Monday – How to Mentor Difficult Books with youth

by Mary Ann on April 10, 2012

Learn to mentor difficult books!

Recently I have been following a conversation on a home school Yahoo group, TJEDMuse. It began with a discussion of The Chosen by Chaim Potok . I wrote to say that I had read the book and hadn’t liked it.  I knew when I read the book that because I lacked good reading strategies and skills I wasn’t getting the full story. At the time I had no one to discuss the book with. That has been well over 20 years ago. I have never stopped thinking about the book on occasion and wishing that I understood more about it.

I found it hard to follow the online discussion because I cannot read every day or every comment even when I am online. There just is not time in my day. So I missed a lot. It left me wishing for an actual conversation about the book.

Later this conversation began to talk about other books with difficult topics and evolved into a discussion on the Hunger Games, a book I had not read (I have no youth in my home and work with children under 12). I did recognize the title because I had begun to see trailer for the movie. I was astonished at the fire storm of comments both pro and con for letting youth read the book.

Through a divine : ) twist of fate I received a call from Olivia Votaw. She is an amazing woman who is an expert on telling our own stories, the value of classics and how to mentor a book. I loved our conversation and in the end expressed my desire to know how to better read a book and how to mentor a difficult book. I asked her to offer a class and I was prepared to pay to take it!

FREE online class – How to Mentor Difficult Books with Youth

Well, dear Olivia is offering a FREE one time class for adults who want to be able to mentor a book (trilogy) like the Hunger Games. (This class will take place on April 12, 2012 from 6:30-8:30 PM MDT. )

Whether you like the hunger games or not, whether you think youth should read it or not, learning how to mentor difficult books at the feet of Olivia – How to Mentor Difficult Books with Youth – is worth your time.

This class is coming up in just a few days and I hope that many of you will take the opportunity to learn from a master teacher/mentor and gain some new skills of your own.

Good Mentoring Matters

I just finished East of Eden. I didn’t like the book at first and knew I was not going to get past chapter three. There were just so many allusions to torrid behavior and so much conflict in the lives of the main charters. I was reading it because my son in law had said it was one of his favorite books (he is 23). So I talked to him about it. He pointed out that it was the best book on choice that he had ever read. So I kept reading. I never adjusted to the nastiness of some of the characters and felt so bugged by the conflicts; however, I was absolutely mesmerized by the truth of his words. It is a powerful statement on choice and that we all have choice and can wield it for good or bad no matter where we come from, what our parents were like or our life circumstances. The illustration of Cain and Able in the book was so striking that I had to copy the whole thing out on my computer because I know that I will use it in many a lesson to come.

So here is a book that of itself I would never have read; but some good mentoring kept me at it and in the end I felt that it was worth reading. This book changed my perspective on choice.

That is the point I am making, that without good mentoring, then books about controversial subjects, violence, conflict etc. may not be good to read. But with some good mentoring they can be life changing, as East of Eden was for me.

Click here to get more information on the upcoming class by Oliva Votaw and to register. This class will take place on April 12, 2012 from 6:30-8:30 PM MDT.  I will be there!

Olivia Votaw

Olivia Saavedra Votaw is a passionate advocate of freedom. Since discovering Thomas Jefferson Education, she has striven to promote a freedom mindset in her home, her work as a mentor and her community. She believes that receiving a leadership education is crucial to understanding and embracing freedom. When she isn’t working on her own education, she can be found reading with her two wonderful children, working in the garden with her husband, or bottling Dove chocolate. Olivia is proud to mentor the students of Leadership Education Academy.

PS I am NOT being paid to promote this class. I just love Olivia, love the topic and want to learn!!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Olivia Votaw April 10, 2012 at 11:02 am

Holy cow, Mary Ann! I think I should pay you after such kind words. I hope you know I think just as highly of you! Big hug, road-trip buddy. Aren’t we do for another one? 🙂


Mary Ann April 10, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Wouldn’t that be great. I had such fun and AZ was beautiful!


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