I met a fifth grade boy in one of my last school visits in the spring who proudly and quite enthusiastically told me he "hated" to read. I asked him a few questions and figured him for the right target for one of my chapter books full of boy humor and other things of interest. I then dared him to hate my book Go Ask Mom. I told him flippantly that I would give him a copy if he promised to read it and send me a book report telling me just specifically why he hated reading my book. He smiled really big and took my challenge.
I figured since he "hated" reading so much he certainly wouldn't care enough to take me up on the challenge. But to my surprise he showed up that night while I was telling more stories to the parents and kids in his lunchroom and then hung out until the end of a one hour line of book signing just to tell me his mom couldn't come and he wished she had. I thought that was very nice of him to acknowledge my storytelling in such a nice way.
I went on my way, he went on his and then he sent me an email reminding me of my "promise" to give him a book. I wondered if his old door stop stopped working and that's why he needed this chapter book. I wrote him back and challenged him further about his "book hating" ways. He sent another email and hinted that he might take me up on the challenge. I, being somewhat busy and dense laughed it off and thought "another book hater..., I'll get him."
Then I got an email from his mom. She seemed perplexed that her son had asked her to contact me and stated that he had said I promised a book and she seemed pretty apologetic about the assumption. I sent her an email straight away telling her that her son was in fact correct about the promise, but it came with a few caveats. I asked her for her address and she sent me another email with the address and a very thankful and joyful sentence about how delightful it was to see her son so excited about actually picking up a book.
I sent the book that day. That was over a month ago and then I got this email from my "book hating buddy!" (the only thing I changed was his name):
A book report on Go Ask MOM
By: A. M.
In the best book ever Go Ask Mom by Justin Matott. A boy named Gabriel Peters is a kid that skipped 3rd grade and went in to 4th grade he had no friends but only tormenters. One was Ronnie a 5th grader who loved to make fun of Gabriel. Gabriel has a bad lazy eye which makes him wher an eye patch. He also has one bad leg that is 2 inches shorter than the other leg. Gabriel has a mean, stiky, hary, dorkey big brother that launches hem into the sealing in there bunk beds.
Personally I will tell people to give the book a try. For all the book haters GIVE THIS BOOK A TRY.
I will get all justin’s books if I was you and I will.