Sunday, September 26, 2021

Tales from the Shelf: Favorite Reads from Dragon Librarians

Librarian Margo Rudder sits with JES kindergarten students

Carroll ISD’s theme for the 2012-13 school year is “Once Upon a Dragon”. It is a fairy tale theme with an emphasis on reading. Throughout the school year, Carroll ISD will provide news stories, events and feature articles from inside and outside the classroom that incorporate this theme.

Today, we interviewed Margo Rudder, librarian at Johnson Elementary School. She is also the Johnson Elementary School campus Teacher of the Year for 2011.

Question: “What is your favorite book?”

Rudder: “As a librarian, asking me what is my favorite book is like asking a mother who her favorite child is.  My feelings towards reading are best summed up by Harper Lee in her novel To Kill A Mockingbird. Scout says, “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” Like Scout, my passion for reading goes beyond love.”

Question: “What makes a particular book special?”

Rudder:  “Books with characters that make me laugh out loud like Down Girl from On The Road or Jon Scieszka’s autobiography, Knucklehead are favorites. Books with characters that make my heart break, like Rue from the Hunger Games or Comfort from Each Little Bird That Sings are favorites.  Books that compel me to turn the page to see what happens next like Surviving Antarctica and The Lightning Thief are favorites. Any time I get emotionally invested in a character, that book becomes a favorite.   Each is special to me for a different reason.”

Question:“What are some of your favorite books from childhood?”

Rudder assists students in the JES library

Rudder: “As a child I loved The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.  I often imagined myself in Narnia, talking to Mr. Tumnus, fighting alongside Lucy, Peter, Edmund, and Susan. I wept when Aslan died on the stone table and rejoiced when he came back to defeat the White Witch. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and Pinocchio were also read repeatedly. I still have a great fondness for marionettes. As an adult, there are many that fit the favorite criteria: Little Women, Wuthering Heights, Pillars of the Earth, The Stand, Game of Thrones, Seabiscuit, and The Book Thief, just to name a few.”

Question: “Is it possible for a librarian to have just one favorite book?”

Rudder: “One favorite book? Not possible.  My dream is that before my students leave JES they will have a similar connection to reading that I did as a child, a connection that lets them access a book through their heart.”