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  • Writer's pictureTERRY ANN MARSH


I love the language of an old book. They are at times a little more eloquent, and the vocabulary reaches a bit higher than the writing of today. A reminder of what was and maybe what should be a little more often.

My favorite books to read are historical. Narratives, bios, novels...I love them. So I will recommend two, both quite old.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, An American Slave by Frederick Douglas, 1845. I don’t think I have ever read such clear-headed and composed thinking about such a difficult, frightful and inhumane way of life. I will never understand why this book is not required reading in every high school in America. It should be.

Lincoln the Unknown by Dale Carnegie, 1932, is a more intimate look at the person of Lincoln, not so much the politician. It brought real insight to the origins of his birth and the personal tragedies he experienced. Our 16th president was a man among men—and this little book, which was quite easy to read, did a good job in showcasing the obstacles Lincoln faced.

Did you know that most newspapers are written at a 9th grade level—or lower? If you google reading levels, amazing little facts come up. The reading level for an average American? 7th—8th grade. Of course, the best way to combat this is…read, read, read!

Summer’s almost upon us, and your local libraries have hidden treasures for you and your kids! How about the Summer Reading Challenge for students? And for the adults? How about a Read Local Challenge, like the one initiated by SCBWI. Join in with your kids this summer and have a Read-Off. Time flies, and before you know it, “I’m bored!!!” will be heard coast, so…head to the library!

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