The last few weeks, I've had the best time reading to my children, Alex and Megan. I started reading Peter Brown's The Wild Robot to Alex but Megan quickly wanted to be part of the experience as she heard us talking about the characters. Roz, Brightbill, Chit Chat and the other characters became part of our every day conversation. We loved Roz and we loved Brightbill and we really loved their mother-son relationship. When the first book ended with Roz leaving the island, my son insisted we order the sequel that very night. (He is not a kid who loves to read on his own so the fact that he was so deeply committed to these characters and emotionally invested did not go unnoticed by me.)
I had already read The Wild Robot before reading it to them, but The Wild Robot Escapes was new to all of us. I really didn't know how it would end, but in my heart I knew Roz and Brightbill had to be together.
It was SOOO. GOOD!
We were so sad when the book ended, although I was delighted with the way it ended.
It is amazing how a really good story can capture your mind and your heart and when you read it together, it becomes a part of your collective story. This is probably why read aloud is my favorite thing to do as a teacher and why I never compromise on reading to students every day. It's why I refuse to let reading be reduced to a level or a text complexity or a state test. Yes, these things are part of our reality as teachers, but always, always, always we must keep in mind that reading has the ability to transform how you think and feel. It can connect us.
Megan and Alex and I will always carry Roz and Brightbill's adventures in our hearts. They are part of our story now.
Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski