put it so elequently together in my head, but think this is a wonderful challenge. Books are one of my favorite gifts to give :) Happy 2010, Doris! Avatar Imagesillyemma8 says: Happy 2010, Doris. I know what you mean by "that one book". Harry Potter is mine. All of the Harry Potters. Thanks for wrighting this blog. It helpled me relize that Harry Potter is the one book got me through the things that were hard.Avatar ImageDorisTLC says: Thanks for he comment. Harry Potter is many people's "one book." I'm glad you found it! Connecting to a good book helps us escape when the real world becomes to stressful.Avatar ImageMiss RAB says: Thanks for the article! It's true, there always is that "one book", I just realized that while reading your article. Thanks so much!!! Avatar Imageabandonedboyjon says: i was going to comment on your blog a few days ago, but i just couldn't decide which book was the one. i narrowed it down to three books that i just don't know where i would be if i hadn't read them when i did. 'sorcerer's stone' when i was 11, 'catcher in the rye' when i was 16 and 'stone butch blues' when i was 21. i still get goosebumps when i read them.Avatar ImageDorisTLC says: Thanks Miss RAB. Glad you enjoyed the blog, but I'm most happy that you found your one book.Avatar ImageDorisTLC says: Thanks Jon for the comment. Catcher in the Rye was one of my favorites once. I have not reread in a while, but I should do that. My one book is hard to recall. I adored Jane Austen, but really remember Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird as my favorite character. Even today I still read the book at least once a year. Thanks for popping in!Avatar ImageOxymoronic says: Great post Doris! Books are such an integral part of my existence, I can't imagine my life without Harry or Heathcliff or Alice or any of the other fantastic characters one encounters through books. They're my favorite gifts to give and receive, and there is very little in life that makes me as blissfully happy as curling up with a good book and a hot cup of tea on a rainy day!Avatar Imagelina-la says: I just sort of stumbled upon this, and was going to skim it, but ended up reading and enjoying it thoroughly. I think everyone has that original "one book," but while reading I found myself thinking of two very different books that had that affected me that way. The original, of course, was Harry Potter, but during a strange period in my life, another book caught and held me so strongly it still amazes me. Of all things, it was just a regular contemporary novel - Special Topics in Calamity Physics. I have no idea why it affected me the way it did, but there you go. Shortly thereafter, though, during another rough patch (we all have them), I picked up Harry Potter again, and fell back in love with it as quickly as ever. So, I completely agree that everyone should know that feeling of falling head over heels for a bunch of bound pages, and what better way to do so than sharing the books that grabbed us? Thank you for the wonderful blog :)Avatar ImageDorisTLC says: Thanks for reading the blog. I can't imagine my life without those great works of fiction, but also some of the stranger books that struck me at the moment. My hope is that everyone discovers what they like in a book, it just takes us putting those books in their hands.Avatar Imagewordsaremagic says: It is hard to point to a single book since I cannot remember not being able to read. But there were a few of books that I really enjoyed as a youngster. I guess I was about eight or nine when I read "Call it Courage" by Armstrong Sperry. I look back now and kind of laugh at myself--nine years old and already into "crossing dark water." Kidnapped, Treasure Island, Tom Sawyer were also some favorites. But I also enjoyed science books. I picked up interests in atomic physics and astronomy and read everything in our school library.Avatar Imagejhangelgurl says: Oh how true this is. I just sort of stummbled upon this blog and couldn't imagine not reading. When I was a child I hated reading with a passion! It was only because I struggled learning to read. That one book was the Sweet Valley High series and wanted to read every single one of them. To bad that never happened. Avatar ImageDorisTLC says: I adore Call it Courage, glad you loved it. Treasure Island was another of my favorites, but growing up on the Mississippi River, I always found my way back to Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. The Sweet Valley High is worth going back to. Go back and read the whole series, bet you'll love it! Thanks for popping in! DorisAvatar Image_dracomalfoy_ says: I have definitely that one book in this seriesAvatar ImageG.Weasley says: I love to read! I have definitly have had that one book and it has been Harry Potter, before I read books but they were just for my leisure but when I read Harry Potter for some reason it makes more sense to me than other books, I don't know why. I've had a lot of "one books" but Harry Potter is definitly top of the list. I am Number Four the book and the movie are also my other "one books" because in some ways even though it includes the extrateresttrial it talks about life and about how people feel a lot and that makes sense to me. I've heard that people in North America who read books a large percentage of them don't understand the book or aren't really reading it as in when they're finished they can't remember what the story was about. Avatar Imageheather12642 says: Your blog is inspiring. I have multiple "one books" because I am such an avid reader, and Harry Potter is definitely one of the first of those books. I think that your call to action to promote literacy for the new year is a great idea, although most educators are trying to promote this, it is difficult when you don't ahve the resources, so your ideas are great ones. Books are a main part of my life, harry Potter was one of my best friends growing up and I cannot imagine children not having the same magical experience that I had with any book. As a Kindergarten assisstant it makes me want to cry when the children choose to read rather than play in housekeeping and It makes me feel like I am doing my part everyday. However, I am always looking for ways to get involoved and get older children into learning!

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