Reading Together is One Year Old! …. Notes from a mother to a child

August 31, 2010

I have the habit of writing a letter to my sons on their birthday, so I see no reason not to continue that tradition with my third son, RT, also known as Reading Together.

Dear RT,

You changed and enriched my life. And you continue to amaze me. You are exacting, demanding, lovable and endearing—a source of pride and humility. The learning curves you presented often felt/feel enormously steep—you stretched me in ways I could never have imagined. You have delivered more than your fair share of ‘Oy Vey’ moments in your short life span of one year.

You have taken me from China to East Palo Alto and all points in between. I have met and worked with people I never would have met without you and for that I am eternally grateful.

So my dear RT, I wish your upcoming year to be full of joy and growth and adventures filled with wonders. And of course, to be full of meeting new friends. Treat your new friends with the same amount of passion and enthusiasm as those you’ve met in your first year.

Mom—aka, Diane

Thanks to all of you who have made Reading Together’s first year memorable. You have been and continue to be enthusiastic emissaries for Reading Together. Without your word of mouth, without your handing someone a copy of the book, RT would not have the traction it needs to be out in the world.

The first year in the life of a child, or a book, is exciting. Now begins year two. I hope you continue to support RT by including it on your birthday and holiday gift lists. A copy of RT along with a title or two from the 101 story pages is a great way to influence a family’s literary inheritance and to start them on the road of:
Read a book. Ask a question. Start a conversation.

Check out my musings on http://www.dianefrankenstein.com which are continually updated with information pertinent to the emotional and intellectual well being of children.

I am repeatedly struck by the wisdom contained in the 101 books explored in RT. That wisdom is often captured in the souvenirs.  A souvenir is a direct quote from a story that I want to savor, remember and share.  As Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” Give me ideas any day of the week!

Here are a very few of my favorites souvenirs:

~ “Sometimes it seemed to him that his life was delicate as a dandelion. One little puff from any direction , and it was blown to bits.”
From Bridge to Terabithia

~ “All doors are hard to unlock until you have the key.”
From  Mrs. Fribsy and the Rats of NIMH

~ “It’s what you do when you think no one’s looking that tells us what kind of person you really are.”
From Shredderman: Secret Identity

~ “I love to float with the current of the stream, listen to the gentle lapping by the shore line, and dream whatever daydreams want to be dreamed.”
From Dominic

“And when I ran out of other people to get mad at, I got mad at myself.”
From Jake Drake Know-It-All

~ “My friend, the same wind that blows one door shut often blows another open,” he said.
From A Single Shard

~ “The real thing doesn’t usually stay perfect.”
from All Alone in the Universe

And the list goes on and on….

A message to parents from the “Back to School Fairy Godmother”

August 25, 2010

The beginning of a new school year can feel daunting for parents—along with the excitement and anticipation for the new year comes the daunting reality of new schedules and responsibilities for children and their parents. The juggling act required of parents can feel overwhelming. On top of that, along comes a survey by The Michigan Department of Education […]


Ray Bradbury~ Happy 90th Birthday!

August 23, 2010

My Birthday wishes to Ray Bradbury are a day late, but better late than never and as a friend once told me: “I want you to know that I am thinking of you the day after your birthday; you had plenty of well wishers on the day of your birthday! Ray Bradbury is best known […]


A Father’s Love and 15,000 Books…

August 22, 2010

I just finished an amazing book—brim full of humanity— a son’s tribute to his father. I would categorize the book, Losing My Cool: How A Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture by Thomas Chatterton Wiliams, as a “love letter from a son to his father, Pappy. Pappy, born in the segregated south in […]


“The Kids’ Books Are All Right”

August 11, 2010

“The Kids’ Books Are All Right” (NYT 8.8.2010) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/08/books/review/Paul-t.html found me chuckling to myself, as if the cat was finally out of the bag—disclosing the fact that the best of childrens’ and YA (Young Adult) literature is quite simply, great literature.  And to correct the erroneous notion that it was the Harry Potter books that started […]


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