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ON THE MOVE
Libraries, Reading, and the Joy of Parenting A STORY OF MAGIC
Many people may not be aware, but April 7-13 is National Library Week! I know it’s not exactly in the major leagues as far as holidays go, but it’s an important time in my book. I even helped out the Queens Libraries during my Eagle Scout Project in the late 1980’s by facilitating the assistance of my troop to help restock and organize their shelves. It was a great experience and one where I was really able to give back to the community. Now that I’m a father, I appreciate the value libraries have to offer even more — I’ve seen firsthand how much magic a book can bring to a family.
keep going. Sometimes I would … especially when I was just as eager to know what happened next.
I miss those days. It was one of those golden moments of parenting that you don’t fully appreciate until your kids grow out of it. Now they’re both busy with homework before bed, and I usually get to sleep before they do. But just because we’ve reached the end of that particular chapter in life doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth it.
Before my sons even learned to read, I was reading to them. It was our tradition every night — they’d climb into bed, and I’d play the part of
Thanks to those early nights escaping to the world of Percy Jackson, my kids have grown into avid readers. Granted, most of the books they go
storyteller before tucking them in. As they grew a little older, the books became more elaborate, and eventually, all three of us became hooked on the Percy Jackson series. For the uninitiated, “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” is a New York Times’ best-selling series of fantasy-adventure novels based on Greek mythology. The books follow the story of Percy
through now are for school, but they’ve never had a problem diving into reading assignments. Plus, with all the superhero movies these days, the three of us still have plenty of fantastic stories to bond over. After every Marvel release, we’ll be breaking down scenes together in minute detail.
“With plenty of action, mystery, and twists, the three of us flew through all five novels one bedtime at a time.”
Looking back at all the joy my kids and I got out of reading together and the ways that joy has continued
Jackson, the young son of Poseidon, as he and his friends try to save the world from titanic forces of destruction. With plenty of action, mystery, and twists, the three of us flew through all five novels one bedtime at a time. It got to the point where my kids would actually go to bed earlier so we’d have more time to read! And of course, I was always sure to spice things up with some voice acting! As different characters spoke, I’d play gods, monsters, and middle schoolers — quickening the pace of my sentences as the tension ramped up. It must have been an all-right performance because my boys would be at the edge of their beds in excitement. When I’d reach the end of a chapter and close the book for the night, they’d howl in protest and ask to
to light up our lives, you can’t tell me books aren’t magical. Stories can have a profound impact on a child’s life, even before they learn to read, making access to books and reading programs critically important. As we celebrate the great service libraries and their workers do for our community this month, consider ways to support the great institutions we have right here in Queens. You can visit Foundation.QueensLibrary.Org to learn more about how you can play a part in passing on the joy of reading to the next generation.
Here’s to the storytellers,
–Dr. Robert Morea 718-747-2019 ▪ THEPTDOCTOR.COM ▪ 1
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