Face Off: Yes to summer reading

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From Mr. Jim Hanna

I support summer reading. Of course I do. I have to. I’m the teacher, right? 

The thing is, I’ve always loved summer reading. I first met Billy Pilgrim, Frodo and Dracula during long hours spent poolside with a book. The truth is, I’d rather have been reading than swimming. Maybe that makes me weird. Maybe that’s why I’m an English teacher. Sure. Maybe. Or maybe it’s the other way around. 

Maybe summer reading planted the seeds that would someday sprout into my career as an English teacher. I suppose it just depends on how I tell the story. But back then, I wasn’t worried about English teacher stuff and you probably aren’t either. 

Did I understand the significance of Billy Pilgrim leaping spastically through time? Heck no. Did I grasp the symbolism of the marlin in “The Old Man and the Sea”? Nope. 

I did, however, develop a love for language. An eye for well-written words. An ear for rhythm and rhyme.

And are you still reading? Because if you are, then I rest my case. For I have cast my spell on you, enrapt you with my words, and bound your mind to mine, if only for a moment. That is the magic of reading. Those are the power of words. Still don’t believe me? 

Then try me. Read a book and prove to me you haven’t learned something.

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