human behavior

The Book that Moves People

Posted in Recommended Reading, Reviews by humanb on October 8, 2010

I wrote a post about a year ago about a children’s book I found here in Sydney called The Book that Eats People. I had bought the book for my two nieces (ages 3 and 6) back in Virginia to encourage a love of reading. I thought the book was bloody brilliant. Alas, the book was too convincing, and my nieces not only refused to be read the book, but refused to be in the same room with it. So The Book that Eats People was imprisoned in the back of my sister’s closet. Until this week…

My sister is now an elementary school Special Education teacher in Virginia. Her students have a range of special needs. One boy in particular was permanently disengaged from the class. Head always down, lids partly closed, face a mask of stone. This kid never talked. Never looked up. Never smiled.

One day my sister announced to the class:

Today class, I’m going to read you a book my sister sent all the way from Australia. It’s called The Book that EATS People.

And with that, one little boy woke up.

The boy was riveted. Eyes wide, mouth open, bum on the edge of his seat, face a picture of wonder.

She had his attention.

The class loved the book, but no one more than him. He made her read it every day. He begged her to let him take it home for the weekend. He implored his mother to read it to him and to all of his friends in the neighborhood. The kids at school all fretted about the possibility of the boy not returning to school on Monday because the book had eaten him.  And they rejoiced when he survived the weekend with book in tow.

How many books has that boy ever brought home, I wonder? How many things have ever filled him with awe?

One day the other teachers in the school complained to my sister that no one could make that little boy smile.

Have you ever see him smile? one teacher asked her.

Of course! He smiles for me all the time.

No need for the other teachers to know that my sister’s power lies entirely in a skinny red book with teeth.

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One Response

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  1. Coach Bridgette Jackson said, on October 8, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    HAH! Love it!


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