Hi everyone and welcome to Books Between - a podcast for educators, librarians, parents, and everyone who loves middle grade books! My goal is to help you connect kids between 8-12 with fantastic reads because I believe that a book can change the trajectory of a child’s life. And I want to help you introduce kids to those amazing, life-shaping books and bring you inspiring (and fun!) conversations with the authors and educators who make that magic happen.
I’m your host, Corrina Allen - a mom of two tweens, a 5th grade teacher, and just back from an awe-inspiring visit with my family to Niagara Falls. If you have ever have the opportunity to go, there is nothing quite like standing on a rocking boat within the mist of the roaring horseshoe falls and gazing up 170 feet at over 3,000 tons of water thundering over those cliffs every second. Do go you if you can - it’s impressive, we learned a TON, and it’s one of those things that should be experienced at least once in your life.
A quick reminder to help out your future self and set yourself a reminder for Monday nights at 9pm EST so you can catch the #MGBookChat Twitter chat - we have scheduled some great topics and hosts later on this summer and fall. So I will see you there.
This is episode #75 and today’s show starts with a discussion about the benefits of rereading and then I bring you a conversation with Scholastic librarian Deimosa Webber-Bey.
Main Topic - The Benefits of Rereading
Our main topic today is a discussion around rereading books. Over the years, my own thinking in this area has evolved a lot. As a young teacher who wanted to make the most out of absolutely every precious second of classroom time, I had a rather negative view of students reading a book for pleasure that they had already read before. If a kid was picking a novel for a book club or a book report, I wouldn’t let them select a book they had previously read. Thinking back, that really did seem to be the norm among my colleagues. Like them, I viewed it as cheating a little bit! As if they wouldn’t be as engaged in the text a second time around or they weren’t challenging themselves enough. Basically - I considered rereading a book in school as a waste of a learning opportunity.
It wasn’t until about 5 years ago that a friend had a conversation with me that changed my mind. We weren’t even debating the merits of allowing kids to reread books, we were just chatting. She asked me, “Corrina, what’s your favorite movie?” And I said, “Oh! The Princess Bride! I’ve watched it like 50 times…..” Oh. Ohhhhh…….
And that’s when it hit me. It was that one friendly person inadvertently holding up a mirror to myself that made me reconsider the misconceptions I held and start to realize there are huge benefits to experiencing a text, a film, multiple times.
I mean - if you think about it - watching a movie or tv series over and over again - is a commonly shared and even celebrated social phenomenon. I hear lots of people talking about how many times they’ve watched The Office or Black Panther or Star Wars. In my house, it’s a running joke how many times my husband’s Facebook status is “watching Casino Royale”
So today, I’d like to explore with you some reasons why rereading is so satisfying, some academic benefits, and a few ways to enhance the rereading experience for the kids you work with.
Why Rereading is so Satisfying
Let’s start with why rereading is so satisfying.
First - it’s fun! If you love a book, you get to spend more time with favorite characters and relive those climactic moments in the story. It’s like going on your favorite roller-coaster again. Yeah, you already know when the twists are turns are, but also - here come those twists and turns and I can’t wait for them! Another way that rereading can be satisfying is that there’s less pressure to finish the book. Maybe yo