Sunday, April 29, 2007

Book Addiction Starts Early


My younger son came home with an order form from Scholastic Books in his backpack the other day. I love the days those flimsy, newsprint catalogs come home--it takes me right back to my childhood, when I used to bring them home, too.

My parents always let me choose a book or two, and there was nothing better than the day when the teacher distributed the books to us. I almost always forgot that I'd ordered any, so the books were a very happy surprise.

I still have a couple of those paperbacks from when I was little. Ellen Tebbits, by Beverly Cleary, is one, and I wrote my name on the inside cover, so I can always see how terrible my penmanship was back then.

I flipped through my son's little catalog, and was happier than I thought I'd be about the choices there. Sure, there's some junk in the catalog--they've refined their marketing strategy to the kids, so many of the books come with promotional toys, or are based on TV shows or movies--but there are still some old favorites there.

There are titles by Beverly Cleary and Roald Dahl, and The Borrowers series, and a series of books about Amelia Bedelia. There's Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls, which made me cry my eyes out when I was about ten years old. There's Freckle Juice, by Judy Blume. There are a whole slew of Newbery Award winners, and a whole page of decent-looking books about science and history. By the way, it's always worth looking at the list of Newbery Award winners on the ALA website--it's fun to see what you or your kids have read from this amazing list.

And there are newer authors I know are good. My kids loved Frindle, by Andrew Clements. They're offering some other books he wrote. I think I'll buy those for my son. And the two books of poetry by Jack Prelutsky. Uh oh, now whose addiction am I feeding?

9 comments:

Matt said...

I remember getting those catalogs as well. The Lord of the Rings trilogy I have setting on my shelf was ordered from one of those. It really was fun to receive the books in class, in fact I can just barely remember receiving my Lord of the Rings.

Bookfool said...

I miss getting the Scholastic flyers, now that my kids are older. It was a great excuse to get some terrific titles at reasonable prices (I still read a Newbery book, now and then). When they had a really good selection, I used to buy a few extras to save for a rainy day and put them up high in the closet. That worked beautifully for my hyper eldest child. He loved books and having something new to pull out kept him from climbing the walls. :)

I peeked at your widget. Yep, we had some interesting crossover!

Gentle Reader said...

matt--I know, getting the books in class was great! It was like a present for no special reason...

bookfool--I forgot to mention in my post how reasonably priced the books are! I mean, some of the titles are still 1 and 2 dollars. Good tip about buying extras for a rainy day--thanks!

Robin said...

I always loved those Scholastic flyers as a kid, too, but I enjoyed them equally well as a teacher! The fun for teachers is that with each class order points would accrue for choosing things from the teacher catalogue with great discounts on books, curriculum supplies, and things for the classroom! It took the pain out of having to fill out those class order forms once the kids brought their individual orders back to school. What I really loved was when the orders arrived. There would always be a nice quiet 30-45 minutes in the room while the kids started reading their book orders.

Gentle Reader said...

Robin--I thought there must be a benefit for the teachers, too! I always try to buy an extra book for the teacher...you know, instead of an apple...

iliana said...

That's so cute. I used to get one or two books as well. Sadly I lost a lot of my chilldhood books due to my apartment flooding one time. I saved some but I don't think any of them were my Scholastic books.

Gentle Reader said...

Iliana--It's so nice to see my kids enjoying looking through the book catalogs, and getting excited, just like I did when I was their age...Sorry about the flood--it's so terrible to lose books (or any of your things, really)!

Dewey said...

I smiled all the way through this post! I remember those from my own childhood, and from when my kids were little.

Gentle Reader said...

dewey--I'm glad I made you smile :)