Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Guest Post: My Favorite Childhood Book

My Favorite Childhood Book

By Dawn Little, www.linkstoliteracy.com

I met my favorite childhood author yesterday. It’
s a memory that will last forever.

I have been writing this post in my head for weeks. Sounded simple enough; write about my favorite childhood book. Problem was, I couldn’t think of just one favorite. Books have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. So many books from my childhood have made an impression on me in one way or another. Could I really choose just one? That’s almost like having to choose just one of my children as a “favorite.” Ok, not quite, but still! So, I began to try to narrow down my list. As I did so, I began to see a pattern. Four Judy Blume books were on the list. Apparently, I liked a particular author.

It just so happened that Judy Blume was going to be at the National Book Festival and I was planning on attending! The day before the festival, I went to my mom’s house and dug through boxes of my childhood books. It was just as I suspected – multiple copies of Judy Blume’s books were in the boxes. Apparently, I liked several of them so much; I had more than one copy! The worn covers showed just how much I loved those books.

The characters in Judy Blume’s books were so realistic. In Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, I saw myself in Peter, and my little brother in Fudge (and boy was he!). I, the responsible older sibling, often got in trouble for my younger sibling’s antics. In Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, I learned about the female rite of passage into womanhood. Through Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, I learned how to love myself for who I was. And Blubber taught me how to be a good friend...even if it meant going against the crowd.

To this day, the lessons I learned from these books stick with me. I’m still the responsible older sibling, I love me for me, and I tend not to follow the crowd. While, I’m sure my parents deserve most of the credit for the adult I have turned out to be, I think that my childhood books can share some of that credit, too. The books I turned to again and again helped shape the adult I am today. I’m sure of it. I can’t wait to share these same books with my children. Being able to turn to books that helped me through my childhood, as I am raising my own kids, somehow seems comforting.

So perhaps I cheated. Instead of writing about my favorite childhood book, I wrote about my favorite childhood author. Her books shaped my life and so I find it fitting that I share several childhood favorites instead of just one.

I met my favorite childhood author yesterday. It’s a memory that will last forever.

Dawn Little is a mother of two, an educator, and the founder of Links to Literacy. It is her hope that every child will grow up to be engaged, lifelong readers. Therefore, she aims to provide services that will engage children and aid parents and educators in providing hands-on literacy learning experiences for their children.


Anonymous said...

I'm reading my fave childhood book to my oldest right now we try to have one book a month that we read aloud!

can't wait to see more of: My Favorite Childhood Book post!

PS your the winner of a set of nature circle cards!

Orange Juice said...

What a neat post. I enjoyed reading that and I think it's amazing you were able to meet her.