She said, “I don’t like this book.” There was a catch in her voice, and I knew she didn’t mean those words. She knew her heart was going to be squeezed tight as I read The Hickory Chair by Lisa Rowe Fraustino to a group of fourth grade teachers.
What I didn’t realize was how difficult it was going to be for me to read this aloud. I’ve read it many times . . . to myself, but never to a group. As I read, I avoided eye contact with the teachers, steeling myself for the emotional journey that was unfolding through the text. I had to take a deep breath before I could complete the final line.
Hands quickly reached for the box of tissues in the center of the table. Eyes filled with tears, noses sniffled as the teachers savored the words of this story.
Now she says, “How could I hate a book that makes me cry?”
This is the story we will return to over and over as we discuss comprehension strategies.
If you don’t know this book, find it, read it, and savor the beautiful language.
Synopsis: “Lilacs with a whiff of bleach.” Gran’s smell. That “rich molasses voice.” Gran reading stories. By these things, Louis knows his grandmother. And he knows that she loves him. But when Gran passes away and leaves notes hidden in her things for each family member to find, Luis seems to be the only one forgotten. Could it be so?