Lots of questions this week about books and school:
What's your favorite bookish school memory?
I love love love the way my elementary school did its reading rewards program (Right to Read). You had to give so many book reports and then you got a certificate. And then you did more and you got a white ribbon. Then a red one. Then a blue one. Then a HUGE pink one. (The colors might be off, and I can't remember if there were 4 or 5 ribbons total, except I'm sure about that huge pink one. It was the final reward and HUGE. Well, the old skool ones were. I think it wasn't as awesome when I finally got mine.) The thing is, the school kept all of them until you left the school or graduated. You started in 1st grade and if you read enough to get the pink ribbon, you were in 6th grade by the time it happened. All the classrooms had their Right to Read stuff displayed, usually in the hallway, so when you walked through the school, you could see what was coming next. Every few months the principal or someone came to hand out Right to Read rewards. In addition to the certificate/ribbon, you got some trinkets and THE BEST PART OF ALL-- The free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut.
As a kid, I loved the goal of that huge pink ribbon and all that yummy yummy pizza.
As an adult, I love that the program lasted all 6 years and continued on and built throughout your school years.
Did your teacher read aloud to you? Do you remember what book it was?
Some did. I remember Mrs. Wisneski read us Where the Red Fern Grows. Someone also read us Hatchet.
Do you remember what books you checked out at the school library?
In junior and senior high, I only used the school library for research. But I remember getting a lot of Shel Silverstein poetry from my elementary school library.
What was one of the first book reports you did for school?
Hop on Pop
Do you have a favorite book or author that you first heard about from a teacher or school project?
My favorite author is Mo Yan, who I first discovered when I was assigned Red Sorghum: A Novel of China in college. High school English classes are where I discovered Steinbeck, Vonnegut, and Fitzgerald. That's also where I discovered one of my favorite books of all time, As I Lay Dying.
Do you have a not-so-pleasant bookish memory from your school days?
Lord of the Flies. Let's just leave it at that.
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