Blog Series: All Kinds of Readers

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Day One: “I don’t like to read.”

You know that card game, “Bullshit?” That’s what I want to say when a middle school student says, “I don’t like to read.” (No, I don’t say it out loud. I don’t really want to say, “Bullshit.”) Instead, I say, “Yes, you do.”

After the gasp or rolling eyes, the student may start to argue, give excuses, or repeat: “No, I don’t like to read.” I’m ready. I fire back…

“You like to read your friend’s texts, don’t you?”

“You like to read your Facebook posts, right?”

“You like to read the menu at your favorite restaurant. Otherwise you wouldn’t be able to order what you really want.”

Every single student giggles at my comeback sentence. Every. Single. Time.

Why?

The student knows I’m right.

 

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This blog series, All Kinds of Readers, addresses ways teachers cope with the “I-don’t-like-to-read” readers. I have struggled with this for years. I’ve read, researched, and read some more. (I love to read!) How can I get students to find the passion, the joy of reading? Join me as I try to find solutions that work. Add your comments and questions to the conversation. Welcome to the blog!

It’s Monday; What Are You Reading? The Bad Guys: Episode 1

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I grabbed a copy of Aaron Blabey’s book, The Bad Guys, at NCTE, not thinking much of it. It’s a short graphic novel about a wolf, snake, shark, and piranha, who are usually cast as “bad guys” in stories. I got home and put the book in my much-too-tall pile of “To-Be-Reads” and went on with my life.

badguysbook2017

I decided to read the quick picks from my TBR pile last weekend because I wanted to get more books to school. As I read, I found many titles that were not as well-known or highly recommended, The Bad Guys being one of the them. I read it again today, and giggled and laughed, and placed the book in my bag for a couple of students who might love this little twist of a story.

Here’s what I wrote on Goodreads: “These guys have a reputation for being BAD: a wolf (Big Bad Wolf, to be exact), a snake, a piranha, and a shark. But Mr. Wolf wants to change all that. He wants to recruit his buddies to be The Good Guys. With the reader being the extra character, giggles and gasps become outright laughs as the new gang tries to save a poor kitten, stuck in a tree. Will they be able to leave their former lives behind and become HEROES?”

You’ll find out when you read it. Take a few minutes and spend time with these “bad guys.” Then pass the book along to a reader who loves fairy tales, or sharks, or even someone in class who says, “I don’t like to read.” You might just be surprised.