Reluctant Reader Discovers ARC Press Books

June 21, 2010

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ARC Press author Trace Taylor recently visited a second grade classroom and read with the students. Here are some of Trace's comments from the visit:

I was in a second grade class with a mix of English language learners and 2nd graders. My colleague and I each worked with two readers at a time.

A boy came to read with me. He was reluctant to speak or invest. He said he did not know if he wanted to read. The teacher whispered to me that he did not like to read.

I sat back down and asked if in all the books I brought, could he find one that might be sort of okay. He reached into the pile and shuffled the books half-heartedly, as though he knew he would not find anything of interest.

His eyes and hands found our One-Green Mantis book. He was so excited. He snatched it from the pile and read it cover to cover. Twice. Ooh-ing and ah-ing at every detail and making sure I knew all about the mantis and saw all the amazing details in the images.

I stepped away for a second to whisper to the teacher that, not only did he like to read, he was very good at it, and that he was probably a B or BB reader. When I sat back down with him, he shuffled the books again and almost immediately caught sight of the word alligators on a book. He squealed with glee as he clamped on to it and dragged it from the pile.

He read all 36 pages of it cover to cover. Twice, to make sure he did not miss anything. Then he gestured to all the piled books with both arms, looked at me with a huge smile and said, "I want to read all these books." We could not pull him from those books, not even for lunch. So while everyone else went to lunch, we sat at that little table and read more exciting books. The teacher said he never read much and that she was amazed that he was reading for us and with such enthusiasm and at that level. I told her she should probably stock up on more bug and animal books that have some meat to them.

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