Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Six Year Old is Reading Dickens! (What We're Reading - Part 1 of 5)

  Doodlebug, almost 7, enjoys Junie B Jones. (Who doesn't? Those books are a hoot!) She's silly and she's also a first-grader. He can relate. He started reading one of the Junie B. Jones books himself but for whatever reason it fizzled out and he hasn't picked it back up after the first chapter or two. Maybe it was too challenging? Not interesting enough? Maybe because the main character is a girl? Maybe she's too silly. Who knows, but a couple of weeks ago when Doodlebug saw a collection of 5 or 6 small books that we own, he was intrigued. They are just the right size for his hands (about 3 inches by 4 inches) and are classics that have been re-written in a more kid-accessible way.

These things are also old - the hubster must have had these for almost 30 years. They were originally 99 cents, but were marked down to 50 cents each at Kay Bee toys back in the late 70's or early 80's. There's Jack London's Call of the Wild, Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Dicken's Oliver Twist. For whatever reason, Oliver Twist caught his eye - must be the illustration of young boys on the cover. It has 25 chapters and he feels very grown up to be reading a chapter book that has even more chapters than what Snickers is reading. He very much likes to be 'smarter' than other kids his age and with his natural abilities and the fact that he has an older brother who loves to teach him about math, science, mythology, dinosaurs, etc, etc, etc, he knows a lot of things that many first graders don't.

But seeing him sitting there with Oliver Twist !! in his hands, finger gliding along each line of the story, mouth sounding out the more difficult words, oblivious to the world around him, is wonderful to see. I mean, even I've never read Oliver Twist, or any Dicken's for that matter. I'm familiar with some of the stories, but haven't actually read them. Maybe it's time that I did.


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