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On Robin Smith’s “A Letter to Parents” (from Sept/Oct 2006)

pilkey_captain underpants and the preposterous plight os the purple potty peopleWhen it comes to second-grade reading, veteran teacher Robin Smith has seen it all. As the parent of a second grader, I have seen many things that we won’t go into, but seeing my eight-year-old reading voraciously isn’t one of them. I know he can read; if given the choice, however, he prefers not to. He loves being read to–either by us, his parents, or via audiobooks–and I don’t have a problem with that. He can listen to Nancy Farmer’s epic Sea of Trolls trilogy all he wants. I just wish he would find a way into physically reading a book that engrosses him as much as his beloved Minecraft/Plants vs. Zombies/Lego Batman/etc. (video games for the uninitiated).

Robin’s A Letter to Parents: What Makes a Good Second-Grade Book? from the September/October 2006 issue of the Magazine gives me hope. Not about the video games, alas, but about the endgame: “Imagine the joy you will feel when you hear, ‘I just finished this book and you will love it, too! Want to read it?'” I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

About Kitty Flynn

Kitty Flynn is consulting editor for The Horn Book, Inc.

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