I think a good teacher always appreciates a challenge, and my bread and butter are the reluctant readers. Nary will I pass up an opportunity to hunt down that story that will grab the attention of the kid who ‘hates reading.’ In my opinion, kids don’t really hate reading… they simply haven’t found the right book yet. Three years ago, I had a reluctant reader, let’s call him Rocky. In the early days of school, Rocky had planted himself amongst a group of friends right in my line of vision and announced pseudo-proudly, “I don’t like books. I like movies.” You could hear a pin drop as students turned to gauge my reaction. Don’t worry, I kept my face neutral. I said, “I love movies too. You’ve seen Hugo, right?” His face lit up. He had. So, I walked to the bookshelf, plopped The Adventures of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick on his desk, and said. “Great! Did you know it was a book first?” Conversation over! Over the course of that year, Rocky would read many a book, and his mother still checks in with me for recommendations!
Today is Oscar Sunday, which (in my opinion) blows Super Bowl Sunday right outta the water! If you like movies, you like storytelling. If you like storytelling, you like books. It will surprise no one to learn that some of our greatest motion pictures have come from the pages of a book. It is with that in mind that the Oscar goes to my list of four Academy Award nominees that have hooked the childhood Rockys, the teenage Rockys, and the adult Rockys over the course of the past thirty years: