Thursday, November 17, 2011

Oh, magic hour when a child first knows it can read printed words!
For quite a while, Francie had been spelling out letters, sounding them and then putting the sounds together to mean a word. But one day, she looked at a page and the word 'mouse' had an instantaneous meaning. She looked at the word and the picture of the gray mouse scampered through her mind. She looked further and when she saw 'horse' she heard him pawing the ground and saw the sun glint on his glossy coat. The word 'running' hit her suddenly and she breathed hard as though running herself. The barrier between the individual sound of each letter and the whole meaning of the word was removed and the printed word meant a thing at one quick glance. She read a few pages rapidly and almost became ill with excitement. She wanted to shout it out. She could read! She could read!
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn


Beth said...

I can’t remember my first time comprehending words but I do recall my boys’ – I taught two of them how to read when they were in JK after my first son had struggled in Grade One (crazy reading curriculum...)

Trish said...

Isn't this a great passage?! I love the breathless intensity of it. For myself I remember struggling to sound things and fearing that I'd be stuck at that stage forever. And then one day suddenly realizing that I was recognizing words just by looking at them. What a cool feeling THAT was.

laughingwolf said...

perfect... though i don't recall that part in the film!

new philosophy? wv: quailism

Trish said...

I haven't seen the film, yet. But I loved the book so much, I'm almost afraid the film will ruin it for me.