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Thanks Laura of Author Amok for hosting today’s Poetry Friday.
During reading conferences today, I had more than a few students tell me that they were “conflicted”. They couldn’t wait to get to the end of the books they were reading because they wanted to know how it all worked out, but they were also sad to think that they would then have to “say goodbye” to a story and character they had come to love. Conflicted, indeed.
For consolation, I showed them Laura Purdie Salas’ lovely poem about just this (from her very special collection, beautifully illustrated by Josée Bisaillon, Bookspeak! Poems About Books):
I love that last stanza, and so do my kids – for we talk often of how beloved books beckon us to return for another visit. Finishing a book doesn’t have to mean bidding goodbye to it! Just yesterday, a student returned her copy of “Fish In A Tree” (Linda Mullaly Hunt’s latest, which I reviewed in this post), saying that she was “sad, sad, sad” to have to put in back in its basket.
“Well,” I asked, “do you want to hang on to it for a bit longer, and reread your favorite parts?”
“Can I?” she wondered, “I mean I’ve read it and all.”
But, she was still holding on to the book, reluctant to let go. And, in her other hand, was the next book she had been longing to read. The teacher me was delighted to see a student so invested in reading, and the reader me knew that what she needed to do was hold on to both books: to begin reading the new one, and to have “Fish In A Tree” by her side to reread those chapters and passages she had fallen in love with, and wanted to stay with…for just a bit longer.
A great book offers an open invitation back to its magic.