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Another Home Run Story: “Meadowlark” by Dawn Wink

Another Home Run Story: “Meadowlark” by Dawn Wink

February 15, 2024

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

If you are a reader of WinkWorld, you know that I love it when someone discovers their own home run reading book. This is what recently happened. In this WinkWorld, I will share three previous examples of home run reading, and I will add a new example.

What is a home run reading book?

A home run reading book is that particular book that opened up the joy of reading to you. It is the book that made you want to read another book. The idea is that none of us are readers until we find our own home run reading book. We parents, teachers, and caregivers just keep sharing books with the hope that someone else will discover their home run reading book. Thank you, Stephen Krashen, Professor Emeritus for sharing this idea with us.

A Personal Example

Some of you are aware that my home run reading book was The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This happened when my own two children, Dawn and Bo, didn’t want to hear me read it one more time. I remember how sad I felt. It was at this moment that I decided to read it just for myself. Eureka!  Up until that time, I read every assignment any teacher and/or prof told me to read, but I was not a reader.*

However, after The Secret Garden, all of that changed. From The Secret Garden, I went straight to a decade of reading all of Hemingway and Michener. Bo, our son, immediately went on to motor bike magazines, and from there he jumped to Stephen King. Dawn, our daughter, went on to read chapter books by the tens and tens.

A Second Example from Deb Harrison, a teacher in WY

I loved it when one of my teacher graduate students discovered her home run reading book was actually a book written by Stephen Krashen, The Power of Reading. I remember how she struggled with me so much as a professor, and I just kept handing her books to read.  After she discovered that book, she was on fire in class. Since that time, she has written and published about her home run reading.


A Third Example: Junk Literacy and Henry

I can never forget little pre-K Henry whose Mom worried that he was only reading junk. Dear little Henry developed his own literacy by reading all of that junk mail that came to them daily. For him, it was compelling.

A New Fourth Example: Emmahleigh and Meadowlark

Emmahleigh is an undergrad student. She was never a reader until she grabbed Dawn Wink’s novel, Meadowlark, about my grandmother.

Missy Urbaniak captures the experience she recently had with Emmahleigh.

Recently, a friend of mine reached out with some questions about Meadowlark. Her name is Sandy, and she had given the book to her daughter, Emmahleigh, a college sophomore at Northern State University in Aberdeen. It turns out Emmahleigh is NOT a reader, and never has been, even though mom is an avid reader and dad (Pat) is a middle-school teacher. But after reading Meadowlark, Emmahleigh texted her mom, telling her she couldn’t put the book down and that it might be the best story she’s ever read. Mom then texted me, as I had gifted her the book, and said, “She has follow-up questions.” The questions included, “How is the author related to the main character?” and, “What area did the story actually take place in?” I shared that Grace is Dawn’s great-grandmother, and that the story took place near Howes, south of Faith, SD. I added that Dawn’s parents, Dean and Joan Wink, live in Grace’s house.

Since reading Meadowlark, Emmahleigh has asked to borrow more books from Sandy, and is seeking out books similar to her home run book, Meadowlark.

Thank you, Missy, and to Annie Hlavka for their help in creating this WinkWorld.

*Fortunately, I am no longer such a compliant reader. Now, I make sure I read all the banned books and any other book I want to read….


  • Sharon

    Great stories—more support for Krashen’s research. 💕

  • Chris Kerfoot

    Believe it or not, Joan, my home run reading book was my first basil pre-primmer called My Little Red Story Book. I was so excited to start first grade, because in first grade you got to learn how to read. Since then, I’ve never stopped.

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