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Reading is a gift

January 18, 2010

by Jenni Sebora

I enjoy a good book, especially during the winter months. Kids are in bed; I’m sitting by the fireplace clad in fleece pajamas with hot cocoa or tea and book in hand. That is one of my favorite ways to spend some alone time. However, as when I go to the movies; I usually find myself snoozing after I have just prepared this nice scenario for some perfect down time.

This holiday season, my goal was to finish a couple of books I had started – a gift to myself. The gift was received.

As I have usually a few books engaged at one time, I finished three books that I had started. My interest in literature spans many topics and genre, children’s literature, biographies, autobiographies, novels, fiction, nonfiction, and so on.

Mike Lupica’s “Heat” is a fictional book about a kid, baseball, and beating the odds with some unexpected help. It hits the heart. I enjoyed this book.

Scholastic puts out some good children’s literature and “The White Giraffe” by Lauren St. John is no exception. It is written for older elementary, junior high aged readers. The setting of this story is Zimbabwe, Africa. I enjoyed the visionaries the book set for me, as well as the creativity of the plot.

The last book I finished was “The Shack.” It is coined as a book that will impact readers for years to come and is on the best sellers list.

With those pieces of literature in my imagination vacation destinations, I can now start a new adventure. That is what reading brings to me.

I am also in the midst of “By the Shores of Silver Creek” in my Little House on the Prairie travels. I always have a Laura Ingalls Wilder book at my bedside or on the coffee table or in the car for the times I have the luxury of being a passenger.

My husband gifted me with the New York Times best seller, “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter,” by Kim Edwards. I am ready to begin reading this novel, as well as another children’s piece of literature, “The View from Saturday,” by two- time Newberry medal-winning author E.L. Konigsburg. The School Library Journal, in its review of this book, noted that it is “a jewel in the author’s crown of outstanding work.” I really enjoy reading Newberry books. I like to find out for myself why it was awarded a best piece of children’s literature.

Now, my husband, who also has a number of books in his book shelf reading, is currently reading Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden,” which certainly is not quick reading. He also always has an encyclopedia at his bedside for some quick slurps of information and facts. He loves facts and can regurgitate them like Cliff on “Cheers” (good comparison).

Our seventh-grade son used one of his Barnes and Noble gift cards on a book he has been wanting, “The Real History of the American Revolution, A New Look at the Past,” by Alan Axelrod. He loves history and currently, the American Revolution is at the top of his interest list. He, too, always has a couple of books on the go. Reading and writing are favorite hobbies of his.

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series is a favorite among many elementary students, including our fourth-grade daughter. She just finished the newest book in the series and is now searching for another series that will receive her attention.

Our kindergarten daughter loves to read anything. We have children’s books in almost every room in our house, so she is always picking up a book and reading it. Almost every morning before school, we can find her reading a book somewhere in the house. Barbara Park’s “Junie B. Jones” books are also among her favorites, as they were our other daughter’s.

There you have it – the reading synopsis of the Sebora family.

Each book that we engage in opens us up to different travels in time, location, characters. The fun thing is that we can all take the travels that interest us. We don’t all have to go on the same intinerary. That is what I love about reading.

Reading is a gift. I wish for you and your family that this new year will take you on some new travels, even if you don’t leave your house.