We, as a society, are on a streak of consuming content based on totally imagined, impossible-to-relate-to worlds. Indeed, this is us, a human race that's fully accepting of bug-eyed, slimy aliens. And yet... a story that involves a different culture or a different skin colour is simply a little too..."out there?"
It's not unusual to find a group of teenagers sitting quietly, all of them with their heads looking down, shoulders slumped, as they silently tap away at their smartphones. Many of them are texting each other (some sitting right across from them), catching up on social media or watching YouTube videos.
I first read Lost Horizon back in grade school. Don't make me tell you how long ago that was. In those days, we were given a required reading list at the very beginning of the school year. And each time we finished a book we had to hand in a review. All the books were available at the school library.
If reading has lapsed in your household, you're definitely not alone. And take heart: August is a great time to get kids reading again. The growing boredom of unstructured time can actually work in your favour. And young minds are well-rested by this stage, offering a fresh capacity to think outside of themselves.
Whether your kids have racked up enough points to travel to the moon and back, or don't even have passports yet, introducing them to new destinations can be done even on a shoestring budget -- through books. I scoured our local bookstore, grocery store and at-home library to bring you the top 10 books that are sure to ignite the travel bug in your child.
Five books a week? Many of my friends are shocked that I can get through so many. "I wish! I simply don't have the time," many of them say... If you've binge watched even one Netflix series, you've had time to read. If you've been on Facebook scrolling through posts from a month ago, you've had time to read.
Good language learners notice what is happening in a language. They notice the sounds, the structure and the vocabulary of the language. They notice as they listen and read. They notice when they use the language. How can we train ourselves in the ability to notice in order to become good language learners?
From my earliest moments as a new mother, I'd longed for my daughter to experience the same enjoyment from reading and falling into a good book that I'd felt in my youth. I pictured us walking in tandem in our mutual appreciation for stories, unpacking plots and characters for each other as we bonded in conversation.
Alice in Wonderland continues its comeback streak with Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson's audio version of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland via Audible Studios, an Amazon company. Audible says, "It tells the story of the young and imaginative Alice, who grows weary of her storybook, one 'without pictures or conversations,' and follows a hasty hare underground -- to come face to face with a host of strange and fantastic characters."