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ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Welcome, scscottie!
 
25 times--wow!  It will be so nice to have your perspective in our discussions!  And what a nice family heirloom edition you have to read it from, too!
 
~ConnieK
 
 

scscottie wrote:
I have read the Secret Garden probably 25 times, but not in the past several years.  I will enjoy reading it again.  I read from a prized 1911 edition that is held together by a rubber band and was passed down from a great aunt!  The story is classic, but the characterizations are what I love.  I have seen at least two of the movies - a mostly black & white version from the 1940's and the more recent one done in the early 90's.  I think I also saw the Hallmark Hall of Fame version.
 
I have also read "A Little Princess" and "Little Lord Fauntleroy", both excellent stories.  Although it does not stick as closely as it should to the original story, I think most of us have seen Shirley Temple's version of "A Little Princess", but I think I like the one done in the last decade the best.  The Ricky Schroeder, Alec Guiness version of "Little Lord Fauntleroy" is one of my favorite movies.  In fact, my local Blockbuster in Mississippi took pity on me and actual sold me there copy as for 6 years, I was the only person who rented it and it is no longer available to purchase!  
 



~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
Author
ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Welcome, Bayles!
 
I'm interested in how many people read books they loved as children to their own children.  This has to be one of the best legacies of any classic.
 
~ConnieK
 


Bayles wrote:
Hi,
 
The Secret Garden is one of my favoirite books.  I read it as a child (and many times after) and read it to my daughter when she was little.  I hope that this will be an interesting discussion.
 
I am a professor of forensic science and am interested in gardening and fixing up my house.  I live in the south east.
 
Bayles



~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
Author
ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Welcome, sbrushing!
 
Gardening is such a big part of summer for so many people.  It will be fun to share this "garden" with you!
 
~ConnieK
 


sbrushing wrote:
I enjoyed this book as a child, and it perhaps instilled a great love of gardening in me.  I am looking forward to this journey with you all.



~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
Author
ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Welcome, lala0203!
 
We used to have a tradition during summer vacations where we did just what you mention--we read for an hour right after lunch every day.  Good luck sharing the book with your daughter, if she's willing!  I hope you'll let us know her comments!
 
~ConnieK


lala0203 wrote:
Hi, I am excited to discuss this book. I read it as a child and have been encouraging my daughter to read it. I think a good summer project will be to read it aloud to each other. I think some of the dialect is difficult for her. I haven't read it in years so it will be cool to re-read it.


~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
Author
ConnieAnnKirk
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Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Welcome, bookm!
 
And we are most welcome to have a school librarian among us!  I hope you'll feel free to share your thoughts, as well as any observations about other readers and the book, with us!
 
~ConnieK
 


bookm wrote:
I am an elementary school librarian.  The Secret Garden is one of my favorite books to read and a great recommendation to children that truly love to read.  I have read this story many times.  Each time I do read it , I gain a deeper appreciation for the story, the characters, and the themes.
 
I am most interested to read The Secret Garden once again and share thoughts and viewpoints with other interested readers.
 



~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
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Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself


ConnieK wrote:
I'm interested in how many people read books they loved as children to their own children. 

Absolutely! Not only did my wife read the books she loved and I read the books I loved, but their maternal grandmother read the books she loved, and their paternal grandfather read the books he loved growing up in England, on top of being an excellent storyteller and telling dozens of stories he had learned and told over the years.

Our poor kids didn't have a chance!

And now the grandkids are coming along, and I'm loving reading some of the very beginning books, a few I remember (such as pat the bunny) and many newer ones, but I'm also salivating waiting for them to get old enough to be read some of my favorite older books.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Contributor
travelighter
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎07-02-2008
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hello, this will be my first B&N book club discussion group.
I'm nearly 60 and have not heard this book since it was read to my class at "rest-time" in first grade. Now it will be read to me again, as I will listen to it as an audio-book while I take my morning walk.I did watch it as a movie maybe 15 years ago.
I teach second grade, so I am a lover of children's books.
Author
ConnieAnnKirk
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Re: Introduce Yourself

So true, Everyman!  I think it's only natural for parents and grandparents to want to share what they most love with their children and grandchildren.  It's so nice when that includes beloved stories.  There's a close connection there, not just with the story, but also with the loved one with whom it is shared.
 
