Have you ever read a book and felt an immediate connection to the story? As an elementary school teacher, I read lots and lots of children's books. One of my favorites is, The Pain and the Great One, by Judy Blume. I have read this book to both first graders and third graders, and the response is the same...an immediate connection. In the classroom, we refer to it as making a "text-to-self" connection. This book is perfect for making those kinds of connections because everyone can relate to the characters.
The Pain and the Great One, is a story about sibling rivalry. The younger brother is "The Pain" and the older sister is the "Great One". The Pain is like the typical younger brother; the parents baby him, he annoys his older sister by well....by simply being around and in the way, etc. The Great One is the typical older sister; she can do things easier and better...she IS older after all, and her parents allow her to do more things.
When I read this book to my students, they always identify with either one character or the other. Even kids who have no siblings can relate because they have friends or cousins who remind them of the characters. My students make comments like, "My brother is just like that." or "My sister is the pain in my family." I always share how I was the "Great One" and my younger sister was "The Pain".
When I think about my childhood, and how I thought my sister was such a pain, I have to laugh. I'm beginning to reconsider our roles. I think that I was the real "Pain" and my sister was probably the "Great One". It has nothing to do with being smarter or getting more attention. My sister was the "Great One" because she has always loved me. Even when I was BEING a pain, because I THOUGHT, I was the "Great One".
What's your favorite children's book?