My big project at work is done and I’m finally back. It was awesome and I learned so much from the experience. I’m only not giving details to protect the privacy of my school and my students.
I have a long history of suggesting books I know A-Read will love and being right. So when I couldn’t get him past page 7 of another recommendation recently, I was devastated.
Based on my suggestion, he loved When You Reach Me, the Fablehaven series, The Graveyard Book, and countless others. So I handed him a fantasy full of adventure, mystery, and myths that I had just finished, convinced he’d love it as much as I did.
But…the day after he started the book, he received two other books for his birthday. A Minecraft fictionalization and the next book in a series he’s been wanting to read for a while but wasn’t available at our library (and we hadn’t yet gotten around to looking for it at our local indie). Despite how much I know he’ll love this book, it couldn’t compete.
Now, I have a rule about what books I read when. I always read library books before books I own because there’s a deadline involved. But I’m an adult who can rationalize and mostly do what’s right no matter how great the temptation. Apparently A-Read hasn’t matured to that point yet. He is only 11.
So, one night I went into his room to say goodnight and found him reading…the WRONG book.
Voice of Reason: That other book has to go back to the library soon.
A-Read: I didn’t really like it.
Voice of Rea–: What?! Why not?! How could you not like it?!
I discover he’s only on page 7.
Voice of Reason: You didn’t give it much of a chance.
A-Read: (shrugs) I just couldn’t get into it. Sorry.
I gave in. Of course. I can’t force him to read it. Even though a small part of me wanted to. I had no trouble being hooked by page 7. Again, I’m an adult. Big sigh. Instead, I told him maybe he wasn’t ready for it and we could try again in a year. (The main character was 13 and some of the action was pretty grown-up.) He looked relieved.
Now, I didn’t write this book I tried pushing on him. However, I loved it and just knew he would too. So I took his rejection personally.
Do you get that way over book recommendations? Do you feel rejected on behalf of the book if the person you’ve suggested it to won’t read it?
On the other side, Sprout never reads anything I suggest unless he already knows the book from his brother or his friends and has already decided to read it. He doesn’t let me influence him at all. I guess I take that a little personally, too.