Good Intentions, Bad Ideas

Today was a good day, mostly. It had a few down moments and I am certainly in a sober mood right this moment, but all in all, I would classify it as a good day. We went to lunch at a local Chinese place and then went to the library to check out some books. There is probably no place I love more than the library. What could be better than aisle after aisle of books? Having the boys like books is even better. As we were standing in Juvenile Fiction looking for A-Z Mysteries, I was seized with inspiration. We’ll check out Tom Sawyer! Oh, this is going to be fantastic! What a great story it is! What a funny boy he is! What brilliant writing! Fantastico!

My children are 9, 7, 4, and 3. Now you think about what you remember of Tom Sawyer and tell me how brilliant this plan was.

We got done with dinner early and sat down in the living room to read at 6:30. I eventually just had to kick SquishSass out of the room, because she’s just too loud and sassy for real literature. Be gone with you! OUT.

She kept coming back in. As did the impossible language.

While Tom was eating his supper, and stealing sugar as opportunity offered, Aunt Polly asked him questions that were full of guile, and very deep — for she wanted to trap him into damaging revealments. Like many other simple-hearted souls, it was her pet vanity to believe she was endowed with a talent for dark and mysterious diplomacy, and she loved to contemplate her most transparent devices as marvels of low cunning. Said she:

“Tom, it was middling warm in school, warn’t it?”

Doesn’t that just read like Clifford the Big Red Dog? And then with some negative injun talk and Tom beating the new kid in town to a bloody pulp, I was feeling downright awesome about this choice of reading.

It isn’t Laura Ingalls Wilder. That’s for sure. Still great, don’t get me wrong, buuuuutttt we might put this off a year or two. By then, I should have Sassykins into a good military school.

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3 thoughts on “Good Intentions, Bad Ideas

  1. I did the same thing at school, thinking that was a great idea. Amazing what a different vocabulary they had. I really do think our children need the vocabulary challenge, it is not a bad idea. We have read through all of the little house books at school, a few times, over the years. The other boy-friendly read aloud is Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet series. I absolutely edit those as I read, as there is the occasional career ending words. But, the plot is great and the kids have loved them. There are 5 of them if you really look for them.

  2. My oldest talked me into Chapter 3 tonight. We’ll see what happens. I’m not sure we can ride this out. I’ve seen the Hatchet series but never read it. Thanks for the tip!

  3. I tried to read TS to Franklin just last week. As much as I would like him to embrace the classics, I too gave up after a chapter or 2.

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