Usually I am a stickler for reading the book before watching the movie or attending a theater production. However, a couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to see Wicked in Chicago before I read the book. The production was AMAZING! Enamored with the storyline, I became engrossed in the start of the Wicked trilogy. Flying through Wicked, I was engaged and mesmerized by the setting, characters, and perspective of good versus evil. I knew when I picked up Son of a Witch, the read would be just as delightful.
It was February of 2011 when I began Son of a Witch. I tell you this because I finished this book in late December of 2011. Not because the storyline was bad or boring or disinteresting, but because I was furious with the main character, Liir. I was so angry with his actions I couldn’t even think to read more until this anger subsided. Obviously, it took a while.
As I reflected on why I was so angry at Liir, I realized Gregory Maguire drew me into the story of hardship, triumph, life, and death. I felt as if I knew this character from the time he was born into his adult life. I became invested in who he was to become.
As I relayed this story to a friend of mine, Janeen asked me, “You weren’t upset with the author? You were angry at the character? Interesting.” I was taken by surprise by her comment because I never blamed the author. It was always the character. I was intrigued and engaged by Liir. Janeen’s question brought me to some other thoughts. How do our students engage in reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies? How do we engage our children in our classroom in this ever changing world? How do we continue to build a foundation of learning with enthusiasm for greater understanding of the world around them? How do we intrigue student learning? How can we empower our students to be pioneers of learning through responsibility, expectation, and desire? How do we help students engage intrinsically like I did reading the Wicked trilogy?