Exploring the Affective Side of Reading Life

The Reward of Story: Discovering the Affective Side of the Looking at Life 
By John Schu
(Stenhouse Publishers, 2022 – Find out far more)

Reviewed by Kathleen Palmieri

It has long been my perception that a guide is the reward that retains on giving. You examine it, drop in like with the story, propose it, lend it, and then treasure it as it sits on your bookshelf waiting around for the subsequent visit.

So when I read about John Schu’s The Reward of Tale: Exploring the Affective Facet of the Looking through Lifestyle, I could not hold out to get a copy.

There is absolutely nothing improved than keeping a manufacturer-new guide, the smooth experience of the protect and the scent of freshly printed web pages. As I opened Schu’s book and began to look in excess of the table of contents, it pulled at my heartstrings.

I could listen to myself sharing textbooks with my college students working with many of the exact same phrases I saw in the TOC – these as the chapter title “Book of Your Heart” and some others that described a tale as “healer, Inspiration, clarifier, and connector.”

A book that invitations viewers to linger

Skilled textbooks have a tendency to invite the reader to browse the chapters and not go through in any individual buy, just to discover what is relatable or needed at that time. The Reward of Story is not a person of these textbooks.

Of course, you can surely flip by and discover the great publications that are recommended, or obtain inspiration in reading through #StoryIs contributions from a number of authors and educators. Nonetheless, as before long as I examine the foreword by Katherine Applegate, and the take note from the author, I felt like I was invited into a streaming dialogue that I did not want to conclusion.

Schu describes his guide as “a book of my heart,” imagining his reader as “sitting beside me as we acquire this journey collectively,” inviting his readers to be “enthusiastic literacy champions…waiting to advise that particular e-book that stays with them (learners) for the rest of their lives.” (web page xiv)

What a e-book can do for a reader

I really like the to start with chapter, E-book of Your Coronary heart, and the several thoughts that we can pose about books that may perhaps unleash the electric power of what a reserve can do for a reader. Inquiries these kinds of as “Is there a guide that served you much better fully grasp yourself or a classmate?” or “Is there a e book that calms you and allows you obtain your way back again to pleasure?” (site 2).

The 1 and Only Ivan is a guide that transformed Schu’s existence. He describes the affect this children’s e-book experienced on him as an grownup and the issue he requested himself: “What was it about this specific book that spoke to me?” This led to a realization that Ivan’s tale served him to realize elements of himself.

Inside of this chapter Schu demonstrates by means of experiences how “Stories have the electric power to improve and heal hearts.” (website page 5) This initially chapter not only sets the phase for an incredible journey into the energy of tales, it also generates the drive to maintain turning the web pages.

Getting your definition of story

All over this studying journey Schu aids the reader discover their definition of “story.” He reminds us that story is much more than tale elements these kinds of as characters, location, and plot. He asks that we “expand our ideas of story as we take into consideration other elements that might not be straight away evident – these as joy, contentment, compassion, laughter, link, lifestyle, and identification.” (webpage 6)

He goes on to question us to implement a “flexible definition” of tale to incorporate both equally the academic and affective wants of our college students. The affective features are the significant focus of this guide and what genuinely will resonate with the reader. These aspects include story as clarifier, healer, inspiration, compassion, and connector.

Bringing the heart into reading through

Every single of the affective things of a tale are explored in the chapters that abide by. Titles and ordeals are shared – from how we assistance college students hook up with publications, to strategies we can introduce new titles, to QR codes that assistance us dive further into others’ ideas shared by the “#StoryIs” hashtag.

Schu presents not only lots of titles within every single of the affective factor chapters, but also wonderful QR codes such as “Tips for Coaching Booktalks” (page 40) and “Book Trailers” (website page 41-43) to name a number of. The “Mr. Schu Suggests” web pages are excellent methods not only giving titles but insight into just about every ebook.

The last chapter, “Story as Connector,” can only be explained with one particular phrase – unbelievable. It is genuinely the chapter that “connects” all the some others and presents poignant activities, insights, and ways to provide tales from the heart into the classroom, as a single of the subsections fantastically offers.

For example, both of those “International Dot Day” (page 110) and “Poem in Your Pocket Day” (web page 115) offer QR codes, exhibiting that there are so quite a few means to hook up to a tale in the classroom or inside the community.

In the words of Schu: “Together, let’s share our hearts as a result of tale.” (web page 131).

A gift that retains on providing

John Schu’s The Present of Story: Checking out the Affective Aspect of the Looking at Lifetime is definitely a gift. Subsequent chapter 6 is “The Story Continues” (web site 129), which has been my inspiration for a deep dive into my summer time studying. As I realized this treasure was coming to a near, I definitely required to proceed this dialogue with Schu.

I began this review by sharing how a e book can make you tumble in appreciate with the tale, advocate it, lend it, and then treasure it as it sits on your bookshelf waiting for the following take a look at. I will surely endorse this reserve to my mates and colleagues, but I’ll have to purchase them a duplicate somewhat than lend it.

This e-book is truly the gift that keeps on offering, and I will be reading it more than and around yet again. My bookshelf will have to wait really a even though to have the honor of keeping this reward.



Kathleen Palmieri is a National Board Certified Instructor and NBCT Experienced Understanding facilitator. She is a fifth grade educator in upstate New York who evaluations and writes frequently for MiddleWeb. With a passion for literacy and understanding in the classroom, she participates in numerous creating workshops, curriculum writing endeavors, and math displays. As a lifelong learner, she is an avid reader and researcher of academic practices and strategies. Collaborating with colleagues and globally on Twitter @Kathie042500 and expanding her training adventures at www.kathleenpalmieri.com are ongoing practices.