Tuesday, November 13, 2007

This is Why I Don't Belong to Book Clubs

Folks, I've entered a reading rebellion. Here I was, planning to go through The Essential Guide to Children's Books and Their Creators in alphabetical order. There I was, planning to go through the Newberys and Caldecotts in chronological order.

The alphabetical plan got me through "Aesop" to "African American." Two whole entries. I bailed on "Alcott" and trembled at the sheer number of books in "Alexander [Lloyd]." Now, Lloyd Alexander is a fine writer, and reading through his books would have been my own personal way of memorializing him. However much I tried to get into the mood for fantasy (it is not my all-time favorite genre, and yes, I know that not every Alexander book is fantasy), I couldn't rise to the challenge.

As for the chronological order of the Newberys and Caldecotts....that lasted for about two books.

Here's the thing: I already have a number of required books I must read for Capitol Choices (check out the link on the right), the Cybils (ditto), and School Library Journal. I have definite deadlines for both. No matter if I enjoy them or not, I have to read them with a critical eye (not the same as reading for pleasure) and criticize them.

I don't do well with assigned reading. Never have. These two duties have been significant challenges, albeit very rewarding challenges. But adding a required reading schedule on top of them is just too much. From now on, I will randomly select authors/genres from the Essential Guide and from the Newbery and Caldecott lists. I'll read what I want, when I want.

Which is why I'm now reading the complete works of Judy Blume.

Oooh, oooh! Will Deenie seem hopelessly outdated? Will I enjoy Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself as much as I did when I was in fifth grade? Would the Hatcher family benefit from a visit from SuperNanny?


Hey, did you know she has a new book coming out?! It's about time! Line forms behind me!

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