“Sometimes, you read a book so special that you want to carry it around for months after you’ve finished just to stay near it.” –Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
There’s something to be said for writers that literally bring you into their books. Hatchet byGary Paulsen did that to me. For a moment, I was with Brian in Hatchet. Surviving, scared, but brave. Then it was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. The characters inThe Fault in Our Stars were my friends, too. It was such a hauntingly beautiful story. Wonder by R.J. Palacio was another book that captivated me. These are the books that keep me talking and thinking, long after I read the last word. These are the books that I depend on to teach our young ones empathy, bravery, compassion, kindness and generosity.
I know Common Core State Standards are pushing nonfiction, and for parents, word is that fiction should fall to the wayside. That is simply not true.
In the words of Kylene Beers, “Nonfiction lets us learn more; fiction lets us be more.”
Reading fiction changes us and teaches us. Sure, if we want to learn more about the brain, we can read from a wide variety of nonfiction books.
But if we want to connect with a character on a very deep level…we read fiction. And what a magical thing it is to see yourself in someone else’s writing.
At the moment, it’s Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell.
Only a quarter of the way in and I feel the magic with every word.
What role does fiction and nonfiction play in your life?