This morning, my run began horriblly. I had to walk after just a 1/4 mile because my back and hip didn’t seem aligned. I had a painful hitch back there and running was nearly impossible. After a minute it felt better so I started running again…for another minute. This went on for nearly a mile, until finally my body felt “right” and I could continue on. I really wanted to get 5 miles in because I want to do more next weekend. So once my body felt ready to go, I got running.
While on this run, my mind kept wandering to different topics like, “Crap, I forgot to wear sunblock” and “Why is that guy walking around in the field? Maybe I should run faster” and “I really need to change up my playlist.” Finally my thoughts focused on summer reading. Why? I have no clue. I often think about sex when I run because….well, why not? It just feels good!
But today, I started to think about what librarians in the public libraries always face each summer—the dreaded summer reading list. Admittedly, very few parents or students bring these into my library. Occasionally I’ll get a couple of folks who are worried about their kiddos’ reading level, so they get a list from their teachers to try and help them. Now…I’m probably a teacher’s worst nightmare. I don’t discourage picking from the list the teachers provide, but I DO add a few titles I think the kid would actually want to read.
For instance, this book:
I know. Disgusting, isn’t it? Fart Squad by Seamus Pilger is about four kids that get super fart powers due to a bunch of bad burritos served at their school cafeteria. It’s filled with so many butt and fart jokes, that you can’t do anything but laugh. And I guarantee it’s not on any summer reading list. But it should be. Not because it’s filled with vocabulary words you want your child to know (although flatulence is a GREAT word!), nor is it great storytelling. But it’s fun. And although my child already likes to read, he can’t wait to read this at nighttime.
We’ve been using this as our read-aloud for the past few nights, but today, we used it to fill in a little gap of time. In my last blog, I talked about my son’s weight problem and how things need to change in our household. Fortunately they are. One thing that my boy needs to do every weekend is to earn his screen time. The timer was set this afternoon and he knew he couldn’t watch tv or play video games while the timer was on. After having various “gun battles,” I suggested we read a smidge from Fart Squad. My boy agreed and he became so engrossed in the silly but hilarious story, that he never heard the timer buzz to let him know he could play a video game. And I didn’t tell him…until later. 😉 Normally the kid would be running to the computer when that buzzer went off, but not today.
Of course there are some fantastic reads for kids out there that they will enjoy, that are not filled with fart jokes. And I promise you I am not trying to tell you how to parent, because we ALL have our particular battles to fight and obstacles to overcome. I just ask that you find or allow at least one book for your child this summer, that he or she WANTS to read. If it’s already on that summer reading list you got from the school, then bonus for everyone! And if it’s a book of jokes filled with potty humor, then it may be a long summer for you. Yet if your kid is reading and enjoying it, then won’t it be a good summer?
Fabulous advice! For adults too. Most of my reading is for work–things I should be reading. I have to remind myself to check out a book or two for fun, and I work in a library!