Some books grab me and I go back to them over and over again. And over again. I always find something I missed the first thousand times I read it. I’m a prolific reader and a sucker for a good dystopian novel.
When I discovered The Hunger Games, I was HOOKED. I’ve read the trilogy at least 15 times. Probably closer to 25. I’m a fast reader so that’s not as impressive (or insane) as it sounds.
A new world, figuratively speaking, has opened up to me because my grandson has chosen The Hunger Games as one of his summer reading books.
I love to read, I teach English as a New Language and we read books in English all the time, and I teach a reading program.
My grandson has to be dragged kicking and screaming to a book and keeps turning the pages to see how much more he “has” to read. He thought The Hunger Games was one of the easier books on his list, but now that he actually has it, “it’s too long.”
It’s a challenge to teach him skills that will improve his reading and hopefully will then nudge him towards a love of reading. But the tricky part is doing this without him knowing that I’m doing this. In school, it’s all out in the open. Posters about visualization. Practice making predictions.
But no way, when this is reading for pleasure, am I about to say, “Now we are going to learn about using text features.”
My grandson arrived at our house yesterday, book in hand, and my daughter said he has to read for X number of minutes and you have to tell me how far he got blah blah blah. I’m not slamming my daughter; many schools assign timed reading whether the kids like it or not. And the parents have to enforce it. I hate that. A learn to love reading killer.
But when she left he said to me with some excitement “I HAVE A PREDICTION! I think the people picked in the raffle are going to be Katniss and Gale!”
So he knows about making a prediction. What he didn’t know was what a totalitarian government is (I don’t think he really gets what a government is), what a reaping is and he thought the raffle was a good thing where they might win something.
We had a discussion about what had happened so far where I tried to just make it a conversation that would be at least slightly interesting to him. “I think it’s so cool that Katniss and Gale sneak under the electric fence to hunt.” He asks why doesn’t everyone hunt. I think ah hah! A sliver of interest has been shown.
We take turns reading. I tell him it’s easier to read if when he sees a period he stops and takes a breath before continuing.
Reaping day arrives. PRIMROSE EVERDEEN.
His eyes bug out and his mouth is wide open as he looks at me. NO WAY he says.
I get to see The Hunger Games through new eyes. How cool is that?