So my coach, Susan, mentioned this book called Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke to my class, right before Christmas break. I’d never heard of the book before, but she told my class that I would spend some time over my break to go buy the book so I could read it to them. (How thoughtful of her!:) Well, because I tend to like most of the things Susan suggests to me, I decided to do just that, and I purchased this (somewhat) enormous little novel to read to my kids. It’s deeply rich red cover is kind of inviting anyway. Of course, after I bought it I realized that she’d already ordered it for my classroom…we just didn’t realize it! But oh well, one can never have too many books in a classroom…especially a teacher like me!
By the way that she talked about the book, I was kind of antsy to get started on it, but I waited until the day we went back to begin reading it. Everyday, now, I go to open this book and my kids’ little patoots are on the edge of their little seats! This book is so fantastic that I can literally stop at suspenseful moments and pretend like I’m going to stop reading, every few pages if I wanted to! And when I do stop…oh the groaning and pleading that happens! It certainly tickles my funny bone in special ways, and as a teacher, I love that they love it when I read to them. Reading to kids causes their own hunger for reading to increase dramatically, because they realize just how much fun it can be! There’s no reason why they can’t steal away into their own little bookworm world on their own, outside of the classroom too!
I would recommend Inkheart, but with supervision, and censoring if you so desire. It has some slightly vulgar language during certain parts, but because I’m reading it to my class, I don’t actually say those words. Plus, I have a couple boys who are reading it in my class, and they’re the ones that pointed the words out to me. It was a great teachable moment to say, "You know, sometimes we come across things that we know are inappropriate for us to say or express, and we have to decide what we’re going to do with them. What do you think? Would you have the right to speak like that in class, just because I let you read a book that says that?…Right…so we have choices to make! That’s all."
Oh, and great news! Next winter, Inkheart the movie will come out! But if you are a reader, then please, please read the book before then. While the movie looks good, I can already tell that the book will absolutely be better than the movie. One more thing…this is the first of a trilogy of good vs. evil fantasy. (Can’t wait to finish so I can read the next one!)