Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer Reading Memories

Iowa school librarians and teachers are busy reading this summer. One list many of us have in common is the 2014-15 Iowa Children's Choice Award nominees.  In addition to reading the books we are preparing promotional efforts when school is back in session. Be sure to check out the custom 2014-15 booklist resource sets from (Thanks to Iowa AEAs for statewide access!).  Teachingbooks has aggregated an array of audio, video, and website content related to the nominated titles and their authors.  Take an occasional break from all that reading, viewing, and listening to head over to twitter to discuss the nominees - #iakidpicks

I've been asking nominated authors to share summer reading memories. Below are the first two responses.

"Reading was a huge part of my summer experience growing up. We would go to the library every day (yes, every day, I'm not exaggerating) and I would get a stack of books and read them and have to bring them back and get another stack the next day. In addition to the library, sometimes I would save a little money and when we went grocery shopping--which I thought was so boring--I would buy a book in the little bookstore in the corner of the supermarket, and read that while my mom shopped. My favorite places to read were on top of my bunk bed and out in the grass in our yard. The library ran a summer reading program, in which you were encouraged to read ten books, and you got a prize for each book you did a report on. The trouble for me was that I would run through the whole program three times each summer and they would have to stop giving me the prizes after a while."  ~ Suzanne LaFleur

"As far as summer reading memories go, my parents were both teachers, so the whole family had summers off. We would go on camping trips in our van for anywhere from 2-8 weeks every year and would each borrow a stack of books from the public library to take with us. When I was twelve, we drove from my hometown of Vancouver, BC, across Canada and down the east coast of the United States, all the way to Key West, Florida and back through Texas. By the time we reached Washington, DC, we were somewhere around the halfway point of the trip and I'd already read all of my own library books as well as the books my parents and brother had brought along. We stopped at a bookstore and I bought a copy of Noel Streatfeild's, "Ballet Shoes". I wasn't particularly interested in ballet, or books written so long ago (1936), but for some reason, it really piqued my interest and I was anxious to read it. So, when my family parked the van and headed

for the Smithsonian Air and Space museum, I brought the book with me (and received a lot of strange looks from people who had traveled from all over the world to see the museum). I toured one exhibit (for less than ten minutes), then told my parents I was going to read in the lobby. I found a comfortable chair and sat down for the rest of the afternoon, totally absorbed in the book. By the time I was finished, so was the museum visit and my family was ready to go. They'd all had a fantastic time and chatted away about all of the amazing and fascinating things they'd seen, then shook their heads when they realized I'd had my nose in a book all afternoon. For years afterwards, whenever the topic of Washington DC or the Smithsonian came up in conversation, I never mentioned to anyone that I hadn't really made it past the lobby. It's the kind of thing that only people who really love reading would understand." ~ W.C. Mack

Pictured at left is W.C. Mack's copy of Ballet Shoes.

Posted by Ernie Cox / @erniec