Have you ever had one brilliant living book take over an entire week of study? That happened to us with “You Can Write Chinese” by Kurt Wiese.
We’ve had the unexpected blessing of a living book library opening up in our county. Its such a delight to walk into a library and know that my children can select any book from the shelves and it will be a beautiful living book. I asked our wonderful librarian Mrs. Michelle if she had any special recommendations for our study of China. She pulled Kurt Wiese’s book from the shelf with a gleam in her eye. “This is a new acquisition. No one has checked it out yet. You’ll have to let me know how it goes.”
We took our bin of books home and the next day I asked the boys to each chose one to read that afternoon. My eldest, who wrestles with Dyslexia, chose the Wiese book. The story follows a young American boy who is experiencing his first day of school in China. His teacher relieves the young boy’s anxieties over learning this complex new language by describing the characters of the language in story form.
My son was emotionally overwhelmed by this book. He could understand Chinese. The characters made perfect sense to him. He was so thrilled to at encounter written language with ease. We read the book over and over again. Then, completely unprompted, he sat down and wrote a story…in Chinese.
The background to this story is all the time spent in prayer, begging God for victories in homeschooling for our son. In many ways, his dyslexia is a gift. His mind is incredible. He sees, understands and creates things the rest of us cannot. His mind is otherworldly, but it has to go through the torturous experience of learning how to process things in this world. My heart is often heavy for him. We do our best to encourage and gently challenge him. We have seen steady improvement and had wonderful days that end with celebration and praise. This was one of those days. After weeks of consistent lows, I prayed that God would hug my boy with a victory. He set a 72 year old book in our path to bolster my son’s confidence.
Needless today, this book was never far from his sight that week. He wrote a new story every day and I made sure to set everything aside so I could sit down and listen to his retelling with undivided attention. I smiled. He glowed.
Here are a few of the other books the rest of us enjoyed this week.
You Can Write Chinese by Kurt Weise
The House of Sixty Fathers by Meindert DeJong
Li Lun, Lad of Courage by Carolyn Treffinger
Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
Growing Up in Ancient China by Ken Teague
We’re Riding on a Caravan by Laurie Krebs
Little Pear by Eleanor Francis Latecomer
The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack
The Travels of Marco Polo by Marco Polo
Gladys Aylward by Janet Benge
Hearts and Hands: Chronicles of the Awakening Church by Brandon Withrow
Homesick by Jean Fritz
Wild China –BBC Production