So, Chestnut came home the other day and
triumphantly pulled out her book in a bag (our school has kids use
ziploc bags for books). "I did it!" she announced. "I've reached my
Reading has been a difficult path for Chestnut, with many frustrations
and heartbreaks along the way. But apparently, way back in September in
the early weeks of second grade, when her reading days were feeling
dark and she felt like "the worst reader in the whole class," she set
her sights on one book and told herself, "I am going to get good enough
at reading so I can read that book!"
Ladies and gentlemen, this is that book:
Then she sat down on the couch and read it.
she finished she said, "I've done my goal. That book was worth it. You
know, Mommy, you should put that book on your blog! Try it, Mommy,
And I did. And you know what? It's pretty good! I didn't know much
about Seabiscuit, and it was altogether satisfying to sit there and read it with
a proud reader, who could relax next to me, savoring that all-too-rare sensation of personal triumph.
10 thoughts on “Mission Accomplished!”
Such a wonderful feeling!!! Congratulations to Chestnut!
And I LOVE that idea of a goal book – we did book-in-a-bag when I taught, but didn’t have that end point dangling for the kids. I’ll have to keep that in mind if I ever got back to the classroom!
Chestnut’s reading goal sounds a little bit like The Biscuit’s own achievements!
PS Read the grown up version, too. It’s wonderful.
Oh, that made me tear right up. A librarian’s favorite moment. Thanks for sharing.
And I second the recommendation for the adult book. I am NOT a horse person. I am like an anti-horse person. But I saw the movie when bored and loved it immensely and then read the book when I learned about the author’s difficult life. Very good.
I’m not a horse person or a racing person, but my husband (who is also neither) has talked repeatedly about what a great story that is.
A goal book is a terrific idea. I’ve never heard of it. My son is just finishing kindergarten, and I’m interested in ways of keeping him engaged in the things he’s learned, while he’s out for the summer. I’d love to hear more about how she used the book and how she knew, for example, when she was ready.
Chestnut is swelling with pride (in a good way). And the idea of a goal book, I think, was hers. Her class groups books by level, and you get access to a new basket of books when you get to that level. But she is also a very goal-oriented person.
Yay! That is so great!
Way to go, Chestnut! Weaker children would have given up, but you, you are strong! You are mighty! You are an inspiration!
I’m grinning at Chestnut’s excitement. That’s a lovely story.
Absolutely beautiful. Bravo Chestnut–and you, loving mom.
There is a PBS American Experience show about Seabiscuit, too (before the commercial movie):
It has some cool online educational features that you and Chestnut might want to check out, like radio broadcasts of the original 1930s race. (I temped at WGBH in the publicity department when they were working on it.)