Tuesday, March 15, 2016

SOLC 2016 15/31: Cut from the Same Cloth as Uncle Frank

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Betsy, Dana, Beth, and Anna
for hosting this meeting place each day in March
and for nurturing our writing lives.

This remembered slice was triggered by an article I found yesterday while sorting through some of my paper piles with my daughter, Sara.  I picked up an op-ed NYT article "Read, Kids, Read" by Frank Bruni from May 12, 2014.  I scanned the article and noticed these highlighted words:  "But about books, I'm steady.  Relentless, I'm incessantly asking my nephews and nieces what they're reading and why they're not reading more."  I knew instantly that Frank Bruni and I were kindred spirits.   

I hope you'll read Bruni's column.  It's a great article to share with parents, with colleagues, with friends, with anyone who cares about keeping kids reading in today's world.  Here are a couple of quotes to whet your appetite so you'll click on the link and read the entire column: 
  • "...I believe in reading - not just in its power to transport but in its power to transform."
  • "Books are personal, passionate.  They stir emotions and spark thoughts in a manner all their own, and I'm convinced that the shattered world has less hope for repair if reading becomes an ever smaller part of it."
And now for my remembered slice of life.  Last fall I went to Tennessee to visit my sister and her family.  We had an extended family gathering at her house with several of her children and their families who live in the area.  It was great to see everyone.  When you move far away from family, you don't get these opportunities very often.  

During the evening, I asked Sam, my great-nephew, "So Sam, what are you reading?"

His quick reply was, "The Scarlet Letter."

I countered with, "Yes, that's what you're reading for school.  But what are you reading for fun?"

Sam stumbled a bit, threw a furtive glance at his mom, and then his entire family erupted into laughter.   

Apparently, their mom, Jenny, had coached her kids on the way to the gathering.  She knew that Great Aunt Mona would ask them about what they were reading and each child was instructed to have a ready answer!  Their father Shaun knows that any time I'm around, the conversation will eventually turn to books.  

So now I'm the book encourager to a second generation, my great nieces and nephews.  It's a title I wear proudly!  My great niece Jessica is a mom.  So in a few years, I'll get to bug a third generation of nieces and nephews when I ask her little guy, "So, Taven, what are you reading?"  


  1. And I hope you never stop, Ramona. That's a terrific reputation to have. So funny to hear that ready answer, The Scarlet Letter. Thanks for the Bruni link, too.

  2. We are kindred spirits too. I love books and try to keep my daughter interested in reading. I would love it if you linked up with us at Literacy Musing Mondays some: http://maryanderingcreatively.com/lmmlinkup-read-learning/

  3. Book Encourager, what a great title. I've always been giving books to my nieces and nephews, and also blank notebooks, to encourage them to write as well. (Do they? I've never asked.) Reading and writing so go together. I will check out the Frank Bruni link.

  4. I love the title, Book Encourager. We need more of those around! I've tried to be that to my niece. I have only one so she gets more than her fair share of attention, but I try to spread it around to all the youngsters I meet. Keep it up!

  5. A title that you wear well! What a fun story about the nephew and great-nephew. Maybe the next time you see him, he will have his own answer and won't need to be coached.