Monday, December 16, 2013

Stop, Stop, You're Both Right!!!

I’m sure many of you are like me—making your lists, checking ‘em twice.  Mid-December isn’t the best time to think about writing, reading or Common Core, but here I am. 

Both on this blog and the rest of the web, I’ve read a lot about our job as authors concentrating upon our writing/thinking about Common Core or providing support materials for teaching our books. 

I end up smack in the middle.  I’m reminded of an old ad campaign for Certs when I was a kid (Do they still exist?).  “Certs is a breath mint,” one person states.  “Certs is a candy mint,” insists the other.  Then some bodiless baritone booms, “Stop, stop, you’re both right.  It’s two, two, two mints in one!"  

I believe my job is being a storyteller.  It’s what I love.  I love to dig in to a subject, find my idea of what is important and extraordinary, then do the best I can to convey my sense of wonder and hope it’s contagious.  

I also like the idea that someone will read my book (hopefully, buy my book) and have the opportunity to get caught up in its ideas.  I like the idea that teachers use my book in fun ways that introduce kids to reading or space or politics and make them believers.  In something.

Opening my computer to write this post, I peeked at my email and saw something from World Book Night, a program that organizes one day a year when participants hand out 30 free books to the unsuspecting public.  Years past, I have left them on the #39 bus in Boston and distributed them to a class in an inner city school.  It’s a great program and a great experience you might want to have.

Anyway, this email reprinted a letter the organization received: 

I wanted to tell you that I am at our local library for the first time because I received a book. I read sometimes, but not a lot. After I received and read the book I thought I could start going to our library and checking out books. I now have my first library card ever and I am 78 years old. Thank you for having this great promotion.

P.S. The library helped me do this letter on the computer because I don't have one and I didn't think you would be able to read my writing. I didn't realize that there were even computers at the library. I've learned a lot by coming to our library and seeing what is available. I would never have done this without your World Book Night.  

We never know how, when or where a person will find a book that will guide his career choice or set off her life of reading.  It is in this spirit that I'm providing the link to my new lesson plans for How Do You Burp in Space?

Happy Holidays to all--Susan


Melissa Stewart said...

What a great story. Thanks for sharing it, Susan.

Alicia said...

What a great post! World Book Night sounds great -- I used to ride the #39 bus myself years ago. And getting people into the library, people of all ages, is wonderful! I look forward to reading your new book. My kids and I have loved so many of your previous ones!

Susan E. Goodman said...

Thanks to both of you, Melissa and Alicia.