I spent the weekend in DC with my roommate and our friend, and to be completely honest, I probably spent a ridiculous amount of time thinking about my kids and all the ways I could share my weekend experience with them. I grabbed an obscene amount of Capitol pamphlets in at least ten languages for them to peruse (a guard was staring at me like I was crazy), and I even met an ASTRONAUT (yep, so real, see below).
The kids were super excited when I was telling them all of this thrilling news, but they got REALLY excited when I pulled out this massive blue IKEA bag.
I explained that I went to a used bookstore in DC and purchased some books for our classroom library. These books were pretty special since they came from a special bookstore, and I saw a high need for a certain kind of book in our library.
You see, ever since I started reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to my kids, they’ve all been obsessed with Roald Dahl; so obsessed that there are no more Roald Dahl books in my classroom library.
They’re all in kids’ book boxes.
I like to think that my legacy will forever live on in the hearts of my students in regards to an affinity for all that is Dahl, and I’m already seeing the benefit — the librarian at school told me she always knows which kids were mine the previous year because they always ask about the Roald Dahl books.
Upon popping into this rickety DC used bookstore, I was humbled and in awe of the amount of books piled up everywhere.
I saw a sign for Roald Dahl books upstairs and stumbled my way up the narrow staircase. Books were somewhat organized, surprisingly so for a place with this many books. I found the Roald Dahl books and basically, the rest is history.
As I pulled the IKEA bag closer to me, kids started leaning inward, inching closer to me as I began to talk about what was in the bag. I told them I saw that many of them wanted to read Roald Dahl books and it was a shame that we didn’t have enough books to go around for everyone. As I opened the bag and started pulling Dahl novels out of the sea of blue plastic, I watched eyes grow wider with each stack I placed on the carpet.
“WHOAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!” was the general consensus.
Of all the exciting news I had for these kids, they were the most excited about these books. As a reading teacher, I don’t know if anything could make me happier.
…and then I started reading journals.
I take home a few journals a night to reply to the letters the kids write me. They write about their books and what they’re reading and things of that nature, and this gem came out of my first batch of journals:
Dear Miss Stewart,
I am reading The Witches and I am loooving it!!! It’s awesome! Fantastic! Awesome again! It’s also kind of sad because his parents died but he’s living with his grandma, or as he would say, grandmama. I am on page 30.
PS I am super excited to read the new Roald Dahl books!!!
It’s official: I could get happier.
It’s so inspiring to watch these kids get excited about books and enjoy reading. If this is how the first few weeks of school have been, I can only imagine how much more magical the rest of the year will be with these kids in reading class.