Monday, March 6, 2017

Reading with My Son

I am fortunate. My son is in sixth grade and he still enjoys me reading to him.

He recently came home from school and told me in reading, his class was reading Woodsong by Gary Paulsen. Yes, gasp, a whole class novel. But his school district has done this for quite some time and I know that no matter how much complaining I do, it's not going to change. I've tried... I try to find the positive, and at least, for the most part, good literature is being used.

Anyway, my son was telling me about a funny part in Woodsong. Being a fan of Gary Paulsen, I told him that if he thinks Woodsong has some funny parts, he needs to read Harris and Me. So, I brought Harris and Me home from school for him.

If you aren't familiar with Harris and Me, let me quickly fill you in. It seems I was once told that this book is based on an experience in Gary Paulsen's childhood. The narrator of the story, you are never told his name, is moved from family to family because his parents have an alcohol problem. He spends one summer with the Larson's on their farm, whom are his second cousins. Harris is about his age and he is all boy with a wild imagination, and a knack for trouble. He is one of those boys who gets an idea in his head, and he makes that idea come true, not thinking about the consequences. It does make for a hard read aloud because Harris does like to cuss. So, all these adventures make a wonderful story, where you are always wondering what Harris will do next.

This past Friday, my son was home from school sick. By the evening he was starting to feel better so I asked him if he wanted me to read some of Harris and Me. He had belly laughs by the end of the first chapter. When I finished the first chapter, my son said, while laughing, "This book is just beautiful." Needless to say, he had me read half the book that night and it was finished Sunday morning.

Now for a confession. I remember reading Harris and Me as a child. As I was reading it, there is one part where the narrator wants to get revenge on Harris for something he did to him. So he talks Harris into peeing on an electric fence. I, too, remember talking my brother into peeing on the electric fence. I now wonder if this book is where I got that idea... Oops.

1 comment:

  1. I had a colleague who called Paulsen "the Hemingway of kid lit." Harris and Me is very funny. That scene, along with the one where they attempt to attack the pigs, always stick in my mind.