The World of A Book

The other day, Ms. M was so engrossed in her book that she took it along while we were on a walk. We stopped, she read, and when it was time to move on again, she looked up, forlorn and said, “It’s so hard to come back from the world of a book.” I couldn’t agree more! I’m an inveterate daydreamer and often find myself somewhere very far away, if only in my head.

My friend Susan Stewart (professor of Special Education at Western Carolina University) recently introduced me to Google Lit Trips, a great tool that lets you track the world of a book with Google Earth, placing markers on the real-life places featured in the books. Their site has a tutorial on how to use it, and aside from that, all you need is to download the Google Earth software. I haven’t tried it yet, but there’s a range of lit trips on their web site, for readers from preschool up through adult books. This lit trip for  Make Way for Ducklings (Robert McCluskey, Viking, 1965)  shows how it works.

I’d love to see one of Lyra’s Oxford (Phillip Pullman, Knopf, 2007) or the book that inspired me on my own lit trip, A Room With A View (EM Forster, Signet Classics reissue, 2009)


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