And I didn't just read any book - I turned to an old favorite, The Phantom Tollbooth. With countless puns (from the Island of Conclusions you get to by jumping to Dictionopolis where you literally eat your words) begging to be laughed at on every page, the novel is brimming with whole-hearted fun and opportunities for belly laughs. But what makes this book a true classic (in my humble opinion) is the many messages/themes Milo (the main character) comes to understand about spending time, being creative, and seeing what's in front of you with new eyes. (Think Wizard of Oz "no place like home" theme.)
Bottom line - I can't wait to read this aloud to my 6th grade ELA class at the start of the school year, for I think it was during my own 6th grade year when I first fell in love with it. (I'm glad some of my tastes (especially in books) haven't changed much since then.)
There is so much to be learned from books - we just have to put the "right" ones in each student's hands...
Tonight, I leave you with a few Phantom nuggets of wisdom: