It’s not what you read, but what you re-read

Recently I heard a great thought regarding the mark of a good book: ask a reader of good literature not what he or she is reading, but what he or she is re-reading.   When I was a kid, I would save my allowance money to buy Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series.   This series was without doubt my childhood favorite.   The books were $1.50 in paperback, and $3.00 for the thicker books, like The Long Winter, was a mint for me, but I bought it.    30 years later, I used these same books to read to my kids, and I found out what happens to a paperback after 30 years as the pages fell out of the book each time I turned the page.   Reading these as an adult shocked me to see how racist these books are in parts, but I’ve used the opportunity to talk to the kids about how these ideas helped and hindered us from expanding westward as a truly united nation.  


Having replaced my original set (they’re a lot more than $1.50 now!), I am re-reading them, now for the third time, to the youngest.    The older ones are listening in from the next room as they complete their work, and I’m amazed at their insights, now hearing these books for the second time.    If I can keep my mouth shut and quit trying to force them into what I think they should learn, it’s wonderful to see where their minds will go!  


Some others we’ve re-read over the last few years:


I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly by Joyce Hansen  *

Color Me Dark: the Diary of Nellie Lee Love, the Great Migration North by Patricia McKissack  *

(*  these two are easy readers for younger children from the Dear America series)

E. B. White’s Charlotte Web, The Trumpet of the Swan, and Stuart Little (the kids’ all-time favorites)

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater


I look forward to expanding this list with some great works that we’ve bonded over together.

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5 thoughts on “It’s not what you read, but what you re-read

  1. Some of my favorite re-reads are Pilgrims Progress and Hind's Feet on High Places.

    because of Jesus, Bobbie

  2. I, too, love the Little House books. I wasn't even aware of the racism, so it will be interesting to read them as an adult and see what lessons I can teach my children from them.
    Thanks for the list! I have to say that one of my favorite things about homeschooling is getting the opportunity to reread some of these books!
    I just ordered two of your books. (I ordered them with my husband, Nick's, account, so you won't recognize my name.) They look so good, and I'm really looking forward to reading them!

  3. I agree – the good books are reread….one of my favorite children's one is the Little Princess šŸ™‚


  4. I am glad you found Venus. I live in a rural mountain community, so our stars( and planets) are breath-taking. No Street lights!

    I just did a tag on my blog about Books and movies, your kids might enjoy doing it on there blogs with all their Blinkies! Editting is NOT my gift!

    Now I am off to read your transcript.
    Because of Jesus, Bobbie

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