I’ve found this book in a remainders’ shop, near the hugest library of my town. It was completely new, untouched, and I can’t understand how it’s arrived in my little town in the south of Italy, but still…
The story is quite nice, even if I think it should be better edited. The novel is too long for a short story like that. The plot is perhaps too “easy” to justify this number of pages. The last part of the book, for instance, is incredibly long. The story starts finishing too soon, and it finally finishes too late. There’s something that is a bit unrealistic, too, in particular everything which concerns Mrs Ellis and her role in Louisa’s life. Characters are either too good or too bad, as if in a story that’s meant for children. Perhaps, this book really IS for children and extremely young teenagers, but still I’ve found it too simple and linearly written. It’s a “cold” writing, I couldn’t feel anything at all during the reading but the strong need to slap Louisa into her face.
In conclusion, I don’t feel like advising this reading to you. What a shame! But it doesnt’t matter: the next reading will be better!
These mornings I’m experiencing something completely new, for me: I’m reading books in classes from 6th to 8th grades, at school. It’s incredibly funny! Can you believe that? The best moment is when you enter the room and they don’t know you yet. They look at you, they smile ironically and try to understand if they can laugh at you or listen to you and trust you. And then, the miracle: they suddenly feel at their ease ‘cause you’re acting as if you were a student just like them. You’re sitting among them, you’re reading Fred Uhlman, you’re answering their questions and they’re answering yours. You speak all together about friendship, love, hate, future. You’re having fun and they’re having fun. THIS is the secret. And it’s something I’ve never thought it would suit me, and instead… here we are. Yesterday a young, redhead boy from 6th class, sitting just in front of me, has asked me: “Have you a boyfriend? I’m asking you that because my cousin’s boyfriend has dumped her because of her writing”. And I’ve answered “I’ll pick a writer: problem solved”, which could actually be true.
The youngest students are smart, funny and incredibly curious about life, love and… books, too. They want to know how much money you’re earning, in what does your editor’s job consist, why have you suddenly started writing down everything which passed through your mind. A girl has asked me where do I find inspiration, and I’ve said: “Everything that surrounds you IS part of the inspirational process. YOU yourself, while you’re sitting there asking me questions, are part of my inspirational process”, and it’s extremely true.
My parents have been working as primary school teachers for years and years. The main part of my life has been characterized by “schoolish” conversations. And I can remember the infinite times I’ve said “I’ll never become a teacher”. I’m not so sure about it anymore.
I’ve been taking a journal since my 6th grade. “What a childish thing to do!”, some among you could say. Yes, maybe it is, but it’s also a useful practice, as I’m gonna explain to you. For instance, think about a big crush you have upon a nice boy. You write everything about him and about the “déroulement” of your crush. At some point, something goes wrong. Then, you come back to your journal, you read it again from the beginning to the end, and suddenly you understand WHY something’s gone wrong. A private journal always hides the truth. Maybe it’s because we’re completely honest while writing it: we know no one else would read it. On the contrary, when we rethink of some memories of ours, often we slightly edit them, maybe in order to preserve ourselves from the rush of truth. Truth is seldom nice to look at.
There’s also another reason at least that should convince you to take a journal. When you’re writing for yourself only, you can experiment your creativity and let it increase. If you like drawing figures but you’re still insecure about how they look, you can practice on your journal and nobody is gonna watch them. If you like writing poems but you just don’t feel like someone should read them, here we are again: write them down on your journal.
So, now maybe it’s clear why I keep doing this “childish thing”. Make a try and let me know if it works for the best 🙂
I’m a teacher, among the other things. I’m not The kind of teacher you can find at school but I simply help children and teenagers to do their homeworks, but still I love considering myself a teacher. Perhaps, I should say that I’m a Student because most of The Times children teach me how to face life. Young people are AMAZING, in capital letters. They’re full of life and enthusiasm, always ready to put themselves into a mess, and I really love The confusing realities. That’s what makes them ready to be ready, to learn how to deal with fear and courage, with mistakes and right choices. This is The reason why I really can’t stand grown-up people Who try to make them extremely “rational”. Life is something We learn by mistakes. There’s not “good” or “bad” and all colours are Never so neat and well defined as We adults think: there’s so much shades, in life. Teach your children to be what their are: children. Make a shelter for their most absurd dreams. Believe them when they Say they want to become astronauts. Leave them alone. Don’t be afraid of The moment when life’ll wake them up. That’s still Time for that. The time will come when they’ll be grown-up people but, if you leave them The childhood they deserve, they’ll guard their little selves inside. And God knows how The inner child could help facing life as rational, fearful adults.