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One of the choices

A couple of years ago, I had an idea for a blog post: a collection pictures I’d taken of my kids over time, having fallen asleep on books or with books next to them, asleep, in their beds. Gripping, right? Well, that post hasn’t come to pass...you’re welcome.

Elissa’s post about her kids reading rather than getting ready for school in the morning reminded me of those (adorable to me) pictures and brought to mind a not-really-a-problem we've been having at our house. It’s the opposite problem, you could say.

Every once in a while, one or the other child stays up way past his bedtime, completely engrossed in a book. On Monday night, when the grownups went upstairs to bed, we found not one but TWO kids wide awake reading in bed. At 10:30! Like Elissa, I heard myself telling them to stop reading: “Put your book down, turn off the light, and go to sleep. NOW.” Oh, the cognitive dissonance!

The current late nights are a result of our recent library visits. After fighting over Victoria Jamieson's Roller Girl, they read Raina Telgemeier's Smile. We went back to the library for All's Faire and hunted down Raina's other books. Now my boys are obsessed with — very much to my surprise — her graphic-novel adaptations of Ann M. Martin’s Baby-Sitters Club books. They’re up to #4 and on wait lists for #5 and #6 (which, we know, aren’t illustrated by Raina, but that’s okay). This development is making me examine my own gender biases, but that's a post for another day.

Have I mentioned that I spend a fair amount of my waking hours concerned/panicked/depressed about my kids' screen-time and video-game obsessions? I need to remember that even if reading isn't always their first choice, it is one of the choices.
Kitty Flynn
Kitty Flynn is consulting editor for The Horn Book, Inc.

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