A couple of weeks ago, I was teaching a reading group in a 3rd grade classroom. I got to pick the book, and chose Horrible Harry in Room 2B by Suzy Kline. None of the 3 kids in the group had ever heard of Horrible Harry.
"You're kidding, right?" I asked. "You've got to be kidding. How can you be in 3rd grade and not know him? Well, I have to tell you, you are going to love him--especially you P. This guy is right up your alley! And Suzy Kline wrote a whole bunch of them. I really think you are gonna love this, and if you do, I have some more at home that I'll bring for you to borrow."
We read, we talked, and they went off to read more on their own. I also got to be there the day they finished the book. "You were right--that Harry is one mean dude! But kinda nice sometimes...well, sort of. He's really funny to--that stuff he does!" P. exclaimed. The others nodded. Y. tentatively handed the book to me. "Can you find the other ones? The home ones?" she asked. The boys chimed in. "Yeah! Bring 'em all!"
"Sure," replied, trying not to smirk. "But you know I'll probably forget, so you'd better write me a a note." As I left their room that day, P. handed me a sticky note. It read, "I NEED those Horrible Harry books!"
Yes, I got them the books. Today Y. approached me in the hallway. "Do you think you can find any more of those books? I'm all done with the other ones.". When I got home, I asked Youngest (aka my apprentice book pusher) for help. I described these 3rd graders, who have to work so hard in reading and who have fallen in love with Horrible Harry. He grinned, "hey, the way you describe them, they are kinda like the characters! You have a Song Lee, a Harry, and a Doug!" Then he headed for the bookshelf.