Saturday, September 12, 2009

This book is actually interesting!

Those were Jacob's words a few chapters into the first book I assigned him this school year.

What a sad reflection on the literature that I’d assigned him in the past. Not that all books I gave Jacob were boring; in fact, he had enjoyed the livelier books, such as The Red Badge of Courage and Never Cry Wolf. But during the summer I had decided that I would not assign him another book that I myself have not read or one that I didn't find interesting. Looking back, I wonder why on earth I felt that I had to assign him classic books for his own good. If he doesn’t like to read, why give him books that are difficult even for me, an avid reader? Just so he can say he read them???

I had found A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah interesting. It was also unsettling and eye-opening, but very interesting. I guess Jacob found it interesting, too. It's opened his eyes to a new and previously unknown world - and he enjoyed the experience.

I guess I succeeded.

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What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
— Albert Pike, Scottish Rite Freemason (1809-1891)