Monday, August 15, 2011

Thank You, J.K. Rowling

I love to read.  I'm not very fast, and I only read for pleasure during the summer when I'm not working.  But I love it.

Kinley, however, has been a reluctant reader.  In fact, until she became engrossed in the Harry Potter series earlier this year, she would often say that she didn't like to read at all.  She would start a book and never finish it. She would check out library books that were far above her level, setting herself up for failure.

But her obsession with J. K. Rowling's fantasy world gave me hope and started what I hope will be a lifelong love of reading for Kinley. 

I was so proud of her when we went on a couple of Harry Potter tours in England.  Kinley proved how much she remembered about the books by answering many of the tour guide's questions about plot specifics, even winning a prize for her knowledge.

Kinley and I pose in front of Lacock Abbey where scenes from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone were filmed.

Kinley claims her prize of candy floo powder for correctly answering questions.

Kinley and her cousin at Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station.

Kinley asks the tour guide a question on our Harry Potter walking tour of London.

And then, when we got home to the U.S., something else happened that made me want to squeal with delight. 

Kinley was helping me chop vegetables in the kitchen on one of the last days of summer vacation.  She had been reading The Titan's Curse, one of the books in the Percy Jackson series, and she said, "You know, Mom, I think Percy Jackson is just like Harry Potter.  Grover is Ron, Annabeth is Hermione, and Kronos is Voldemort.  The author totally copied J. K. Rowling.  And I think the ending is gonna be really short since I'm already halfway through the book and they don't even know where they're going or what they're looking for!"

Wow.  It is every teacher's dream to find out that the skills they've tried instill in their students have really taken root, have grown into something bigger, something that will be plucked and used by the student later in the garden of life.  And there I was, standing in my kitchen, chopping literal fruits while my daughter harvested metaphorical ones.  Wow.

My reluctant reader had initiated a conversation comparing the works of two different authors, was beginning to recognize pattern in works of the same genre, and was making predictions and passing judgments on the author's pacing of the plot!

Thank you, J. K. Rowling.  I owe you one.


Renee said...

Way to go, Kinley! I have to admit that I was a little sad when Tessa finished the last of the HP series this year. It's like a little bit of innocence gone from our home.

Next up, Tolkien! :)

Anonymous said...

Was the same for Audrey years ago, but she stumbled on to the Fairy Realm Series and was hooked! Hasn't stopped reading since. It is about finding the right books for each kid till it clicks ;) Keep up the good work Kinley AND Mrs. Boyd! :)

boyd2 said...

Renee,I remember what a voracious reader you were in elementary school and how much I wished I could read as fast as you! :) No doubt Tessa will tear through Tolkien in no time!

And the point about finding the right books is so true. Thanks for the encouragement!

Lanita Bradley Boyd said...

And don't forget The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. And she may eventually morph into realistic fiction, especially about teens. I'm glad my granddaughter has such good analytical skills!

Lisa said...

I just read this yesterday, catching up on your blog, and tonight had a similar experience with Abby. I started reading Man's Search for Meaning and read aloud some tidbits from the foreword to the family. "They died less from lack of food or medicine than from lack of hope, lack of something to live for." That sentence prompted Abby to think of Grandpa in Stone Fox and she then proceeded to give us all a synopsis of the story. :-) Happy day!!!

boyd2 said...

Oh, Lisa! That is WONDERFUL, and Mrs. Harshbarger will be just as thrilled as I am to hear about Abby's connection! Way to go Abby!