This summer my kids have made a lot of friends–at stops along the way with old friends in Lincoln, NE; at the hotel pools of places we stayed at; and of course, here in Portland, where my brother’s neighborhood is an old-time scene of kids biking on the dead end street, running from house to house to see who can play, and trading scooters.
But that isn’t all they’re trading.
When they’re not outside, what are these kids doing? What’s the first thing my daughter did when she met the Lincoln, NE child, with whom she immediately clicked? What did they have to watch out not to get wet at the pool?
That’s right, these kids are reading. For fun and play and sport.
Right now, as I type, my son and daughter and their nine year old friend have a hundred Rainbow Magic books spread out across the floor and are discussing whether a Special Edition is worth two or three…regular editions?
I don’t know the lingo, but the point is, they do.
When they’ve finished trading, the oldest child is going to read to the others. I asked them to keep an eye on their sixteen month old cousin, and boy were they bummed to find out the attention span of a toddler doesn’t always allow for chapter books.
Why am I hearing that kids no longer like to spend time reading? That they’re always hooked up to some device or other and this will render the next generation insensate to the pleasures of a book?
The ever growing number of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day members don’t seem to agree. Just this summer, the Day has spread to the Gold Coast of Australia.
The children’s sections of bookstores across the country all seemed to be filled–often to the point of waiting to get in line, or polite nudges aside–when we got there.
Maybe the apocalyptic vision I’ve heard from time to time is true. Maybe it is.
But the children seem to disagree.