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  • Writer's pictureCaroline

Long Live Storytelling

Updated: Aug 10, 2019

Photo by my favoritest person in the world (duh, the guy that takes all the photos on this blog!)

Me: *racks brain for some profound opening thought on reading*

Me, 10 minutes later: *googles quotes about books*

Me, after exactly 60 seconds: *realizes this is absurd*

Me, in all my genius glory:

"Today, I get to talk about something I'm really excited about!!"

You've probably gotten the message by now that I kind of like to read. If you haven't, then I'm doing something terribly, terribly wrong.

But what I haven't told you yet is that I like reading aloud even more than reading by myself.

I guess it's the storyteller in me. As the oldest of seven kids, I took my ringleader role seriously, and most of the time it involved imagining stories for our play. My brothers can tell you of the countless puppet shows and productions I thought up for us to perform for our parents (there may or may not have been blackmail involved) and the elaborate movies that our tree house bore witness to.

Above all, I loved reading to my brothers. It probably started with the Amelia Bedelia books -- there's a photo in existence of me, no older than five, reading aloud to my three-year-old brother. I'm a little surprised, looking back, at how completely enthralled they always were. We're talking about 5 very active boys! I'm sure my mom loved it because we read until my voice gave out, sometimes a couple hours if we were at an exciting part. We explored the world from the Wild West to Mount Ararat, and the level of the books we read grew with us.

I developed a stentorian reading voice because the size of our fifteen-passenger van required volume just short of hollering if one was to be heard on the back row. (And you'll never hear me do it, but they seemed to enjoy my accents for different characters. Probably our favorite was O'Malley, the giant Irishman, in this book.) Many was the time we'd stay in the parked van after arriving home just to finish a chapter, and I still grin at the picture of boys draped all over (and hanging off of) bunk beds, listening as I raced through the climax of a story so we could go to bed that night.

So you'll understand when I say I can't wait to introduce my kids to the adventure of reading. :)

I think there's more to the power of a well-told story than we sometimes realize. After all, Jesus used parables to communicate deep truths. Where would we be without the parable of the prodigal son, or the sower, or the ninety-nine and one sheep? We humans thrive on imagery. A story is often the tool that condenses cosmos-size ideas to fill the cup-size place where we hold close that which is most vivid to us. (See what I did there? Okay, moving on.)

On June 28, I will be launching a brand-new feature here on the blog, where I share downloadable lists of the books that are favorites of mine. There will be categories for every age group, and a separate one for a few theological resources which are dear to me.

People often ask me for my favorite book recommendations, and when they do, I almost always come up blank, because there are JUST. TOO. MANY. So this effort will be by NO means exhaustive, but it will be a start! The books you will find are all treasured parts of my life for one reason or another, drawing from both my adult reading journey and my upbringing among great homeschooling resources.

I'm excited about this, and I really hope you will join me here next Friday!

Until next time,

Long live the adventure of reading. Long live storytelling.

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