a gorgeous image

As I was reading once of my favorite sites, I came across this beauty of an idea:

I would love to get a bunch of bright pink or orange string, and go through all the books in our library (or any library or bookstore), and tape string from a reference on one page of a book to another book or reference. Like an index or an Amazon search made tangible. Just think of it! Strings connecting different versions of Common Sense! Strings from Paul Collins’s book to other books on American history, as well as grave-robbing. A big old cat’s cradle of related reading. Hmmm…sigh.

Not only is this a gorgeous image, but it reminds me of the way I recommend books to students--not so much by author, or subject, or picture on the front, but by the myriad of nearly-visible connections that connect one book to another. JRR Tolkien should not lead straight to JK Rowling, no matter how similar their names. Within Tolkien there are Norse gods, and Irish myths, and horrific images of WWI--none of which should be skipped just to make it to Harry Potter--no matter how wonderful that boy-wizard is. I think many teachers forget about, and struggle with, how to recommend the *next* book. I believe in letting the book do it itself. As one of my favorite American authors said, "Oh, the places you'll go!"

arghh! I just discovered a typo in my comment to her! And no way to fix it! That's going to torture my teacher-brain for several days...