Tuesday, April 17, 2012
OIK Tuesday: qualities of good literature
So far this year we've read the brilliant Sea Cat and Dragon King, by Angela Carter (yes, THAT Angela Carter), My Father's Dragon by Ruth Gannett Stiles, and Rip-Roaring Russell by Johanna Hurwitz. I hope we'll also get to Catwings by Ursula LeGuin, but we do have to have all three installments of My Father's Dragon and there are only 8 weeks left in the school year!
Last week we started Book 2, Elmer and the Dragon, and were in the middle of Chapter Two when it became apparent that the poor baby dragon would not be able to fly Elmer on its back through a violent thunderstorm. A sad death by drowning seemed imminent for our heroes. I paused to build understanding and predictive thinking (driving crazy the children who already listen this way as a matter of course and just want to get on with the story) and asked, "Do you think Elmer and the Dragon will sink down into the ocean and this will be the end of the story? How do we know that won't happen here in Chapter Two?"
I was looking for someone to explain that there was too much book (and indeed series) left for our protagonists to meet their demise, but Talia cut to the chase:
"Because this is supposed to be a GOOD book!"