Friday, November 18, 2011

Ten Days of Thanksgiving - Day 5

Catch up...

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

Today I am thankful for...

My ability to read and love of reading.

I'm so thankful that my dad passed this passion on to me. You all know I love books and everything book related. I visit the library at least 2-3 times a week (usually with C or other clients), I'm regularly found at Half Priced Books looking for recent releases I have had my eye on and I love studying at Barnes and Noble surrounded by shelves of books.

As I am studying to become a teacher I am definitely one of those that wants to instill a love of reading in my students. Many teachers do. I accept this challenge happily and am convinced I can do it.

With addicting series out like Harry Potter, Twilight and Hunger Games it's easy to get a student hooked on books. All it takes is a few questions and at least a tiny bit of motivation from them. Once you've got 'em, they're hooked.

I'm still reading for children's lit where we still have a few weeks until the semester is over and this week we're reading children's biographies. I knew I wanted to find a book on a First Lady or JFK (surprised? Didn't think so.) When I got to the library and started looking, I ended up walking out with three books on Eleanor Roosevelt, one on Michelle Obama, one on Dolley Madison and another one on JFK.

I almost immediately started reading one of the biographies on Eleanor Roosevelt. I only knew the basics about her and I was eager to learn more, she seems like such an interesting person!

Our Eleanor by Candace Fleming is set up like a scrapbook and follows Eleanor's life chronologically. The book has 150 page of short articles, letters, pictures and other short passages about her life. The way this book is set up makes it very easy to read and also makes it a very fast read.

Before reading this all I knew about Eleanor was that she was a great humanitarian, she was married to FDR, she was First Lady during the Depression and that she didn't decorate the White House (random, I know).

Eleanor was not your typical First Lady, in fact, she didn't even want the job! She wasn't interested in the life full of socialite parties and standing around at luncheons trying to impress other socialites. She was convinced that people were meant to do more.

During the four terms that FDR served as president Eleanor never stopped moving. She traveled 40,000 miles a year and rarely turned down an opportunity she was interested in.

This book tells about her life as a young socialite, her teaching and writing career, her many contributions to the US as a United Nations delegate and political activist and so, so much more. It is mind boggling to read about how much she accomplished in her life, I was tired just reading it, but overall enthralled at such an interesting person in our history.

Eleanor was still going strong up into her seventies, and despite passing away during the Kennedy administration she was a public supporter of his campaign.

This book is definitely for the accelerated and more mature reader. It's definitely not for elementary grades. I would say this book would be best used with 7th-8th graders. I think they might grumble about it (I mean, it's history, of course they're gonna grumble about it) but if you can pick out a few teasers from the book to read aloud and get them interested, I think anyone would enjoy learning more this extraordinary First Lady.

I definitely recommend this book if you want to sit down and easily. read about her entire life in one sitting


Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Hurray for reading! I am glad you are a kindred spirit! I love reading and will read anything!

That Eleanor book looks good. I don't read a lot of non-fiction, as much of it tends to be pretty dry, but I think this one seems a little more exciting! Thanks for the recommendation!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I, too, have a love of reading, as you know. It was instilled in me from a young age as my parents read to us so much. So now i am tryinig ot pass that love onto my nephew and niece. I am the aunt who gives them books for every holiday & celebration and am always willing to sit down and read with them. My oldest nephew is reading and just loves it and it makes me so so happy!