Monday, January 2, 2012

{Dear Will} epistolary Newbery journey

Dear Will,

This afternoon I was sitting at my desk browsing a website for my next creative project--you may not know this yet, but your mother is happiest running at 110%. My good friend, Donalyn, came in to "talk about fun things." Immediately her enthusiasm, light, and passion enveloped me; I knew I'd be hooked by whatever she had to say. She talked for a moment about a project where some people who read a lot of books get together to talk about reading books together and why that's important. She invited me to join their conversation and share what we feeland believe about books with other teachers like us. She also mentioned a project she wanted to start with her own students: the Newbery Project.

The Newbery Medal is an award that a group of librarians give out to one very special book each year for being outstanding. As I listened to her explain how her students would select, read, and evaluate past winners based on the Newbery Award criteria, my mind started to wander back to you and how I excited I am to watch you develop into a reader and to share with you my love for reading. I wanted to run home, curl up in a big chair, and start reading with you...even if it is The Very Busy Spider for the thousandth time.

I started to think about all of the books I had never read but wanted you to read and made a decision without knowing I had made the decision. I was going to read the Newbery books....all of them...and I wanted you to be part of my journey. Granted, you are only 10 months old, but I knew that this was something I could do for the both of us.

Even though I teach reading, I was surprised to note how few (literally like 3) books I had actually read from the Newbery list. Maybe I was too busy with horses, boys, and writing my friends masterfully folded, origami-style notes...but I am determined to read them now, because I don't want you to miss their gifts.

And so, dear Will, these letters are for you. For each book I will write a letter or two to share- not only my Newbery journey- but my life with you.

Turns out, all I needed was the right audience to make me feel excited about reading and writing again.




  1. This sounds like an awesome way to chronicle your #nerdbery journey.

  2. Your sentiment reminds me of the absolute joys of motherhood and the dreams of sharing what is dearest to our hearts with our children. I applaud your goal. And yes, I agee, sometimes it takes just the right audience to find our voice.