Childrens Book Reading Extravaganza 2010: Novel #86

I have to admit that I feel i’ve cheated a bit with this list. You see, those two times I didn’t finish the book (despite trying pretty hard to get into it) made me feel pretty guilty. I am not a person who abandons books. I am a person who embraces books. Who reads during every spare moment. Who has multiple books going at the same time. I am a person who regularly reads at least two books while on a vacation.

But now…

I am a person with a baby.

So now, those multiple books I’ve got going? Let’s see…there’s Moo Baa La La La by the great Sandra Boynton, The Very Hungry Catepillar by the brilliant Eric Carle and, of course, Pat the Bunny in the name of always reading a classic.

Oh and like a zillion books on sleep habits.

Sounds like a literary party, no?

So, I did not read novel number 86. Recently. I did read it. And loved it. And highly recommend it to the two people on this planet who haven’t read it.

Yes friends, I speak of Harry Potter. Novel # 86 is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2)

I read these early books as a young graduate student. Ah the good old days when all I had to do was go to class….and then wait tables until 3am. Maybe it wasn’t so fabulous.

Anyhow, I read most of this book when I should have been finishing my reading for class whilst riding NYC transit to and from school. It was my first foray into reading children’s books in public and I went to great lengths to conceal the cover and title. I’m not sure what I thought was going to happen if someone saw me reading this particular book. After all, I was in a city that fully embraces public urination and boasts a Naked Cowboy with a guitar in Times Square.

These days I proudly show off my love for children’s books. (Read: I spend heinous amounts of money at Barnsey and am proud of it.).

Anyhow, you can probably guess by now that I’m not going to summarize this uber-popular text which is why I feel like I’m cheating a bit). I think these books are wonderful and can totally spark a Childs love of reading. I’m not sure they would make the best read alludes as they are fairly lengthy, but let me know if some of you out there have rocked this read aloud style. I will offer a word of caution though. My small fries were always jonesing to read impressive looking books. And by impressive, they meant thick and way above their independent level. Harry Potter books were of extreme temptation and I had a few kids even lug that sucker back and forth to school to “read” it. Couldn’t understand a damn thing that was happening but hey! Look at how many pages!

So while we want to encourage our friends to push themselves, we have to find a way to gently remind the. That actually understanding what we read, not just saying all the words, is our goal.

That’s all, my fellow book worms! Enjoy those weekends!


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  • Yes…I noticed that you posted today's message at 5:53 AM.

    You said it yourself. Now you have a baby. Don't guilt yourself about other stuff…Nothing is more important for you to do these days than be a mom to minimimi.

    If you have time (HA!) for a blog entry, great. If you can stay awake long enough to read a novel that's fine. But the important thing is to concentrate on your mini…reading aloud and nurturing.

    I can't imagine anyone who reads your blog regularly having a problem with that.

    Oh and while I have your attention…

    You said that you were not going to make this a "child rearing" blog, or something like that. But if you think about it, teachers are "child rearers." I don't think it would be inappropriate to talk about language development as MiniMimi grows, motor skills, reading aloud to infants, and a host of other things that we, as teachers, would be interested in.

    Enjoy that baby! That's an order!!

    August 13, 2010 at 3:30 pm
  • Thanks for the recommendation on books to read! I love reading juvenile fiction books, but I at times feel like I should hide them. Why is that?

    Congratulations on your new edition! Treasure every moment!

    August 13, 2010 at 4:05 pm
  • Congrats on the baby!!! 🙂 I love your blog and have your book! Come check mine out at

    August 15, 2010 at 4:46 pm
  • Amen on the understanding part of reading. Don't you feel sometimes that all the powers that be want is for kids to decode, decode, decode, yet I've seen many a brilliant 5 year old power through chapter books with beaming parents and then you ask them about the book and they have no idea what happened. Let's take our time into reading without pushing and drilling so much!

    August 15, 2010 at 9:33 pm
  • Stu- have I told you lately that your comments always make me smile and make this blog a better place? Thank you.

    August 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm
  • Glad to know I am not the only one who has not read Harry Potter. I was a building substitute when the series broke big with the third book, and I remember sneaking a peek while the kiddos were at lunch. I scanned page after page after 10 pages – quickly, because I didn't want to get caught touching the kid's sacred book! – and I. Didn't. Get. It. Ten pages of boring description of a cat and hiding under the stairs… Never opened one again. Still, to this day, ten years later.

    August 17, 2010 at 11:45 am
  • I LOVE the Harry Potter novels! I read, not only the first, but the second, novel aloud to my 5th grade cherubs. REading in the voice of lovable Hagrid, slippery Snape, stern McGonagall, and endearing Dobby is the BEST! I won't even let my substitutes lay a hand on my novel when I am out. It is great, but the kiddies LOVE it….and so does this teacher!

    March 1, 2011 at 3:23 pm

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