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Home » Kid stories » JEAN SHEPHERD KID BOOK PART 2. LEARNING WRIT LARGE 5 of 6

JEAN SHEPHERD KID BOOK PART 2. LEARNING WRIT LARGE 5 of 6

Great Crashing Waves of Words

I’m constantly amazed at the number of people who just don’t read.  I wonder if they learn to read while in school.  It’s just a question.  Do people who don’t read know how to read?  Or is it harder for them to do it?  Is reading hard?  That’s a question I’m asking.  Rhetorical question.  In short, to many people who are otherwise widely educated, is the actual act of reading and visualizing something from a printed page—is that a difficult process?  Is it laborious to them?  I don’t know.

It seems so natural to me.  From the time I was a kid.  I can’t remember learning to read.  From the time I was a little kid.

I guess many many people are like that.  But I’m surprised though, how too many of the people who ordinarily would read and who are fairly knowledgeable about what’s been written have very little understanding or interest in anything that has been written.  I wonder what they think all those libraries are for.  “Studying,” as they call it?  Is that what it’s for?  Studying?  Or whether they think people are studying –math—in those libraries?  What?  History?  I see.  Well, alright, if you think it’s all history, then how much of that do you read?

Anyway, Miss Beverly Smith one afternoon was giving out book assignments for book reviews.  Stuff like Ivanhoe, stuff like Silas Marner.  She said, “I’m going to give you an additional book list.  And I’d like to underscore a couple of books that, if you take them out, you may find really interesting, boys and girls.”  Most of the kids just stuck them away.  They were going to cheat on their book review anyway.

But I loved reading.  So I took the supplemental book review list to the library.  I walked into the library and I said, “Miss Easter, may I have this book?”

She said, “Let me see that.  They’re letting you read that in school?”

I said, “Yes, there’s my book list.”

She said, “Well, we ordinarily don’t give that to children.”

I said, “Miss Smith said I could read it.  It’s right there on the list.”

“Well, I don’t know what they’re teaching these days in school.  I certainly think your mother should know what you’re reading.”

Well, at that point, “Wow!”  I thought, “Oh my god, it must be fantastic!”

So she gave me this great big thick book from the adult section.  It was the biggest, thickest, fattest book I ever saw.  I took this book and I sat down in the library and I started to read it.  At first it was very difficult.  It was nothing at all like Ivanhoe and Lady of the Lake.

WHAT BOOK WAS IT?

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