I spent some time at school today in an attempt to get things organized for next week. The kids and I will be taking a trip around the world next week through books as we continue to explore character and setting. I have copies of many of the books on my bookshelf at home, but I opted to use copies from the school library.
Growing up, I loved library books. I loved walking into the children's section and smelling that in describable smell. All those spines standing upright were adventures waiting for me to discover. Sure, I had books at home, but I had already read them all. I would revisit them, but at the library had so many new stories waiting for me.
The kids in my class love stories just as much as I did, but I have found that the library doesn't hold quite the same magic that it did for me. They are accustom to the brightly colored covers they see in the book stores, not the dull imitation they find on the cover of the books. In a world where everyone is looking for the latest new thing, they associate library books things that are old.
But I am working to change this. It started with the book Tacky the Penguin. My copy is an old library book that was discarded. When it was put on the shelf initially, no one bothered to pick it up. But once I read it (complete with "the voices"), it became one of the most popular books. They love the story and make me read it constantly. A book that was already in rather sad shape looks pretty beat up on the shelf next to the brightly colored paperback, but it is one of the most loved books.
So next week, we will only be using books from the school library. Some of the stories will be older. Some will be newer. But they will all be books the kids will have access to every Tuesday when they travel upstairs to the room full of books. Maybe by introducing them to more of the stories in the dull covered books they will see that the true magic is not on the outside, but waiting on the pages within.