August 29, 2017

Children's Books as an Adult, and Crying at Charlotte's Web

Charlotte's Web was my first large read, and it made me cry. NPR discusses what adults can take from children's books.

Children's Books as an Adult, and Crying at Charlotte's Web

I remember reading Charlotte's Web as an eight-year-old, I was in a split grade 2/3 class, and the teacher let me read with the grade 3 students.

I was really excited about the book, I didn't know books could be so big. I loved books, I read every book in my kindergarden and Grade 1 classrooms, so my experience was with short books.

I still remember trying to read the book quickly, as if I could do so in minutes, I couldn't.

I was memorized by the book, it characters, and became emotionally attached to Wilbur's worldview. The surprise of Charlotte's death made me cry, I still remember how my throat felt dry in that moment, and holding that all in as I sat at my classroom desk. (The class was chapters behind me)
It was probably the first time I grabbled with the concept of death. Up until this time, the concept of "heaven" and a journey had been taught to me, and the deaths of those I knew had not been disruptive to my life.

Later today, Tuesday, NPR's On Point will air a segment called "When Grown-Ups Reread Children’s Classics" discussing "how children’s literature can still speak to adults".

I look forward to listening.