I was talking with a friend the other night at a San Francisco Giants game and I found myself mesmerized by his stories about his favorite baseball players and their struggles to get to the big leagues. I was struck by how animated and involved he was in telling me about their perseverance, their obstacles, their challenges, and their disappointments….
I told him how much I loved his passion for these stories and I asked him what were his favorite books as a child. He told me that as a child he had never read books he really liked or was excited about. Because the books he read didn’t spark his interests, he concluded he was not a good reader and didn’t like to read. My friend’s lack of confidence in his reading ability continues to play out today where he continues to shy away from reading fiction and feels most comfortable reading magazines and newspapers.
The reality, that my friend loves stories but doesn’t necessarily like to read and doesn’t feel confident as a reader, could have easily been avoided. Can you imagine if someone had handed him a story like Finding Buck McHenry, Casey At The Bat, or Summerland? Any one of these books could have been his “home-run” book.
People love stories but not everyone likes to read. Children need someone to hand them their home-run books—books that speak to their interests and curiosities. Home-run books are why children find pleasure in reading and become the readers they deserve to be.
Read what you love and love what you read!