Sunday, 7 May 2017

A Year Six view of reading

Last week, ten-year-old Gracie, a girl in my class and one of the most passionate readers I've ever been fortunate enough to teach, wanted to write about what books meant to hear. She wanted other people to understand how important reading was and to explain how she believed it can help make people understand each other. Below is exactly what she wrote:

Ever since I was about five years old, I've always loved reading. I love it for so many reasons that it would be impossible to tell you them all, so I'll share just a few.

I love it because a book can be thought about in lots of different ways. You can just think of a book as a piece of paper with ink printed on it or you can think of it as an adventure in your mind. A book has the power to make you feel things; it can make you joyful, it can make you frustrated, it can make you jealous and it can even make you cry. Isn't that wonderful?

The power of words on a page is never-ending. They can take you to incredible places, such as Hogwarts, Camp Green Lake, Narnia or London during Victorian times, and can even leave you shipwrecked on a desert island. Books are time machines transporting you back hundreds of years, books are spaceships zooming across the sky, books are ships sailing across a distant ocean, books are doors to another universe, but the one thing that they're not is just words on a page.

When I sit down with a new book, I feel like the luckiest person in the world. It's an incredible feeling, wondering what amazing story will come next. Books can be so full of twists and turns that you may think you know where you're going but you can never be sure until you get there. Have you ever read a book where you're confident you know what's going to happen and then, a paragraph later, you realise that you were totally wrong? What an incredible feeling that is! Sometimes the plot of a story isn't as important as getting to know the characters. Stories where nothing much really happens can be just as incredible as books where the characters are saving the world every few chapters. Have you ever read Wonder? It's only really about a boy who goes to school for the first time but, when we read it as a class, we never wanted it to end.

Although I enjoy most types of books, the ones that have the biggest impact on me are stories based in realistic settings such as Not As We Know It, Once and How To Fly With Broken Wings. You could say that they're sad stories, but they have their own beautiful way about them. They leave a lasting impression on anyone who reads them because they're stories that could be real, and they really have the power to change how people think. Trust me, reading books like that will make you empathise with people from all around the world. In fact, reading any kind of book will help you to understand people better.

My teacher once told me a story about a man he met on a train, who didn't learn to read until he was about 40. He was so proud that he had finally learned and he said that he didn't realise what he was missing. He now reads books whenever he can. This man couldn't actually read and that wasn't his fault, but some people just choose not to. People who don't read miss out on the chance to truly relax and let their thoughts roam freely. If you read, it's like an amazing light that shines out of a book into your mind. If you don't read, it's like you're left behind in the darkness. There's a lot of dark and scary places in the world already, so it's up to everybody to pick up a book and try and make the world a lighter place.



  1. Remarkable what can be achieved by nurturing a child's reading habits. Profound words, well done!

  2. This is just so beautiful and shows the importance of Teachers as Readers, role modeling the brilliance of books! Rae Snape @RaeSnape

  3. Jon, young Gracie here is a writer of great style already, thanks to the reading which she has accessed and you have further nurtured. Well done to her! @TanyaEfthymiou