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Maria Salvadore

Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

Thanksgiving continues

November 30, 2009

I hope everyone had a fine Thanksgiving. Ours was filled with family, friends, food, a bit of football, and lots of conversations.

It was also a time to catch up with young people who were home from college for the long weekend.

One young woman I've known for most of her life is now a freshman at a Virginia university, pursuing her interest in studio art and art history. She's always been introspective and rather quiet, but she and I have always shared an interest in the arts including literary.

We've shared books and ideas for a long time, probably since she was in 2nd or 3rd grade. It's been a special kind of friendship that started with books. And that continues.

She asked if I'd read Phillip Pullman's Golden Compass (Knopf), that a boy at school had said it was better than the movie, what did I think. I said I personally preferred the book, that it was much richer... which lead to other tangents.

(When she and her mom left our house, this young woman was carrying not only the Golden Compass but its sequels as well as other books that we'll probably talk about during her winter break.)

Books brought us close when she was young and that is still important to our relationship.

I wonder how many adults share bonds with children because of books.

I also wonder how many adults stop reading books for young people once the kids in their lives start read independently — and what they miss if they do.

In any case, I'm eternally grateful to retain a connection to this young woman and many others — young and older alike — over books.

That's something to give thanks for at any time of the year.

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"When I say to a parent, "read to a child", I don't want it to sound like medicine. I want it to sound like chocolate. " — Mem Fox