I’m sitting in a library right now. Not five feet away are a mother and her young son. He looks close to six years old and doesn’t appear to be enjoying this place to much.
Not ten minutes ago they registered to join the Summer Reading club. Kids earn little toys and stickers if they read so many books. I love the thought of kids reading, but can’t shake the concern that once the short geniuses find they could easily whine and get better stuff, they’ll push these books off like a bad dream.
The reason I’m writing in, is the librarian picked a few books for the little boy’s grade level. They were comics. As the librarian pitched these I saw the familiar face glaze over the mother. This was going to be a hard sell.
The mother said she’d rather have him read books, but these comics would do. The librarian corrected her and said these were now called “graphic novels”.
“Sure”, the mother said and chuckled while rolling her eyes. “Sure.”
The little boy is now being drilled with phonics flashcards. “What’s this? What’s this? What’s this?”, says mom in a shrill tone. Clearly she is annoyed. Within seconds he hates his existence. “You need to learn this to get into Second Grade. You do want to go to Second Grade don’t you?”
No wonder he hates to read.