“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” ~C.S. Lewis
Little House on the Prairie Books
I still remember opening the Christmas package from my great aunt that contained the entire series of Little House on the Prairie books. My great aunt was a school teacher in a one-room school house and loved to talk about books with me. This was a special gift and she knew that I would be instantly hooked when I read these books. I can still picture the yellow cardboard box which held all nine books and the perfect spot on the bookshelf next to my bed where I put them. I also remember how much I loved the shiny award that was on the front of Little Town on the Prairie.
I was proud to have the whole series of books. I felt accomplished as a reader when I had finished the series. This memory enables me to recognize the power of a series of books for students. I notice the excitement displayed by my students when they learn there are multiple Nate the Great, Flat Stanley, or Amelia Bedelia books to read or even a picture books series such as Pete the Cat. They are motivated to read several books in the series which allows for opportunities to compare books and characters within the series.
I recall these Little House on the Prairie books so vividly because not only did I read them, but I also pretended being a teacher with them. I would line up my stuffed animals and read the book aloud to the animals. What foreshadowing to my career today. These books mattered because they motivated me to read and they were part of the groundwork toward me becoming a teacher. I hope my students feel this passionate and motivated about reading the books to which they are being exposed at school and at home.