The librarian at Navasota Intermediate kidnapped all of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books from the library shelves and has hidden them away! Surely she has gone insane, the kids love those books!
It is true, the librarian did kidnap all of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books at Navasota Intermediate and is holding them hostage until a handsome ransom will be paid. The librarian is not insane or pro-censorship, rather she is tired of students coming in every other day returning these books to the library, to be re-shelved again and again, without being opened. How do I know how she feels, because the "she" is me, long time reading teacher and newbie librarian.
You might say that the students did open the novels and were reading during their Silent Sustained Reading time, or maybe they were even reading at home. But I ask you, can students read novels in two days and brightly smile as they return their books to the library, and have truly read their novels with an intensity that allows recollection? On our campus I am sad to say, there are very few, and when you spot those readers, you know who they are because they are telling you about their book and why they loved it, or didn't.
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series are the most often checked out titles in my library. Man, I love the author, Jeff Kinney, he is a smart man. Its hard to convince reluctant readers to enjoy books, but Mr. Kinney does that so well. Through the success of the series and the success of the movie, kids are exposed to the wonderful work of Mr. Kinney. I celebrate him and his work today in this blog, even though I kidnapped his books. I just want my students to read something different, perhaps a series that they have not yet read…
Now here is where the reader gets to the good part, what price will the students pay to gain access to their beloved Diary of a Wimpy Kid books? Students asked me what they could do today to get them back, I said, "I dunno, what do you think you could do to get them back?' One kid responded, "I could read 20 books this week!" Really, yes please I thought, read 20 books this week! Another student said, "I could write a book report proving that I really did read my chapter book!" I thought in my head, WHAT? Maybe this kidnapping of books would end happily ever after after all.
Now students at Navasota Intermediate School are coming up with their own "handsome ransoms" to rescue their beloved books from the librarian, and I couldn't be more delighted.
Students are being exposed to new authors and new book series. Students are now talking in the hall, restrooms, and playgrounds about what they can do to save their books. (When was the last time you heard kids talking about books on the playground?) Our students are thinking about how to talk about what they read, in non-teacher led, authentic conversations with their peers. Also, students that cannot read the Kinney series will now have an excuse to check out books that are nearer their independent reading levels and not have to pretend to read the larger chapter books.
For me the kidnapping has been a win, win decision. I cannot wait to see the handsome ransoms that will be paid to set these books free. I have never been so happy to take books off the library shelves!
As for Greg Heffley, Rodrick and Rowley... move over, more characters will soon be visiting!