Raising a Reader


“So, I finished Allegiant.”


She lets out a deep sigh. Her voice is already quieter than I’m used to and now she’s not saying anything at all.

I sit and listen as the silence bridges the distance between my school parking lot and her snacking spot at Grandma’s.

“It wasn’t even that Tris died; it was Tobias’s reaction to it.”

Interesting, we’ve talked about how she hates when they call him by this name. “His name is Four,” she says.

We’ve talked about how his voice in the third book doesn’t fit with who the first two books taught as to expect.  “He’s such a sissy,” she says.

Now she’s calling him “Tobias” and telling me how his reaction to the tragic ending of the third in the Divergent Series upset her so much she didn’t even feel like reading anymore after that.

What was it about his reaction?

I’ll find out in a bit.  I’m sure she’ll have more to say as we drive home.  Though if she had her way,  we’d go back to my school.  You see, my copy of Four is tucked away on the shelf in my office there, and she needs it to feel whole again.


I am participating in the 11th annual Slice of Life Story Challenge (#SOLSC18) hosted by Two Writing Teachers.  We write each day in March as part of an international writing community.  I appreciate any comments, especially those thatslice of life challenge

  • reinforce writing decisions that work and
  • coach into those that don’t.

Think of each comment you leave as a little writing conference we are having together. Come on, make me a better writer today! Thank you!


10 Comments Add yours

  1. The sparse dialogue and the pauses (and the heavy sigh) feel so true. I can totally imagine people I’ve known who have read Allegiant reacting in that way. And the shift in the name she uses (Tobias/Four) seems so telling about something important. (I want to hear more about your later conversation so I know what!)


  2. Wow. Your post moved me…your description of the scene and the dialog had me there in the car with you. How awesome that your child not only reads, but responds so intimately to the words. I’l have to check out Four; I have a granddaughter who loves to read!


  3. Elana Waugh says:

    I enjoyed the dialog and am intrigued by the book. And you hook on the Two Writing Teachers blog is what hooked me to read your post. You have a way with words.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ashley says:

    Thanks for taking the time to listen to her. We mourn with our characters. It sounded like she needed someone to grieve with her.


  5. The sharing of the short but deep conversation shows the power of words and the human spirit! I agree with your daughter- very insightful. It was his reaction that was sad.


  6. I haven’t read the Divergent books, but by focusing on your daughter’s feelings and reaction it didn’t detract from your piece. The way you use dialogue in the beginning without any tags emphasizes the reluctance/sparsity of the conversation and sets the tone for the rest of the piece.


    1. Morgan says:

      Thank you for the feedback in the un-“convention” of the punctuation. I hadn’t even noticed. (This is what I’m talking about! You are making me a better writer by noticing decisions that I can now make more intentionally. Thank you!)


  7. Amy Ellerman says:

    I appreciate your patience in this conversation. You give her space to not quite have the why behind her feelings all figured out yet. Your faith in her capabilities as a reader and thinker is clear; you let her do the talking, and it shines a light on the kind of relationship you two have as fellow readers.


  8. Ash Hickey says:

    Writing about reading with my boys was totally on my list of ideas… Thanks for adding to the inspiration for it!

    I can totally hear her voice, through you, in this piece! Makes me miss her and hope that she’ll come visit and talk books next year!

    Liked by 1 person

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