Friday, June 26, 2009
Guest Blogger Lexie: The Importance of Being Patient
I want to thank Lee for giving me this opportunity to guest blog--I get to talk about my two favorites things, my lil sis and reading!
Let me set the scene for you--I'm about twelve years old, I got a younger brother who's 11 and a baby sister who's 3. I'm bored out of my ever loving mind because I have no one at all to discuss books with--not my parents, not my friends, not my brother and not my sister...no wait. My sister! We sleep in the same room, I'm in charge of her most days, she follows me around and copies everything I do--why not discuss books with her! Oh wait she can't read.
And that dear readers, is when I began project: Get Alex a Book Partner. I figured since my sister was copying me anyhow it couldn't possibly be that hard to teach her to read right? I mean I learned pretty quick and really Puppies (my nickname for her) was a mini-version of me. Everyone said so. Everyone still says so (as long as they don't see us side by side). And let me tell you--it wasn't that hard. I guess it helped that Puppies loves attention and I showed her that I would give her all the attention she wanted as long as she did what I said.
We started small--Sailor Moon. Since it was a manga (comic) and had pretty pictures and we watched it on TV together, I thought it would be good. This was also before (most) manga publishers kept the Japanese names, so there wasn't any confusing words for her (or me) to figure out. It turned out well. Within about half a year she could read the issues without my help and we moved onto books. Kid's books, but hey I was willing to sacrifice for the long term goal.
Truth is Puppies took to reading like a fish to water. By the time she was five we were able to read Nancy Drew together, Babysitter's club and even Sweet Valley High. She didn't seem bothered by the fact that she was reading way ahead of her kindergarten classmates and I wasn't bothered at all. I was proud...even if it did lead to some embarrassing questions about topics in SVH that were definitely not age appropriate.
So let's flash forward eleven years. Puppies is 16, I'm 25 and you know what? Her vocabulary skills are off the charts, her reading comprehension skills are excellent and she knows things that most kids don't know because she reads. A lot. She's read most of my collection and then some. We share all my books (if she's interested) and go on monthly book buying binges together at the Used Book Store in town. In all these years we've only come across two issues--1) her teachers are continually baffled by her writing skills and have accused her of plagiarizing numerous times (Puppies does not speak like she writes) and 2) she'll understand things her friends have no hope of grasping and that worries her. She is popular, she likes being popular and reading, sadly, is not popular. While she doesn't hide the fact she reads (anymore), she doesn't shove it in her friends' faces, unless its an extremely popular series (Twilight, Gossip Girl, etc).
I wanted to play for the long game and in the end I got what I wanted. We might not agree about things we read, but we have spirited, amusing and fun discussions. Plus since we read most of the same stuff we can crack inside jokes or catch inside jokes and have a riot without needing anyone else.
Now all I got to figure out is how to teach her to return my books to me on time!
Great Guest Blog, Lexie. Thanks for visiting The Write Game.
Visit Lexie at her blog, Poisoned Reality to find out more about her, books she reads and what she has to say about those books.