Saturday, January 19, 2008

Travel Reading, Part II

The Horn Book was particularly juicy this month. In addition to the acceptance speeches I gave you rundowns on yesterday, two other articles stand out in my mind.

Fueling the Dream Spirit by Elizabeth Partridge. In trying to describe how writers get their ideas, Partridge, a doctor of Oriental medicine and children's author, writes about concepts from Chinese medicine--Hun (dream spirit) and Po (animal spirit). I think she was saying that the Hun is the concept and the Po is the physical medium (word processor, musical instrument, crayon) used to interpret the concept. The fact that I'm vague about this doesn't lessen the fact this was a good article. My favorite line: "We've just trained ourselves to pay attention to what the Hun is whispering to us." I think that's very true. The more you work with ideas, the more come to you. Or perhaps the more you listen to the Hun, the more it will talk to you.

Finally, Why Gossip Girl Matters by Philip Charles Crawford is a plea to respect all student reading, not just that done by AP students. (I think you could carry this a step further and ask for respect for all reading, period.) One very interesting point: Crawford talks about a "low-level reader" who was a manga fan. According to one of his teachers, the boy's reading scores improved as a result of his librarian respecting his interest and helping him feed it.

You don't have to be reading the unabridged War and Peace to improve your life with books.

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