Monday, September 27, 2010

Reader's Refect: Returning to an old favourite

The other night I began rereading Tandia by Bryce Courtenay. I first read this book as a ten-year old, with great portions of it going a long way over my head. In fact, even now on the I-don't-know-how-many reread, there's still nuances that strike me for the very first time. (I'm still annoyed, however, about this re-edited version which misses some of the colour and detail of the original I read back in 1992)

What I still notice about Tandia is how Bryce Courtenay is first and foremost a story teller. He weaves words like we're all sitting in front of a campfire. Sometimes they're tall tales, completely beyond the limitations of reality. Sometimes there's inside jokes, just lying in wait for the sharp eared and quick witted. But always there's a grand story, something to hold on to and follow to its ultimate conclusion.

On my last reading of Tandia, I actually skipped over the initial chapters dealing with Tandia and only read the Peekay chapters. I think there was a hint of self-preservation there - I really, really hate seeing characters I like who are hurting. This time I read both of the character's stories, developing a richer appreciation for all the characters, both from The Power of One and new.

What did I learn about myself as a reader from this reread? That I really enjoy rereading, that my quick reading style lends itself to a reread, because inevitably I miss something on the first read through. I also like seeing characters that I thought I knew well, in completely new lights. I also adore a good story, even if sometimes the story goes off in completely implausible directions.

How can I apply this in the classroom? Well, it points out that it's okay to encourage rereading in the classroom, and that in some cases rereading is essential. Also the importance of having a good range of story stories available, something with a good plot that keeps the reader reading. Sometimes these stories are looked down on, we're told that they shouldn't be present in the classroom when there are 'real' books to read. It's up to teachers and librarians to make sure these engaging stories are available for all students to enjoy.


A Reader's Community

My photo
Queensland, Australia
A Reader's Community is a place to find ideas, information, resources and recommendations about Reader's Workshop.

This Blog has five main types of posts.

About Reader's Workshop - information about Reader's Workshop in my classroom and how it works

Reader's Workshop Tools - resources you can access and use to help you with reader's workshop

Book talks - Book recommendations of two or three books centred around a particular theme

Book letters - in-depth reviews of one particular book

Reader's Workshop Links - Short links lists to help you find more information
Related Posts with Thumbnails