The article has been written courtesy Ms. Abirami Umashankar, Special Educator at MLZS HSR Extension. Through her valued insights and continuous support, we have been able to nurture a successful inclusive environment at Mount Litera Zee School HSR.
This one rule was entirely non-negotiable. One book, she’d say, else no play for Jack!So I read a book every day during every summer vacation!Little did I notice when that rule no longer felt as one.
Lying on my bunk, all I did was read, and cultivated and fed the habit. From Famous Fives, Secret Sevens, The Hardy Boys, thousands, or so it feels, of Amar Chitra Kathas, Tintin, any kind of comic for that matter, WW2 illustrations to epics and so on.
I suddenly realised that my empire of knowledge was expanding and that created a different sense of thrill.As a child, I was fascinated with the size of breakfasts and picnics in an English countryside! I knew that American kids at 16 drove jalopies and went on daredevil adventures; I was convinced that WW2 was pale in comparison to the battles in the Mahabharata; some books told me about the universe and its stars and planets, and others engrossed me with tales of wild imaginations and fantasies; it is endless!
Today, looking back, I can guarantee that it is the ONE habit which can create a whole world of difference.I remember reading somewhere:“Pity the man who doesn’t read, his life will be nought but arid!”
However, inculcating the habit of reading in young children requires an all-round effort, both at home and school.Parents have to lead by example. Children emulate their adults, and if parents don’t read in front of their children, then the kids won’t either. Special time must be set aside for reading and story-telling sessions at home.
Schools, especially, play a very important role in developing this habit in young children. Schools must feel responsible to establish a book club, organise book fairs and other activities designed to pique the interest of reading in children.
The following list of books, categorised by different grades, gives an insight into the school’s commitment to develop the habit of reading in its students.
Take a look!
a) Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff
b) The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
c) The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss
d) Curious George by H.A.Rey
a) Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl
b) Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting by Emily Jenkins
c) Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt
d) Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
a) Charlie & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
b) Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
c) Classics for Young Readers, Vol. 3 by Joln Holdren
d) The story of Dr Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
Grade 4a) The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm
b) White Fangs by Jack London
c) Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
d) Famous Five series by Enid Blyton
a) Matilda by Roald Dahl
b) Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
c) Treasure Island by R.L.Stevenson
d) Heidi by J Sypree
a) Chronicles of Narnia, Vol. 1 by C.S.Lewis
b) The Famous Five Series by Enid Blyton
c) The Nancy Drew Series under the collective pseudonym Carolyn Keene
d) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J K Rowling
a) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J K Rowling
b) The Nancy Drew Series under the collective pseudonym Carolyn Keene
c) The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (must read!)
d) Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan
a) Diary of a Young Girl by Anna Frank
b) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J K Rowling
c) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J K Rowling
d) A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
a) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J K Rowling
b) Diary of Anna Frank by Anna Frank
c) Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Cristie
d) Little Women by Louisa M Alcott
Some more recommended reading for students of Grade 1 and upwards:
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas
The Hound of Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Jo's Boys and Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
A tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Why are we making such a hue and cry about this?!Because:·
Reading doesn’t only help academically; it gives more panoramic information about the world.
· Reading is a great tool to building and grooming personalities.
· Not everything can be taught at home and school, and the only available supplement is reading.
· Reading can help develop good and interesting hobbies.
· Reading can expose latent potential and areas of skills development.
· Reading can build extensive vocabularies and command of language.
· Reading can be a great catalyst to expand the imagination and aid lateral thinking or thinking out of the box.
Need we say more?!
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.