~ConnieK
 


Everyman wrote:

ConnieK wrote:
I'm interested in how many people read books they loved as children to their own children. 

Absolutely! Not only did my wife read the books she loved and I read the books I loved, but their maternal grandmother read the books she loved, and their paternal grandfather read the books he loved growing up in England, on top of being an excellent storyteller and telling dozens of stories he had learned and told over the years.

Our poor kids didn't have a chance!

And now the grandkids are coming along, and I'm loving reading some of the very beginning books, a few I remember (such as pat the bunny) and many newer ones, but I'm also salivating waiting for them to get old enough to be read some of my favorite older books.


~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
Author
ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Welcome, travelighter!  And welcome to the Book Clubs here at BN.com.
 
What a lovely story about SG!  I wonder what memories hearing the story again will conjure up for you.  I hope you'll let us know how it goes!
 
~ConnieK
 
 


travelighter wrote:
Hello, this will be my first B&N book club discussion group.
I'm nearly 60 and have not heard this book since it was read to my class at "rest-time" in first grade. Now it will be read to me again, as I will listen to it as an audio-book while I take my morning walk.I did watch it as a movie maybe 15 years ago.
I teach second grade, so I am a lover of children's books.


~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
Contributor
bellsofireland
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Registered: ‎06-21-2008
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Re: Introduce Yourself

I've read The Secret Garden at least 5 times, the first time when I was about 9. It's always been a favorite of mine, and it inspired me to find my own "secret places" near the river by the house where I grew up. I don't have any kids (I'm in my early 20s) but I do have a 6-year-old sister, and I hope she'll be interested enough for me to read The Secret Garden with her in a year or two. I also love A Little Princess, which I discovered about 4 years ago.
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. ~Oscar Wilde
Author
ConnieAnnKirk
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Welcome, bells!  Feel free to jump right in to the discussion.
 
~ConnieK
 


bellsofireland wrote:
I've read The Secret Garden at least 5 times, the first time when I was about 9. It's always been a favorite of mine, and it inspired me to find my own "secret places" near the river by the house where I grew up. I don't have any kids (I'm in my early 20s) but I do have a 6-year-old sister, and I hope she'll be interested enough for me to read The Secret Garden with her in a year or two. I also love A Little Princess, which I discovered about 4 years ago.


~ConnieAnnKirk




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Peppermill
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Re: Introduce Yourself

I've been loitering here for awhile and following the discussion. Since I just posted and since I picked up the book Thursday night at our local library, I guess its time to "check in."

Secret Garden is one children's classic book I don't remember reading or having read to me, although I do know at least parts of the story. So we shall see. In the meantime, I shall continue to enjoy your insights -- I am one of those people for whom "spoilers" seldom spoil a story. If anything, they give me something to anticipate while permitting me to slow down and enjoy the storytelling along the way.

Pepper
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Author
ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Welcome, Peppermill!  Hope you enjoy the book and our continued discussions.
 
~ConnieK
 


Peppermill wrote:
I've been loitering here for awhile and following the discussion. Since I just posted and since I picked up the book Thursday night at our local library, I guess its time to "check in."

Secret Garden is one children's classic book I don't remember reading or having read to me, although I do know at least parts of the story. So we shall see. In the meantime, I shall continue to enjoy your insights -- I am one of those people for whom "spoilers" seldom spoil a story. If anything, they give me something to anticipate while permitting me to slow down and enjoy the storytelling along the way.

