A book from my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Turner. Which I actually still have in my collection, though very much worn, having been well-loved and repeatedly read. It’s The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. It was a “gift” at the end of the school year (which I believe may have been her last before retiring), and she’d written a lovely inspiring note to me inside.
She was an awesome teacher, with an amazing classroom collection of books from which I borrowed nearly daily that school year. She was one of the first teachers I can remember being very intent on nudging me into and encouraging me to explore writing and all its wonders.
Day Ten: Has a book changed your life?
This is an interesting question. I don’t think that I can say any single book has changed my life, but I do not doubt that who I am today has been largely influenced collectively by all the books I have read to date.
A large portion of my youth and into my young adult years was spent voraciously reading from a somewhat wide variety of genres. I tore through series like Flowers in the Attic, Petals in the Wind, and The Chronicles of Narnia; loved everything Stephen King that I was able to get my hands on; enjoyed way too many self-help titles and biographies; and even at some points would literally just read through the dusty old encyclopedias that sat on a shelf in the side room of my childhood home.
In fact, I was that weird kid in middle and high school who never fit in and when I skipped classes (as most kids do at some point or another), it was to hide at the public library down the street. I’d choose just about anything from a shelf and get comfy in one of those large leather club chairs at the end of the stacks, to read the day away until it was time to head back and catch the school bus home.
I’d done that so often, that even the truancy office at school stopped bothering to fetch me. They’d just call the library, confirm I was there, and leave me be.
I wish I had the time and attention span to read like that still. I really should be reading more. I miss it. I need to work on that.