Books MUST Be Read in Order

Since September, Ian's teacher has assigned one chapter of a Ready Freddy book and one page of comprehension questions every evening. Ian had some troubles with the books at first. Idiomatic expressions stumped him. When Freddy was daydreaming in class, the teacher called on him and "brought him back to earth." Ian wanted to know why Freddy was on the moon.

But we worked through the idiomatic expressions and the other language-based problems, and Ian's reading ability improved dramatically. We snuggled on the sofa every evening and took turns reading out loud. Ian loved these books. In fact, he spent hours every evening drawing his own Ready Freddy books.

They typically started with a scene from the real book.


And then the characters morph into robots and have a big fight. 


So, we've gone through Ready Freddy, Books 1-5. But this week, the teacher asked the kids to move onto Book 15, because it's about Thanksgiving. Well, Ian was devastated. Both Steve and I spent hours last night trying to get Ian to read Book 15, but he couldn't do it. In fact, he cried and cried, because the books were out of order. It was time to read Book 6 and not Book 15. How could the teacher do something so horrible as to switch the order? Changing the order of books was AGAINST THE RULES!

He went to bed on Monday night sniffling. The book was unread, and Ian moaned that he was going to get into BIG trouble at school.

Last night, I tried again. And there were more tears. He wanted to me to call up the author, Abby Klein, and explain to her that this TRAVESTY was happening. What is her number? Where is she? How can we convince this stupid teacher that she is breaking the rules?

He drew a picture of himself explaining to Abby Klein that his teacher wanted him to read Books 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 15. Abby Klein is saying, "What the?"


The he drew a picture of Abby Klein sitting at her desk and writing the books in the correct order.


It took three hours to finally get Ian on the sofa for reading time. Once the book was open, and I had him sitting next to me, he finally relaxed and listened to the words. He did it. We read two chapters and did the worksheet.

These are the types of victories that define my life at the moment.


5 thoughts on “Books MUST Be Read in Order

  1. Well, if it makes you feel better, almost all fiction sets youngest right off. She’s able to read at a very advanced level, but she has difficulty accepting that stories aren’t real or won’t become real by reading.
    I’m not looking forward to grade nine English this next term as she’s going to have to read Fahrenheit 451 as well as a host of other material. I’m pretty sure that it will be a long, drawn-out fight to get through the novel (complete with nightmares about future dystopias and book-burning, behaviours that will seem very real and troubling to youngest).
    I’m glad you got him to make the leap to book 15 and I hope the teacher can take away a useful lesson about structure for Ian’s schoolwork!

  2. I totally understand Ian’s issues — books ARE meant to be read in order. I realize that Ready Freddy might not have the plot concerns of some of my novels, but still…. she numbered them for a reason!
    This makes perfect sense to me – so much so, that I’m afraid I would have sided with Ian.

  3. Oh I get that! Our eldest (3.5 years) isn’t reading yet but he has had that “everything must be done according to the correct order and rule” thing since he was eight months old.
    We have been through more battles over changes of plan than probably anything else, yet we have to tell him our plans or things don’t go well.
    Yes, getting him to read out of order was a victory and hopefully will go easier the next time.

  4. Lee, what Ian is showing is inflexible thinking, a trademark of Asperger’s. Laura’s victory here is a good thing as it will encourage Ian to think more flexibly.
    I’ve been stressing over E’s Wampanoag project (he has to make a wetu). He went on about it for days, talking about how awesome the project was and how he needed to get stuff to do it. But when it comes down to doing it, he can’t (because he’s 8) make it the way it looks in his head, so he gets discouraged and frustrated. I’ve already helped him as much as I am willing to, so he’s going to have to figure it out. I need to make sure he gets plenty of sleep and food before the next time he works on it.

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