It’s been a rough fall for my 15 year old. With our move back to Canada, he started Grade 11 in a new school. The marking is different, the cliques are difficult to break into, and he hasn’t really found his “groove” yet.A year or so ago, I started reading the novels that he was studying in literature class so that I could give him a hand in thinking and writing. Lit has always been his weakest class. Last year, he was placed in a gifted lit class in a year above his because of the International Baccalaureate tracking at his former school. By reading the novels with him, he could discuss them with me. It’s a fine balance. I (obviously) don’t write his essays (although I often proof them) but sometimes he doesn’t “get” the book. Or a part of the book. He’s just started his first novel for the year, as the first part of the semester was spent writing. I dropped by my local Half Price Books and picked up another copy of The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, a Canadian classic that I have never read (although I loved the movie with Richard Dreyfuss in the title role.) Last evening, after dinner, we sat together on the sofa in the living room and read, silently, side by side. It’s not easy to spend quiet time with either of my boys, and this was very relaxing and enjoyable. We agreed that we’d try to get an hour’s reading in each night until the novel was done (required by the end of the month).