Some time ago, Sarah from Easy Read invited me to write a post for her blog. Easy Read offers courses and resources to help children struggling with dyslexia. I found a book (a novel-in-verse ~ again) with a heroine cursed with word blindness and blessed with word bravery. Please click on the cover above to get to the review.
Given how I talk about books, you must think I've always enjoyed reading ...
One of the best things my parents did when my sisters and I were really young was to bring us to the library. I loved borrowing big books, small books, picture books, English books, Chinese books, and books thick enough to break my arms ('Little House on the Prairie'). I loved reading.
I Don't Think Anyone Else Knew
But when I was around 9-12, reading became a chore. It grew tedious. Where on earth did the pictures go? Why were there chunks and chunks of narrative? Tried to concentrate but my mind drifted after the second line. No pictures, huh? So I turned to paragraph breaks and dialogues. I looked for space instead of words. Gradually, I dreaded reading.
When my teacher recommended the class to read 'Little Women,' my friends did and raved about it. Hey, I read it, too, except I saw the unfriendly words form together like a brick wall following another brick wall; found dialogues, read those, and ultimately, only recalled the bit where Jo cut off her hair. Nothing else registered. I cheated in reading.
Nobody knew about my problem with reading. Not my parents, not my teachers, not my sisters and not even my best friends at that time. It was more like a silent cloud of shame than a struggle for me. I told no one because ... I was proud and I blamed myself for falling short. It wasn't traumatic or anything, I just evaded books. I stopped reading unless it was for school, in which I did poorly. (Strangely, I had problems with English reading & writing, but not with Chinese.)
I Have Every Star in the Lines of My Palm to Thank
Don't know how but when I was 13, those walls came down and that cloud lifted. I guess I must have been picking up books on and off to check if reading had miraculously become easier (honestly, I can't remember). I read R.L. Stine's Fear Street series voraciously, had a tiny bit of reading-difficulty return at 17 but overcame that as well through 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' (again, don't know how). Phrase by phrase, I haven't stopped reading since.
I'm not the best advocate for beating Dyslexia because I never truly faced up to it. But I do understand how unsettling and frustrating it can be.
For those who are struggling, I wish them all the Patience, Determination & Luck in the world. And I wish them all the Reading-Specialists-like-Sarahs in the world! (A Sarah would have been so helpful for me back then ...)
Thanks for hearing me out on this. Here's the link to the book review again:
http://www.easyreadsystem.com/news/a-heroine-with-word-blindness-word-bravery-a-book-review/ Do drop by with a cheer for the children, their parents and Sarah!
An Awesome Week to All,
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Hey, I'm Claudine. Welcome!
Want to know what children's stories can inspire & lead to?
by Kate Hanney
Really enjoyed the honest voice of this narrator ~ a teenager let down by his mother and the foster care system, and almost-picked up through his involvement with a gang.