You already know that happy readers make connections between what they see on the page and what they have experienced in real life. Sometimes those experiences are adventures of the mind – memories of other stories and other books. Other times, those experiences bring back memories of events and emotions. It is creating those connections between two worlds that makes reading so enjoyable.
One student in grade six, Russ, wrote about The Doorman’s Repose by Chris Raschka (New York Review Books, 2017). “What makes this book so unusual?” he wrote. “In this book, mice act like people! How humorous! Like the mice, I’ve discovered that some vacations can turn into ordeals. Once, we went to Toronto, and we got lost on the way to our cousins’ house. It took us two days to find the proper route and by that time most of our vacation had passed.”
Later, after reading more in this novel about the life of an apartment building in New York City, he wrote, “Moping pigeons cause the gravity to shift. What a ridiculous idea! In my lifetime, I have had some quite ridiculous ideas. One time I had an idea that if I went into a locked trunk, I would see all the mechanisms of the car. So I locked myself into the trunk and felt disappointed. There was no mechanism. Only after awhile did I realize I was running out of air. I screamed and kicked. Somehow my body hit an unlocking trunk button. So I was safe.”
One way to learn how to make connections is to watch for powerful sentences. Another way is practise writing personal responses. Of course, before you can make connections, you have to start reading. Try these secrets of great readers to start having fun!