Sophie has never really loved to read on her own. She’s never had the patience or the desire to attempt any tome without illustrations (the artist in her enjoys graphic novels) unless we’re the ones reading to her. This, of course, is in startling contrast to her sister, who was reading lengthy chapter books at six years old.
But we all march to the beat of our own drummers, and Sophie is no different. She takes her time. She’s deliberate without being a perfectionist. She’s a creator and a bit of a scientist. She’s a fashionista. And although she’s reluctantly read several books since the start of the school year for her language arts class, the other day she officially joined the ranks of children everywhere who have conquered their first big-kid, several-hundred-page-long novel.
And in Sophie’s case, that several-hundred-page-long novel was not Harry Potter. On Sunday night, she came running into the TV room, giddy with excitement. She was jumping up and down, screaming, “I finished it! I finished it!” The novel in question, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer (yes, of “Glee” fame), held her in rapt attention for three weeks as she slowly absorbed a 438-page story about twins who enter a land inhabited by their favorite fairy tale characters.
Sophie was extremely proud of her accomplishment. For the first time ever, she read and read and read. Some evenings, she’d read for 90 minutes straight. No TV, no video games. Just the book. For a kid who used to moan and groan if she had to read for 15 minutes, this was momentous. And to hear her laugh as she read a funny passage was priceless.
I don’t think that Sophie will necessarily become as fervent a reader as Chloe. But she’s enthusiastically started her next novel, “Flora & Ulysses” by Kate DiCamillo, and in between critical commentaries about the book jumping around a little too much, her laughter is ringing through the house all over again. And that’s music to this mom’s ears.