Sunday, January 24, 2010
Last night I finished a book that my friend gave me for Christmas. Cowboy & Wills by Monica Holloway, is a true love story about a boy and a dog. Sounds simple right? Well that is what I thought until about half way through the book. Wills, the boy, has autism and his constant companion, a golden retriever puppy, Cowboy, has doggy lupus. Can you see where this is heading? I did and I couldn't stop reading until I was finished.
It got ugly...not the book, ME! Big ugly sobs were flying vertically out of my eyes as the author described her own emotions of telling her precious son, Wills, about his beloved, Cowboy. This coupled with congestion that would put the Hoover Dam to shame, I was a hot mess and I loved every minute of it. At one point, it was down right comical. I was crying so hard that my glasses were actually fogging up, making it impossible for me to read. I tried taking them off, which helped clear the fog, but then the words on the page were so blurred I still couldn't read. I finally perfected a simple procedure of wipe, blow, wipe, etc. It reminded me of the time when I was a kid and my mom's windshield wiper broke. She had her balled-up jacket in one hand wiping the windshield as she steered with the other. Needless to say, we made it to our destination that day, and I finished the book.
This experience made me think about the powerful connections readers make with books and how important and motivating that connection is...As an educator that works with promising readers, kiddos who learning to read has not been easy, I strive to find books that children can connect with in their own lives. Many of my readers haven't had an experience with a book that compels them to laugh out loud, get mad or even, as in my case, get ugly!