Assigned reading

I am currently reading Dark Water Rising by Marian Hale because it is my daughter’s summer reading assignment, and I hate to let anyone read a book which I myself have not read.

I’m not very far into the story yet, but so far I think I’m going to like it. My daughter however, hated the beginning of the book. She dislikes “old fashioned stories” and had a hard time settling in to try and enjoy the story. Her reaction caused me to question the assigned reading choices – who makes these decisions and why? I have one child who is a little resistive to reading and ‘for pleasure’ still feels very foreign to him, so I sincerely hope that assigned books are chosen with an eye to promoting a love of reading.

I understand that many books are selected because they have won the various awards (Caldecott, Newbery) which should attest to their suitability but I have actually read some of those decorated books and not enjoyed them in the slightest!

Holes by Louis Sachar – 1999 Newbery Medal Winner – I loved this book! Five Stars!

Savy by Ingrid Law – 2009 Newbery Honor book – Brilliant!! Five Stars! (and beautiful cover art)

Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath – 2002 Newbery Honor book –  Ehm…. what was this???

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor – 1992 Newbery Medal Winner – Nooo!! Please don’t make me read another page!!


I wish I could read all the book choices up front and steer the powers-that-be at the schools toward the fun ones!

But for now, to add insult to injury, the assigned book for the other grade level at my daughter’s school is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – a book which my daughter requested for her birthday and joyfully devoured page by page. (oh and I loved it too! Five Stars!)

Why can’ t they let her answer the questions on that one? I bet she’d have no problems with the essay questions.




A single step

Research Association of Laozi Taoist Culture

Research Association of Laozi Taoist Culture (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the Lao Tzu quote which often does the rounds on the internet. This is my journey of a thousand miles and this is my first step.