Corner Room Read Aloud

There’s a section on the syllabus for Required Texts. Every class, every syllabus. Under Course Objectives, before Assignments and Readings. Reading and Writing Children’s Literature, a class whose depth, breadth, and passion have taken me quite by surprise, has three Required Texts. The first: Harry Potter.

It’s not due for a while yet; I asked the professor, after class. April, sweetie. She tells me when I ask. I nod, smile. Then we’re talking Hunger Games (another Required Text) and Lord of the Flies (non-required) and I’m arguing social/political commentary in Hunger Games and there’s another student there, saying “too violent,” and the professor smiles at me, kind, bemused, as she passes.

In class, we’ve been reading original fairy tales (for the most part a cold, gruesome collection of literature) and comparing them to the Disney versions of said stories. I’m one of three signed up to present the characters, elements, and themes of a popular Disney movie. I’m thinking of doing Beauty and the Beast.

But that presentation is not for a couple of weeks, and in the meantime, Children’s Literature has joined Systematic Theology as Classes For Which Natalie Lives.

Late afternoon free moment two weeks ago, I stumbled across Harry Potter in the children’s section of the library. Two days later, on a whim, I spun through the library turnstile after class, pulled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone off the shelf, checked it out.

Days passed. The book moved from my bookbag to desk to shelf.

Then today, in the spare moments between chapel and lunch, I pulled the book off the shelf, started to read.

Roadtrip to Michigan in jr. high, we listened to the audiobook, and driving those familiar roads, my father became so engrossed in the story that he got lost.

I’ve seen the movies, randomly, out of order as they appeared on DVD at friends’ houses, in theaters, on HBO movie marathon specials, clicking through the channels in hotels on long summer swim meet weekends.

But I’m reading the book now.

Mar loves Harry Potter. I texted her as I left the library, book in hand. She responded, So jelly! Jealous that my homework can be reading this book (and many others), but excited, too; happy that I can experience the characters, the story, the world, that she’s so loved since 3rd grade, when she opened the first Harry Potter pages.

Homework in my room this afternoon, I walked two doors down, swung through the squeaking door into Mar’s room after dinner. Harry had just found out he was a wizard, and Mar looked up from her desk, grinning, as I read the line. Then we’re both alone in our rooms, both homeworking, I carried my computer, book balanced on top, to her room.

Book tossed aside for the moment, we typed in unison, her music soft in the background, under the muted click, click, clicking of keyboards. My paper much shorter, less in-depth, I finished first. Final draft saved, emailed to myself for later printing, I pushed my computer to the side, cracked open Harry Potter once more.

I’m totally fine if you read out loud, she says, eyes still on her computer screen. I look over, eyebrows raised. Are you sure? She nods, absolutely.

So I read. I read Diagon Alley, and Harry’s new wand, and the Dursley’s at King’s Cross, and Fred and George and owls and cats and a little redhead named Ginny. I read, only half-way noticing that I’ve given the characters voices. She types, writes still, but I know she’s listening, know she’s relishing this Harry Potter read aloud. And it’s cold outside, and the sirens whistle past, like they always do. But six floors up, in the corner room, I sit on the bed, she sits at the desk, and we read Harry Potter.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Mary Difino
    Mar 10, 2014 @ 12:58:11

    Natalie! This is so precious. I am touched.
    Also, thankful that being jetlagged in England has finally given me the opportunity to catch up on my Lead Me Where.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: