When I reached into my box of books, down in the dark of my basement (the lights are still out), to my delight my hand landed on my Grandpa Martin's old 1946 copy of "Tom Sawyer"and "Huckleberry Finn" (two volumes, one book). It seemed the perfect summer reading fare! A chance to slide into a time period long past in two ways: one, in the era (1870) and two, in terms of age (both protagonists being children).
As I lounged in the sun and opened the first few pages, Colin descended from his bedroom, not tired enough for an afternoon nap. He took in the grey hardcover book, faded with years and fraying from many days of enjoyment.
"What are you reading?" he inquired.
"Tom Sawyer. It's about a boy not too much older than you, and all the trouble he gets in."
"How come he gets in trouble?"
"Well, he tries hard to be good, but he always seems to choose the wrong thing."
Colin watched the pages intently, seeing no pictures, just line after line of words.
"Would you like me to read it to you?"
"Oh, yes please!" came the delighted reply.
And so I started to read from the first page, Colin standing attentively at my side. I invited him to sit alongside me, but he shook his head. I saw a dreamy look settle into his eyes as I read. After a few pages I paused, asked Colin if he wanted me to continue. "Yes!" he affirmed. I read the first chapter, 9 pages, while he stood and took it all in. In the end, we only stopped because Benjamin started to fuss. It is clear, however, that Colin is ready for the adventures of chapter books and the in depth and involved stories found within their pages.