I read a lot growing up. As soon as I was able to read on my own my days and nights were spent with my nose buried in a book. It was no surprise to my family and friends when I pursued a career in publishing because books have always been a huge part of my life. But, growing up, there are five books that stand out that really made me fall in love with reading. These are the books that I still talk about, still reflect on fondly, and still pick up from time to time to recapture the magic I felt the first time I read them.
Here are the books and authors that began my love affair with books!
1) Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
This is the first book that I can remember that made me cry. It’s a powerful thing when an author makes you care that much about the characters, especially at such a young age. I still get a bit emotional thinking about E.B. White’s story, especially after I heard this story about how it took him 17 takes to record Charlotte’s death on the audiobook because he kept breaking down.
A little while ago we asked people on twitter to recall the first time they read Charlotte’s Web. The response was overwhelming. I think everyone can remember how they felt about that little spider, especially in the final pages of the book. It’s a magical story that has touched so many people, and I imagine it’s the book that caused a lot of people to fall in love with reading, myself included.
“Why did you do all this for me?” he asked. “I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’
You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
― E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web
2) The Sky is Falling by Kit Pearson
In the fifth grade I was addicted to Kit Pearson’s Guests of War trilogy. I think I read it 10 times, and recommended it to all my friends. It’s a moving story about two children who are sent to Canada to escape the horrors of WWII in Europe. These books inspired me to learn more about history, and led me to read anything and everything Kit Pearson’s ever written. (Including her latest books, The Whole Truth and And Nothing But the Truth).
3) Matilda by Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl is a gifted writer. I love all of his books. The one book that stands out in my mind is Matilda, the story of a young girl born into an awful family, that finds solace in reading. It’s funny, it’s charming, and it makes you realize that you can always rise above bad circumstances. Plus, I love Quentin Blake’s illustrations.
4) Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
A teacher read this book aloud to us in the third grade. Now, if you’ve read this book (and I hope you all have) you’ll know that the ending is really, really, really sad. I still can’t get the image out of my mind of a classroom of 8 year old kids sobbing, heads down on the desk, shoulders shaking, while my teacher struggled through her own tears to finish the book. That’s a bonding experience right there.
5) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
If you’re female, chance are you’ve read this book, and it’s impacted you in some way. (If you’re male, you may not have, but you should!) I love this story about family, friendship, and finding your way.
Which books made you fall in love with reading?
Let us know on twitter @SavvyReader!