Pepper


~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
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Everyman
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Secret Garden is one children's classic book I don't remember reading or having read to me,

As I re-read for the first time in several decades, and perhaps for the first time as an adult (I know I read it as a child, but don't recall reading it since then, though I may have) I am struck by the very great difference between what writers in Burnett's day and writers today expect of children. From the style and content both it's clear to me that it was intended to be read by children, and not very old children -- perhaps initially aimed at children anywhere from about seven to twelve?? Mary is nine at the start of the book, and I would think children much older than that would prefer to read about children their age rather than "babies" (which is what a fifteen year old would consider a nine year old, isn't it?) I wonder whether Burnett ever said what her target audience was.

At any rate, the complexity of some of the content, the richness of the language, the vocabulary which Burnett expects her readers to understand are all well beyond what writers for that age today even approach. Not to mention, of course, the number of parents who would object to their children reading a book in which magic is so prominently featured (and those of a different outlook who would object to the racial elements of the book!). Would a fourth grade teacher today dare to assign this book??

Just desultory thoughts on a warm afternoon, but thoughts that struck me.
_______________
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bellsofireland
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Re: Introduce Yourself

That's a fair point, Everyman. Not nearly as much is expected of children today. Our society doesn't really allow for it, with kids having video games and with everyday language being much simpler now than it was then. Also, less emphasis is placed on education. I actually think it was 3rd or 4th grade when my teacher read The Secret Garden to my class, but we were certainly not expected to read it ourselves. And if we had been, I can only think of two or three students besides myself who would have enjoyed the assignment and found it to be within easy reach of our reading abilities.

I have trouble imagining parents extreme enough to object to the "magic" in The Secret Garden, but I will elaborate on that further in a different thread, sometime soon. (Wouldn't want to spoil the plot.) The racial elements I can see, but (and again, I might have more to say later) I think it's better for kids to be aware of these issues and to talk about them, rather than be sheltered from anything unpleasant or immoral. Obviously there are limits to this, however.

Oh, and the casual child reader may prefer to read about characters his own age, but I think those who truly love stories won't mind if the character is younger. We all like nostalgia now and then.

Anyway, I'm glad to see you checking in on this discussion. I enjoyed your thoughts on Utopia, and it's always nice to see a familiar name.
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. ~Oscar Wilde
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Peppermill
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Re: Introduce Yourself


bellsofireland wrote:
That's a fair point, Everyman. Not nearly as much is expected of children today....


Bells -- Not nearly so much, or very different things presented in different media and modes? I was ten before I saw a television and still have relatively little tolerance for what seems to me as far less information in more time from visual media used for storytelling. By then, I had heavy reading habits. Yet, I know my son has been exposed to and responded to a far wider range of expectations and viewpoints than was true for my own youth -- whether in physical or mental exploits.

"...with everyday language being much simpler now than it was then..."

I am curious as to what aspects of everyday language you are referring with this statement. I'm not certain I have ever thought about the topic before or seen an article on such changes.
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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bellsofireland
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Re: Introduce Yourself

[ Edited ]
ConnieK - Thanks for the welcome!

Peppermill - The school a child attends, the reading ability and preferences of the child, and the attitude of the parents towards reading all definitely have an impact, and perhaps your experiences and those of your son have been above average. I should have been more specific. English/Literature was my major, and more than one of my classes at some point in the syllabus focused on the differences in our society today as compared to the past. (I'm not sure which country you are from, but I'm referring to the United States only.) Even as recently as the '60s there was shown to be a significant difference in the choice of books assigned by US schools for students to read on their own. For example, I don't remember the exact figures (I took this class 2 years ago), but the percentage of US high schools assigning A Tale of Two Cities has decreased significantly in the last 50 years, because more and more it is considered too difficult or not accessible enough to today's teenagers. I don't think old classics will ever be replaced entirely, but more and more contemporary works are finding their way into school curriculum, and something has to go to make room for them.

