Textual Lineage

Pick up the book you’re reading right now. How did you choose this text? We build our reading lists based on our experiences. What did we read in the past that we fell in love with? What books disappointed us and why?

I work with high school students as a reading and writing coach and before we choose books to read, we do an activity called a Textual Lineage. By answering a series of questions about your literary history, you build a road map of what books shaped you into the reader and learner you are today.

Join me as we go back in time to create our own textual lineage.

What was your favorite book as a child? The Hobbit

What’s a book that made you laugh? The Vampire Armand (this book is not meant to be funny, which made it all the more hilarious)

What’s a book that challenged you? Tess of the D’urbervilles

Inkheart-Cornelia-FunkeWhat’s a book you liked but didn’t expect to? The Secret Life of Houdini: the Making of America’s First Superhero (biography)

What’s a book you’ve re-read more than once? Inkheart (I almost forgot how much I love the protagonist, Meggie!)

What’s a book you disliked? The Terrorists of Irustan 

What’s a genre you’ve been meaning to read, but haven’t delved into yet? Horror

What’s your favorite book now? The Doctrine of Labyrinths

Now that we’ve walked through my textual lineage, what’s yours? What connections can you make as you track your reading interests?

We were readers yesterday. We are readers today. We will be readers tomorrow. Knowing what books shaped this path allows us to reflect on ourselves. We are learners just as much as we are readers.