Monday, November 5, 2007


He came from the other side of the court, intent on the book boxes. I pulled the lid off one - the picture book box - and he pawed through the titles until he reached the Dr. Seuss.

"Green... eggs... and... ham," he read in that Captain Kirk staccato so common among new readers.

His sisters spotted him then, abandoning the easy-read chapter book box and reaching to take the Seuss book away from him. I blocked them with my right arm and shoulder - bookwagon work can be a lot like football - and then eased him, still reading, further from the crowd.

"I... am... Sam."

He read well until the phrase "would not, could not" baffled him. This was no time for a lesson in poetics: I just leaned close and fed him the words. Then I found a second copy and knelt down beside him. This meant I could read along quietly, speaking up when needed.

By the time we were half way through the book, the wagon was down the street, my knees were sore and he was shivering. (They never wear their coats.) I said, "Do you want to finish reading the book indoors where it's warm?"


"Here," I said, giving him my copy. "When your sisters take that book away from you, you can read mine."

Tell me again about how boys don't like to read.

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