tin soldier touchdown

March 13, 2018

Touchdown for the librarian. Fifth grade—the squirrely variety. The large class that I began the year rather afraid of: too much preadolescent moodiness, hormonal angst, and stinky feet packed into one room for my comfort. It’s been a definite learning curve but I realized today, they have won me over. I’ve begun to anticipate each day with them, scheming as to how I will win them over. And today, I know I did.
I began with a recap of our recent lesson on Disney vs. The Real Thing. We are studying original versions of familiar tales and comparing them to the prettified versions that they are familiar with thanks to modern film. Today we moved on from familiar tales to a lesson in the “unknown” of H.C. Andersen’s fairy tales, and I read one of my all-time favorites to them—“The Constant Tin Soldier.” As I came to the climactic ending, I secretly exulted at the looks of dismay on their faces. One of the boys called out, “That’s too much!”
Playing ignorant, I made a face and queried, “What’s the matter? Was it too sad?” A girl piped up, “Yeah!” I question again, this time commenting “But they ended up together at the end . . . it’s not that sad!” She shot right back that “Uh uh! They didn’t even get to ever really talk to each other.” I shrugged, smiling. “Too much, eh? Guess you’d rather just watch a Disney movie . . .”
Silence. And I loved it.