- At age 23, Fiza Pathan of Mumbai, India feels “totally cool and self-actualized” due to reading the classics since childhood
- reading a classic a week or a month is a habit she’s trying to spread to all parents, teachers and students
- her 90-page Amazon e-book, Classics: Why We Should Encourage Children to Read the Classics, states her case with passion, personality and precision. The 90-pages divide into 17 mostly four-page chapters
- she lists favorite girls’ and boys’ classics as voted on by her students
- language skills and vocabulary, imagination, general knowledge, love for literature, descriptive powers and morals develop from reading them
The content is particularly rich with details of her own and her students’ development. Artistic and scientific temperaments are dealt with engagingly in the chapters entitled My Encounter with Dracula, Frankenstein and Science, and Classical Characters Who Have Influenced My Reality.
Pathan’s insightful tips are gems for the reader to take away:
- choosing the right first classic is very important in the education process
- classics cause children get better grades, speak and write articulately, and grow up to be happy people
- classics are like bound movie scripts for our brain production house
- classics are the safest and most time-tested method to ignite the flame of creativity
- classics are defined as “books of all time rather than books of the hour” and “clean, decent fiction written primarily to tell a story rather than make money”
- classics are tools of information that encourage the student to think practically
- more than anything else, classics give a middle school student some direction in life
- The world is not a humdrum affair of facts but an adventure without limitations
- Children need a bit of good fiction to nourish them in a world that seems out to kill them
- A good writer will manage to help the reader create a good ending for him or herself in real life
Teachers will want to adopt Pathan’s original techniques for enlivening English classes. Parents and grandparents will be empowered to see how they can have an effect. It’s easy to follow her prescription of reading a classic a week or month by downloading classics available free due to the Gutenberg project.
As well as feeling “totally cool and self-actualized”, Pathan also writes, “The growing globalized society of the late 1990‘s has developed to such greatness that though I am 23 I feel completely ancient”. In wisdom, yes, she is ancient. With our support, her book can be a work of rejuvenation, not just for literacy but for humanity also.
Margaret Kell Virany lover of language and literature, note-taker of Northrop Frye, journalist, editor, author