June 15, 2011

be still, my heart

Of all of the things that I want, ideally, to accomplish this year with Briton, the most important thing to me is reading. I'm one of those, never without a book kind of people, if you hadn't guessed that already. I found a bookstore this week that's so packed with books, they line the stairs and knew I'd found my people. I stood in line in the rain last night, waiting to get into the Jewish Museum, and read under my umbrella. In fact, I sent Will and the kids off under cover with a "oh, no, it's ok, I'll wait out here, you go get dry" because really, I wanted to read the next chapter of my book. I love to read. I love books. I can't imagine not loving to read. And yet, both my husband and my son do not love to read. For Will, well, there's not much I can do to change that (but don't think I don't try, his iphone is filled with books that I've bought him because it might just be the one that changes his mind) but for Briton, well, it breaks my heart a little that he doesn't love to read.
If nothing else gets done this year. If homeschooling is a bust and we end up learning nothing else (and I doubt that will happen, I mean, he'll at least learn how to read a subway map) I want to change his mind about reading.

A few months ago, Will came up with the brilliant idea of introducing him to comic books and graphic novels. And for the first time, ever, he showed some interest in books. Reading with much less complaint during his required 15 minutes per day. But it was still work to get him to do it. Less work, but work, none the less.
Fast forward to this week. After visiting the library in our neighborhood, Briton asked if we could go to another library and look for a particular book. And because I'm willing to do pretty much anything to get my kid to love reading, I jumped at the chance and took the kids down to the main library near Times Square. I'd been meaning to take them there, to see the real Pooh Bear and the Lions and just the wonder of that building. (If I could do our wedding all over again, I think I'd get married there. In a library. With all those books and that beautiful ceiling and the quite that settles around you when you walk in the doors).
Evelyn was fascinated by the Pooh characters. Carefully inspecting each one through the glass and then tracing the paths with her finger on the wall sized map of the Hundred Acre Wood. Briton went straight off to find his book, Bone, and was excited (excited!) to find two volumes that he hadn't read. And then, then, he said something that made me almost cry, right there in the library.
Story time was just starting and Evelyn skipped off to hear Knuffle Bunny for the bazillionth time. I offered to help Briton get on the library computer to play one of their games and he said,

"Nah, I think I'll read. It's more fun than a computer game."
Holy Sh*t.

It was really, really hard not to burst into tears and give him a big smacking kiss right there in front of the librarian. But I resisted. Because, you know, that wouldn't be cool. I just nodded and walked around the corner and then did a little happy dance.
I'm sure this is not the end of the battle. Bone may have more draw than BrainPop.com but it's probably not ranked as high as Lego time. But still. Still! He is reading by choice. And I don't think that has EVER happened. So I'm going to count that as a win.

So, now I need some help. More Bone like graphic novel series? Anyone know any? I've never read a graphic novel myself and wasn't a comic book kind of girl so I have no idea. We've read Tintin and he liked that OK, but since he's already finished one of the two Bone books (!) that we brought home that day from the library, I'm thinking (hoping) we need a long list of other graphic novels ready to go. Any ideas?