Connecting Readers and Writers to the Word: The Word Collector

For Readers: Do you collect words?

As a child, words fascinated me, as I imagine they do for most young people. Mostly, I collected unfamiliar words. I’d look them up in the dictionary and would practice using them in sentences. I thought all kids my age did the same thing. As an adult and as a teacher-librarian, I am quite aware that there are many children, whereby words are meaningless to them. They run from words as if they were sprinting in a sports event.

My goal this coming school year is to promote and celebrate words. My inspiration came from a gem of a book titled, The Word Collector published in 2018 by Peter H. Reynolds. This motivating story speaks to the transformation and vigor of words.

The story line begins,

            “Some people collect stamps.

            Some people collect coins.

            Some people collect rocks.

            Some people collect art . . .

            And Jerome? What did he collect?

            Jerome collected words.”

I love this book and I hope my students will too. The age range is from 4-8 years; however, I hope to garner interest with my fourth and fifth graders, as well.

In addition, I located an excellent article on the site,, titled, “Taking Delight in Words: Using Oral Language to Build Young Children’s Vocabulary” written by Isabel Beck, Margaret McKeown, and Linda Kucan.

For Writers: Peter H. Reynolds states on his Amazon author page that most of his work is   “designed to inspire all of us to navigate our true potential – to be brave, original, inspirational, inspired, and active.” 

I would venture out to say, it’s the same for all of us authors and writers. We all write to inspire our reading fans. Otherwise, why write? Therefore, find encouragement in revamping your writing skills with new and interesting words by collecting them, as I have commenced to do.

I also collected a word from a movie title that I am eager to use in one of my adult faith based themes. I know you’re thinking, “that was time taken away from my writing.” Think about it though, had I not looked at the movie, I would be clueless to the existence of the “word” (sorry, I can’t reveal the word). Find and collect your own word(s)!

Thanks for stopping by and I invite you to join me again as I continue to explore literacy topics for readers and writers. Please share my blog with others and feel free to subscribe to this publication, so that you don’t miss an issue. 

Vanessa Fortenberry, Teacher-Librarian M.Ed., Media Ed.S., Media Reading Endorsement