Jan. 30, 2022: Literacy Week
This week was Literacy Week. A week that “takes place annually to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society.”
That is a mouthful. I like to just think of it as a week to celebrate books! The books we love. The books that have helped to define us. The books that stay with us long after we read them.
As a reader, I love to talk about books with other readers. Whether in a formal setting like a Book Club, or more relaxed setting like an on-line group. I love sharing my thoughts about the books I am reading and I love hearing others’ thoughts and recommendations.
As an educator, I love helping my students discover books and authors. Helping that reluctant reader find just the book that he/she will not be able to put down. Scrounging up the next book in that series that a student is feverishly reading. Introducing a student to a book I just know they will love.
As a writer, I love to examine the books that have impacted me and think about why they have resonated so deeply with me. Uncovering the secrets of those writers.
The books that immediately come to mind are:
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- The Great Gatsby
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
The reasons these books spoke to me?
- They were populated by characters who were likable, (or dislikable), flawed, and realistic. I could imagine knowing them. They were multi-faceted, complex, and real in a tangible way.
- Each book had a palatable sense of place and time. I was transported. While reading these books, I existed within the setting the author created.
- The stories each had themes that addressed our humanity, and at times, our lack-of humanity. I learned something about my own values when reading these books.
Every loved book is different for each person who loves it. That is the power of books!