This is the book my students didn’t want me to stop reading last week…they offered to stay in at recess to listen (we didn’t do that). This post, from my other blog, explains it all…
Without realizing it, most of my reading recently has been about gardens and gardening. Our beautiful old house in the Grove is waiting patiently for us to become full-time residents. The gardens, so bare and simple and easily maintained, are also waiting to be lovingly planned and planted. It will be fun to show you “before-and-after” photos in the next few years.
So, with gardening on my mind, it won’t seem strange to you at all that the current Read Aloud in my second grade classroom, is The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. My students are enraptured by it. I chose the word “enraptured” very carefully because there is a lovely Magic in this book, and my students have been captured by it, my boys perhaps even more than my girls!
One sweet example of that Magic happened last week. One of my boys, who is a struggling reader but an rapt listener, came to me quietly one afternoon and said, “Mrs. R, I think I’m starting to speak Yorkshire! “Tha’ and Thee just come out of me without thinking about it.” That kind of magic is helping him love reading even though it is difficult for him.
I think my Reading Self also chose this book (without consciously thinking about it), because it is a book about emotional healing. And I must confess that reading it aloud to this sweet group of children has had a very healing effect on me! I so enjoyed the beautiful descriptions of the garden and of the healing power of gardening!
Did you know that Bellezza was reading this, as well? She posted her review here just this morning. I had planned to read my fortysomething-year-old copy of The Secret Garden along with Bellezza, but time ran out. Perhaps I’ll save it for my granddaughter’s visit in August. She’ll be ten when she’s here (for two full weeks!), which I believe is right about the same age as I was when I read it for the first time.
Les, what fun to have your granddaughter with you for two full weeks! She will love the story, I’m sure, but will especially love reading it together with her grammy. Thanks for the link to Bellezza’s post. I knew there were a few bloggers reading it in May, but haven’t seen her post. I’ll head over there right now and see what she has to say.
I am glad your class enjoyed this book so much. I haven’t read it since I was very young. One day I will reread…
I love the kids not wanting to go to recess over this book. This was my first time reading it and I fell in love with it. I agree about the emotional healing that takes place in the book and how important it was.
When I first started reading it, I felt a little silly for reading a girls book, but that quickly left my head once I got caught up in the story. So I totally understand where the boys in your class are coming from.
Kelly, I think you’ll love it even more as an adult. I did because I really understood, from my own life experiences, the idea that love heals. Love is the magic.
Ryan, thanks for stopping by to read my post on this book. I love what you said and that you understand how my 2nd grade boys connected with the story. It was primarily the character of Dickon that captured them, although they were fascinated with Colin — his temper and intelligence. But Dickon is perhaps the most loveable character in all of children’s literature, and a wonderful role model for boys — kind, gentle, caring, intelligent, completely in tune with nature.