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Arne Duncan's Reading List


Arne Duncan, in an video interview with Scholastic News, talks about the importance of parents reading to kids, what he reads to his kids, and what his parents read to him. It seems there's a lot of Harry Potter getting covered in the Duncan household these days, and Dr. Seuss has had his day.

As for what the secretary's parents read to him as a boy, Duncan mentions J.R.R. Tolkien, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and—if I understood him correctly—Moby Dick. Ambitious stuff for a kid, though maybe the secretary meant that he tackled some of those a bit later in adolescence, on his own. "I was just really, really lucky to grow up in a household filled with great books and two parents who wanted to read to us," he said.

Here's the clip:


I'll bet he read all those books to himself. Tolkien is not terse.

My mother read "Black Beauty" to me and my sister when we were 5 and 6. We loved it. She thought it was horribly mawkish. When she finished, we begged her to read it again, immediately. As a sign of sacrificial mother love, she did. She hated it even more the second time.

As a teen-ager, I read "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" twice in a row to my much-younger brother. It was a gift to Mom.

And this makes the demise of Reading Rainbow all the more poignant. It is as important to discover a love of reading as it is to know how to read. One without the other and you are missing an entire world of exploration and discovery.

Arne the Duncan, great Secretary of Education, especially considering that he has actually been a classroom teacher and a principal. Oh, wait, he hasn't!

Arne the Duncan, great Secretary of Education, especially considering that he has a degree in education. Oh, wait, he doesn't it's in sociology,

Arne the Duncan, not so great Secretary of Education but he is going to fundamentally change the power and control of the Dept. of Education. Just another political cronie from Chicago in a position that he has no business being involved in. At least he thinks reading is important. Don't be duped by this guy, he is going to do nothing to help our children. Barry O. and him are on the same team, but their not on ours in education!

My sisters and I were read the traditional classics... Grimm's, Dicken's, Dumas, Hawthorne, etc. but my favorite as a child was Uncle Wiggley and I have recently cracked open those old tales of the long ear rabbit gentleman and my son loves them.

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