Two years ago Mario Wesa (11 yrs) came from a rural village in Egypt to America and knew less than ten words of English. With his English Language Learners (ELL)classes at school, he now understands English, but it was challenging to get him to read. He was ensnared by TV and videos like Spider Man. Mario was not enthralled by The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and Pinocchio. Of all the classics for children, he tepidly warmed up to Doctor Doolittle. Then two weeks ago, he brought home Crytid Hunters, from the school library. Frankly, I was repulsed by the cover with bare fangs of wild animals. When asked why he selected the book, Mario said he liked the animals on the cover. After two nights of reading, Mario was hooked. He came home from school and enthusiastically wanted to start reading Hunters. Mario actually cared about Grace and Marty! For the first time, he relished reading aloud! And he was reading one hour or more a night! Not only has the book enriched his
vocabulary, but I even had to look up two words: duiker and okapi. Thank goodness the American Heritage Dictionary (4th ed.) had colored photos of the two unusual animals. Kudos! You managed to pull Mario away from the mindless TV and to read with gusto. Of course, now he wants to read Tentacles.
Thank you Helen, and keep on reading Mario!