Leisurely scrolling through my twitter feed last week, I came across this:
I read it. I paused. I thought. As I retweeted it, I remember my 3rd graders engaged in this exact work during both readers and writers workshop. It was usually a warm up of some sorts prior to the mini-lesson. Or sometimes it was morning work. A way to ease them into their day by slowly paying attention to lines and language. Inevitably, their lines and language made it’s way into our shares, our conversations, and even our writing. It always amazed me how they could identify beautiful sophisticated language when they read it although it may not have been part of their oral or written language…yet. Hunting for lines and language, I think, raised their awareness of the power of lines and language and gave them a vision for what they could do.
So, after I retweeted, and remembered, I decided to walk the walk. I pulled out the 5 fiction books I’ve read so far this summer, listed the main characters and lines and language from each book that stood out to me.
Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate
Kek and Ganwar – I gave my copy to a friend, so I can’t reread for some of my absolute favorite lines and language of the summer. What I do remember is Kek’s approximations of what he saw and tried to understand. His lines and language reminded me of when my daughter called bare feet “wearing your toes”.
The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
Starr Carter – “my stomach begs” “wobbling and shuffling” “when it rains like that while the sun’s out, Nana says the devil is beating his wife”
All We Have Left by Wendy Mills
Alia and Jesse – “tiny trembles”, “the sound of her voice isn’t playing hopscotch on my last nerve”, “hurricane of dust”
This is Our Story by Ashley Elston
Kate – “gnawing on my bottom lip” “hesitant smile” “sportsman paradise” “mansion-cabin”
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Eleanor by Gail Honeyman
Eleanor – “rare privilege” “neglected my self improvement plans of late”
What books have your read? What lines, what language stands out to you?