Hi! I’m Susan, a wife, a mom and a recently retired elementary school librarian with 22 years of experience. One of my greatest joys is to connect kids with a perfect book, which then leads them to a lifelong love of learning. Through my blog, I’m hoping to reach parents, their children and teachers to help them find those special books. I’m also hoping to offer some tips and techniques to use with your children as you read aloud.
I plan to include many different genres, high interest, low level readers, fiction, nonfiction and the occasional selection for parents or teachers. I will make certain all of the books are available at local libraries or are available for purchase. To aid parents and teachers, I will include the Lexile Level of the books, whenever possible, as well as the Accelerated Reader level. I believe you will find that choosing a “just right book” for a child on their independent reading level will generate excitement about reading!
Let me tell you a little about myself. I grew up in a small town in Indiana with a wonderful Andrew Carnegie Library. It was a beautiful old limestone building stretching up to the sky in my childhood view (I think it had three floors!). I can still imagine the smell and the feeling of the banister as I skipped downstairs to the basement to the Children’s section. You see, my dad was a huge reader and visited the library weekly on Saturday mornings. When I was five years old, I began to go with him. I had just begun to learn how to read. In fact, I had read a selection from my very own book, Best in Children’s Books to my principal and I, along with my mom and dad were so proud! I read a story called The Very Little Girl by Phyllis Krasilovsky. When I say it was my very own book, it is because I owned so few books, other than Golden Books, at that time. The family philosophy was why buy a book, when you can check it out of the library? So at age 5, I got my own library card. I’m sure I loved this weekly adventure partially due to the fact that I was going somewhere with my dad, as well as giving us the opportunity to share our love of reading. To this day, one of my favorite genres is mysteries, which was also one of my dad’s favorites.
These trips continued all during my childhood. Sometimes my dad would take me there, or sometimes my mom, but on every trip I checked out the maximum of six books. This would usually hold me until our next visit, except during our yearly two week summer vacation. Many times, I finished all of my books and went into a complete panic. I would even stoop to reading my brother’s Hardy Boys books! I continue, to this day, to be terrified to be somewhere without something to read, whether it is a doctor’s office or on vacation! Therefore, I always have a book or my Ipad with me!
Finally, you may be wondering why this is the Red Canoe Reader. As I mentioned earlier, I requested help from my family as I began to create my blog. I received lots of wonderful suggestions for names – thank you everyone – and then my sister, Lisa, who follows many blogs, suggested it needed to be something personal to me. When she mentioned Red Canoe Reader, I knew I had found the perfect title! A red canoe has been a big part of my life since high school. At that time my dad bought a red canoe and we immediately began our adventures. He was a huge fisherman, so we would take the canoe to the local reservoir on many summer evenings and carry it from the car to the water. (I wonder, now, how we ever did that. It’s an extremely heavy fiberglass canoe!) We always had it with us during our annual two week lake vacations and it is now a permanent resident of our Michigan lake house. There have been so many happy and crazy adventures connected with that red canoe through the years, that it If you have any suggestions for blog ideas, or questions about specific books, series or ideas, please make a comment. I look forward to hearing from many of you, as I begin to explore the world of blogging!