Day: September 5, 2006

Finding the right book

Sometimes having the right book can make all the difference in the world. Gleek had a somewhat challenging first week of Kindergarten. I could tell she had mixed feelings about the experience, but I couldn’t get her to talk about it. On inspiration I began reading Ramona The Pest by Beverly Cleary as her bedtime story. It is the story of a kindergartener who always ends up in trouble although she never intends to cause it. I remember enjoying Ramona’s adventures as a kid, but the book was completely uninteresting to Kiki, so I figured I’d remembered wrong. I didn’t remember wrong, Ramona just wasn’t a sympathetic character for Kiki. Gleek is a different person, Gleek can identify with Ramona. We just finished chapter one, which included the travails of Ramona’s first day of kindergarten. Reading about Ramona’s experience opened the way to talk about Gleek’s experiences. More importantly Gleek does not feel alone because Ramona had a time-out on her first day of Kindergarten, while Gleek did on her second. This Ramona book is exactly what we needed so that she and I can discuss what is going on in her life.

This experience with Gleek has gotten me to thinking about Kiki and Link. I know that there are books out there that would help them deal with the experiences they are having. I want books that I can read aloud to them and discuss the characters. I’d love suggestions, please tell me the name of the book and a little about why you recommend it. Movies would work too.

Kiki is in 6th grade. She feels alone, that no one likes her, and she has no friends. She does have friends, but she just isn’t seeing them. I’d love a book that delves into female preteen friendships.

Link is in 3rd grade. He sometimes struggles with schoolwork. He is often distracted or off in his own world. He doesn’t feel like he has any friends to play with at recess. He knows lots of kids, he likes them, they like him, but he’s reluctant to approach them.

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