Fiction Connects Us

I’ve heard that  The Common Core suggest that fiction isn’t relevant any more.  Many English teachers have felt threatened by this news.  I have been forced to consider this, and I”m not sure.  But recent events have given me hope.

One of my greatest pleasures is sharing books that I love with my daughter, whom I also love.  Over the last many months, I have been reading her Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  I am too old to have grown up with the series; I read them in my thirties because my students insisted, and I was hooked.

My husband and I take turns putting Lily to bed every night, and I usually only read half a chapter at at time.Last week we finally finished.  We ended up reading three chapters in one day because we wanted to see what would happen.

On Friday night, we watched the film version of The Order of the Phoenix.  We sat cuddled under a blanket commenting on what they changed and left out from the book. They dropped quiddich and Dobby.   They also cut my daughter’s favorite scene, when Ron get’s hit by a spell in the Ministry of Magic and starts to act stupid.  When I read, “Hey Harry, I was in a room with the solar system and I saw Uranus up close, get it?  Uranus,”  Lily giggled through the death of Serius Black.  But they kept Luna and Grawp.  I don’t remember liking Luna so much my first time around.  And we talked for at least an hour even though it was past her bed time, and the conversation continues as she reads the next book

At lunch on Friday, I shared a song that my daughter had written about Professor Umbridge, and most of us started talking about  Harry Potter, then great villains in literature, then, mothers.  We couldn’t think of many good ones except for Mrs. Weasley and Marmy from Little Women.This went on for ten minutes, we kept raising our voices to be heard over the crowd, until the bell rang and we had to go to class.

Reading fiction gives us connections with others due to shared experience.  Of course, that is not the only reason for reading fiction, but it’s a pretty good one.  Books matter.


8 comments on “Fiction Connects Us

  1. jbmiller73 says:

    The act of reading bonds us together.

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more. I have been reading “Dead End in Norvelt” and “Norvelt to Nowhere” (if you haven’t read them they are hilarious) with my class and they absolutely love it. It’s not uncommon to hear them say ” You know what Miss Volker would say…” Fiction may not be the only thing to read but I am certainly not giving up on it either.

  3. bevbaird says:

    I so enjoyed sharing the Harry Potter books with my son as well. It is a special time when you sit and read together – even when they are older. Now, we share books back and forth and talk about favourites. Great connecting time, especially as they live far away. Lovely post! Took me back.

  4. mgminer says:

    The truth in fiction is often more powerful than the facts. Who can argue with John Steinbeck’s Chap. 13 in EAST OF EDEN where he talks about creativity. “Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of man.” Yes, books matter, and fiction matters.

  5. mgminer says:

    The truth in fiction is often more powerful than facts. Who can argue with John Steinbeck’s Chap. 13 in EAST OF EDEN where he talks about creativity? “Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of man.” Yes, books matter, and fiction matters.

  6. Fiction offers such a grand window into studying craft and language that I don’t think that we realize how important it is, even and especially in the era of the CCSS. Narrative writing captures us–we are programmed to respond and react–which leads to more meaningful conversations and deeper conversations. I loved picturing you and your daughter snuggled up and analyzing the leave-ins and leave-outs of the movie! You definitely had to have done close reading!

  7. Tracey says:

    Fiction, isn’t that where we get to switch off our brains a little in this crazy busy world and go away to another place? A chance to relax and unwind. Fiction will always have a place in my home and classroom. I need it!! Love the description of the sharing time with your daughter.

  8. bbutler627 says:

    Books matter! I love this and feel comforted by every word. In my opinion fiction is a catalyst for sneaking in learning if done just right. I so look forward to the day when my sons are old enough to appreciate Harry. 🙂

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