Throwback Thursdays will feature posts that are a “Blast From the Past” in one way or the other. The age of the author of the post will determine how far back the blast is coming from. As for today, I’m the author, so the blast is coming from the 80’s, y’all. (1980’s, not 1880’s.)
Mrs. Trujillo was my 3rd grade teacher at Cerritos Elementary School, and she read us Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White, which was already a classic, having been published in 1952. I don’t remember as much about the book as I do about the whole experience. Every day after lunch, we knew it was reading time when Mrs. Trujillo pulled the brown wooden rocking chair to the edge of the circle rug at the front of the classroom. We would rush to be able to sit on the rug, and to be as close to her as possible so that we could see the pictures. I remember learning “salutations” and “runt” as vocabulary words.
I moved to a new school for 4th grade, and I chose to re-read Charlotte’s Web on my own. Part of the reason I was drawn to the book was because it reminded me of home, which in my mind, was still in Southern California. It was a familiar old friend anchoring me in a new place. Years later, I took a bunch of kiddos from Gracepoint Berkeley church to watch the 2006 movie version, and I cried like a baby during that one part (I won’t spoil it for those of you haven’t read the book yet.). Each encounter with the story left a powerful memory in me that makes me nostalgic every time I hear mention of the title.
So when I recommend the book to kids and parents today, I realize I’m recommending so much more than the story of Charlotte, Wilbur and Fern, though the story is wonderful in its own right. It’s a book I love for many reasons, and when I recommend parents and kids read it together, I’m thinking about how this is one of those books that just might help them create a powerful, lasting reading memory together. The kinds of memories that are integral to fostering book love that lives on beyond childhood and into adulthood.
Do you have a favorite reading memory? What book evokes a reading memory for you?