I read my first chapter book sitting on the stairs of my house when I was six years old. It was called The Changeling and if memory serves it was a wonderful book. After that, I was a reading machine. It’s cliche, I realize, but anything I could get my hands on I would read. Newspapers, Newsweek, my sister’s old yearbooks, books of poetry, National Geographic, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, the TV on closed caption, everything. Before The Changeling, however, it was a completely different story. I hated reading. Dr. Seuss was a struggle. Ms. Pigglewiggle was one of the worst things that ever happened to me. I loved being read to, sure, but put a book in front of me and forget it. I just hated the struggle of seeing words and not being able to put them together. I didn’t see the direction of the text, I didn’t see the point, and I hated it. It took me ages to tackle The Cat in the Hat, but after finally slugging through it, I was given a chance to go to the library and find a book that I wanted to read, not that I had to read. And that book was, and I really can’t remember why but most likely due to the interesting cover, was The Changeling. And I devoured it. That’s all it took, just being given permission to read what I wanted to. Now I love reading, crave and adore literacy in my life. And it’s all thanks to The Changeling. Which is probably the best book report that book has ever been given.
This website is focused on getting students of all ages engaged in reading and writing. There are many tools and techniques within the pages of this humble website focused on that goal, and they are all centered on the belief that if students are given a clear pathway and a personal choice, reading and writing can be not only accessible, but life-changing. Many of these tools and techniques have been taken from my Secondary Literacy professor Jed Hopkins, to whom much thanks and appreciation is dedicated.