My little brother's 7th grade teacher read the first Harry Potter book with her class. Now, I love the Harry Potter books, but I'm not sure I'd consider the first one to be appropriately challenging or thought-provoking for 12-year-old kids to learn about in school. (Though I do consider it to be those things when read by choice.) I remember reading The Giver; Shabanu, Daughter of the Wind; and Island of the Blue Dolphins in 7th grade. The Giver and Shabanu were both fairly recent at the time, so there's no comparison to the past, but Island of the Blue Dolphins was found more in 6th grade classes in the 70s and early 80s, and by the time I was in college, was found most frequently in 8th grade curriculum. I'm sorry I can't point you to exactly where my teachers got this information (I would have been able to a couple years ago), but the general lowering of standards in the US was, as I said, spoken of in more than one of my classes, with a lot of examples given. That's why I said not nearly as much is expected of children today as far as in-school reading.

As for everyday language, I know statistics can be found about the shrinking of the average vocabulary, and I have a copy of a fantastic article on the subject called "Verbicide". I will have to dig it out sometime over the next couple days and find out who the author of it was so I can send that information to you, if you are interested.

Message Edited by bellsofireland on 07-11-2008 08:21 PM
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. ~Oscar Wilde
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Everyman
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Re: Introduce Yourself

All you need to do is pick up a set of the old McGuffy readers to see that we are cheating our students today.

And, of course, the King James Bible -- children taught to read using that Bible couldn't help developing rich vocabularies and an appreciation for how beautiful the English language can be.

Substituting Run Dick Run for the McGuffy readers was a virtual guarantee of a less literate population.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
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Re: Introduce Yourself

I just got my copy today, it's been sold out for weeks. Makes me wonder how many people in my area are reading it right now. Or if it's a really odd coincidence.
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Peppermill
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Bells -- thank you for the time you have taken for your reply. I think now I understand the domain (primarily reading) towards which you made your initial comments about less being required of today's students in U.S. schools.



bellsofireland wrote:
ConnieK - Thanks for the welcome!

Peppermill - The school a child attends, the reading ability and preferences of the child, and the attitude of the parents towards reading all definitely have an impact, and perhaps your experiences and those of your son have been above average. I should have been more specific. English/Literature was my major, and more than one of my classes at some point in the syllabus focused on the differences in our society today as compared to the past. (I'm not sure which country you are from, but I'm referring to the United States only.) Even as recently as the '60s there was shown to be a significant difference in the choice of books assigned by US schools for students to read on their own. For example, I don't remember the exact figures (I took this class 2 years ago), but the percentage of US high schools assigning A Tale of Two Cities has decreased significantly in the last 50 years, because more and more it is considered too difficult or not accessible enough to today's teenagers. I don't think old classics will ever be replaced entirely, but more and more contemporary works are finding their way into school curriculum, and something has to go to make room for them.

My little brother's 7th grade teacher read the first Harry Potter book with her class. Now, I love the Harry Potter books, but I'm not sure I'd consider the first one to be appropriately challenging or thought-provoking for 12-year-old kids to learn about in school. (Though I do consider it to be those things when read by choice.) I remember reading The Giver; Shabanu, Daughter of the Wind; and Island of the Blue Dolphins in 7th grade. The Giver and Shabanu were both fairly recent at the time, so there's no comparison to the past, but Island of the Blue Dolphins was found more in 6th grade classes in the 70s and early 80s, and by the time I was in college, was found most frequently in 8th grade curriculum. I'm sorry I can't point you to exactly where my teachers got this information (I would have been able to a couple years ago), but the general lowering of standards in the US was, as I said, spoken of in more than one of my classes, with a lot of examples given. That's why I said not nearly as much is expected of children today as far as in-school reading.

As for everyday language, I know statistics can be found about the shrinking of the average vocabulary, and I have a copy of a fantastic article on the subject called "Verbicide". I will have to dig it out sometime over the next couple days and find out who the author of it was so I can send that information to you, if you are interested.

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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