“I brought a book!”

“I brought a book!” he said proudly, small smile beaming.

“That’s great! Do you want to read it now or when we get on the bus?”

“Now…” he responded a little sheepishly.

So my new favorite kid plopped down on the bench next to me, pulled a book out of his backpack and I began to read.

As Arthur the ardvark and his family explored New York City, L got more and more excited. Unable to contain his enthusiasm for the plot, he said, “Just wait till you see what she does!” as he pointed to DW.

*Spoiler alert* DW runs away.

As I wrapped up the book, the bus pulled up and we boarded togther, riding home and chatting about his day.

The following week I ran into him during library class. “I’m getting this book so we can read it.”

Harold and the Purple Crayon Under the Sea, here we come! We’ve also read excerpts from one of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, and the first 8 pages of a book way beyond his level but that he expressly brought from home to read with me entitled, Magic the Gathering: Time Spiral.

L is a third grader at my school, a little old for his grade but as adorable and curious as a third grader could be. He has excellent social skills, able to befriend adults and charm them readily. He loves figuring things out. He rides the MBTA bus home every day by himself, capable of navigating all by himself.

He arrived from Cape Verde about two years ago and hadn’t been to much school so he was placed in first grade. So his English is still developing and it seems like he may have missed a few lessons. We do a math puzzle where he has to calculate what time the bus will arrive based on how long I tell him it will take. “It’s 4:45 and the bus will arrive in 7 minutes. When is it going to get here?” This puzzle is very hard. But he really seems to enjoy it and has started asking so he can figure it out. We often look things up on my phone. Harold of Purple Crayon fame has a dog named Lilac (adults think they’re clever) so we looked up the word on my phone. He told me about his favorite Cape Verdean dish, so we found pictures of the stew on my phone.

He has so many skills and so much curiousity. Will that be sufficient to help him navigate a system stacked against him? He lives really close to my house and it is tempting to stop by during April break just to check in and read a book. But I don’t know his address and am trying to resist the white savior suit that is so easy to slip on.

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