Sunday, April 24, 2011

Favorite Books

The last couple months Hy has been rediscovering books. Mostly it's Dr. Seuss, and mostly it's Bartholomew Cubbins. The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins is a smash hit that he wanted us to read again and AGAIN. We asked him to please choose another book in between the 500 hats. It's been a lot of fun, mostly.

Yesterday I helped him discover a new favorite book. The Lesson by Carol Lynn Pearson. "He seemed to understand a lot of it too," Joy says. "He's talked to me about it several times today -- having problems and ... I didn't understand what he wanted to do about them, but he understood." In the fable, a boy named Robert goes to school and discovers math problems. The math problems are hard, but he is happy whenever he solves them. I suspect that the numbers in the beginning of the book are a large part of its draw. Then one day his teacher announces they will do story problems.

The first story problem is: If you have 3 cars and 1 truck and Joey comes and takes 2 cars and the truck, how many times should you hit Joey?

"And he identifies with that." He puzzles it out with Robert, and is pleased when Robert discovers the answer is no times. As the book goes on, Robert's problems become more and more difficult. Hyrum's interest in the book varies depending on my reactions to it. Whenever I start choking up or tearing because of one the problems, he gets very interested in the book. When I manage to go several pages without difficulty, he starts talking about something else.
... he heard his teacher say, "Robert, if your family moved to a small house in a big city and you had to leave behind two aquariums and one dog and your best friend..."
"Oh no!" interrupted Robert. "I don't want that problem. Give me a different problem!"
"But I can't," said the teacher. "This is your problem and you must solve it."...
At the end of each lesson, it reads, "and he moved up a grade." By the end of the book, I am feeling ever so much less like that is an accomplishment and more and more dread at the inexorable climb.

It's a wonderful, moving book that Joy introduced to our home. Hyrum asked for it again tonight, in addition to talking to Joy about it several times. We can highly recommend it.

So this is Hyrum's latest literary addiction.

No comments: