"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Slice of Life: Stories Connect Us

Stories connect us.

Tonight, I am working on a project with a 4th grade teacher for the book, The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine. Working with this book is poignant because the connections are both happy and sad. It was fourteen months ago that my father had a brain bleed and I found myself reading this book to him in the hospital. My mother and I used the book as a launching point for a discussion about my parents experiences in the Civil Rights Movement. At the time we thought my father would make a full recovery, but he has not. These fourteen months have changed his life (and therefore ours) in ways that I could not have prepared myself. So here I find myself, being thrown back emotionally to those days in the hospital and then struck by how quickly life changed. Yet reading this book again and working collaboratively with the teacher also carries happiness and hope, along with the remembrance of the ways this book has connected me and continues to connect me with my students. Stories connect us to people, to a time period, to a place, and to memories. These connections, like threads in a quilt, become part of the fabric of our lives.

"Stories connect us."

I am pleased that this is the message that Kate DiCamillo carries with her as 
National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.
Stories do connect us and when we are lucky, they reconnect us.

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