Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Are You There, Stephenie? It's Me, Jenny.

I just realized today that I am a Twi-Hard.

I haven’t actually read any of the Twilight books. I did see the first movie once when I was flipping through cable. Is it me or was it totally creepy when Edward told Bella that he had been watching her sleep? I guess it was supposed to be romantic, but I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I knew that the guy I liked spent the whole evening watching me—especially in the beginning of a relationship when I’m still trying to impress him. I’d be too afraid that I would snore or drool or something.

However, despite the fact that I’ve never read the books and have issues with Edward’s stalker-like behavior, I want to call Ms. Meyer right now and beg her to write more Twilight books. It was only during the height of Twilight’s popularity that I remember seeing my students walking around with their noses in a book like Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

I just read in the news that SAT reading scores hit a 40-year low. But if young adults would read more, not only would their SAT scores improve, so would their grammar. Sure, I can teach them the grammar rules and have them practice by applying them to their own writing, but if they aren’t consistently exposed to grammatically sound writing, they probably won’t retain them.

The problem is that a lot of my students claim to HATE reading. My brain—the brain of someone whose only trophy is from a third grade read-a-thon— doesn’t quite comprehend that statement. It’s like when someone tells me they don’t like chocolate: I don’t believe them. I think they are just saying that because they’re on a diet and don’t want to admit it.

Is it really possible to hate reading?

Is it possible to hate chocolate?

What book would you challenge a self-proclaimed reading hater with?

P.S. Kelly Polark recently started a very cool blog that promotes literacy by letting us know what celebs are reading.


Heidi Windmiller said...

I struggled with this as a high school teacher, and I can't pretend that I always found success--but matching kids up with the right books goes a long way. I recommended lots of Alexie, Palahinuk and Sedaris to the older boys--and those always seemed to work fairly well. They like the over the top stuff.

Dylan Fitzgerald said...

I have this fantasy where I'm on Leno or Conan talking about my fabulously popular, girl-power fantasy novel, and he asks me if I like the Twilight books. I'll say something like, "Well, they're not my cup of tea-- since when the boyfriend unhooks the girlfriend's car battery to keep her from going somewhere, this is viewed as romantic, not as a reason to get a restraining order."

Meanwhile, back in reality: there's no such thing as hating to read. There's just having the wrong reading material. Amen.

Tere Kirkland said...

Maze Runner. Non-reading boys just eat that book up, imo!

Ya know, I never thought I'd agree with this sentiment, but I do! Anything to get kids to read, right?

Shelly said...

If it has to do with rappers or wrestlers, many of them will like it. Sigh- it's better than not reading at all...

the late phoenix said...

i'm an avid reader, but Edward's sparkling screwed me up for life. now, the only epic pages i touch have to do with a certain potter

Liz said...

If you want your students to read to improve grammar, better pick a different series. I haven't read them, but have you read Reasoning with Vampires?

I feel like the two of you would get along - it seems you have common life goals, and are both very amusing!

Anonymous said...

I would recommend reading my book Breakthrough!

traci's mixed bag said...

So, you must be really excited that Breaking Dawn is coming out in November? I will gather with as many females as I can, to stand in line and watch it at midnight. Do you watch True Blood? It's like adult Twilight, so fun.

Perhaps a book about something that interests the self-proclaimed reading hater. I know I have trouble getting into fiction but you give me a biography or a self-help book and I immediately am into it.

Jaya J said...

I read all four Twilight books. Edward watching Bella while she was asleep isnt the only creepy thing in there. The last book is the creepiest when Jacob 'imprints' on Bella's baby.

Crystal Pistol said...

Last year my 12 year old stated the words: I hate reading.

It hurt my feelings so badly I thought I might cry.

Hadn't I been reading to her since she was being formed in my womb? Hadn't I read and re-read Where The Wild Things Are up to ten times in a row at her request when she was 6?

I forced my defiant child to sit in my bed as I read aloud from the scariest teen book I could get my hands on: Cryer's Cross.

She can't sleep at night now but it's only because she can't put her book down.

In summation, I think it's just a matter of finding the right reading material.

Jessi Haish said...

haha, what a great post

James Garcia Jr said...

Hi, Jenny. I hate to hear people say that they hate reading, too. Out of the four of us in our household, everyone loves to read, except my youngest. He reads very well, but is more of a gamer than anything else. I would agree with your readers who claim it has more to do with material.
On the subject of "Twilight" comment. ;)


Elliot MacLeod-Michael said...

I must say I'd rather the kids of today watch something thought provoking on television than read Twilight, but it's still good that they are reading I suppose. It's difficult for me to comprehend as well but there are A LOT of people who don't like reading, and not just kids. I'm not sure what I would challenge them with. If they were fairly intelligent I would probably suggest Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman or something else light like that.

I wouldn't really know what to do with kids. I might suggest The Thief of Always by Clive Barker, one of my favorites growing up.

Kelly Polark said...

Yes, I agree that matching the right book to the right person is the key. I remember one parent was lamenting that her child was reading books at home, but not the more classic literature that she thought she should be reading. I told her that if her daughter comes home and reads for fun, it doesn't matter what it is, as long as she's reading. (okay, this was a fourth grader, so it matters that it is age appropriate, but still :)
THANK YOU for the shout out!

Anonymous said...

I would ask kids to read Poppy. I hated reading as a kid but then I read Poppy and my whole outlook changed. I have a BA in English now. Funny how things work isn't it?

Lady In Read said...

Found your blog recently and the name drew me to it instantly! Missed periods and other grammar scares - I don't like them too.
Is it really possible to hate reading? A:Absolutely NOT.
Is it possible to hate chocolate?
A:Absolutely NOT.
What book would you challenge a self-proclaimed reading hater with?
A:Just pick a book and stay past the first chapter. (I agree we need to find the right book for each person but at the same time, most reading haters do not read past the first page.)
(NOTE: This answer was easier than actually trying to pick one book among the books I love!)

Glynis said...

I cannot understand it when kids say they hate reading. There are so many choices for YA nowadays. If I was a teen I would never come up for air!

Theresa Milstein said...

SO creepy that he watched her sleep. And sometimes she let him rock her to sleep. Daddy complex much?

You'll love this: