It’s hard to get away from the horror of the world this week, and our hearts go out to everyone much more immersed in it than we are.
For those of us in need of a distraction*, what’s more wholesome and good and right in the world than children’s books? Nothing, I tell you. So PW’s PWxyz blog has some for you, namely the books that made their staff big enough readers to become the kind of people who work at PW. Not always children’s books, of course, but a few of those are among my childhood favorites as well. Rachel Deahl’s reminiscence about The Bridge to Terabithia really strikes a chord with me, though I’m not sure I disliked it so much. I knew what was going to happen and was determined not to care. And then I did. Boy, how I did.
For me, I’m not sure I can totally pinpoint a book. Certainly the Laura Ingalls Wilder books were incredibly important to me growing up, as I’ve written about before. If I try to trace it back to the first book I was passionate about, I’d say it would have to be something from the Cam Jansen series. Do you remember Cam? She had a photographic memory (hence her name), and she solved mysteries by puzzling together the clues hidden in her brain. She was brilliant and feisty and dedicated and maybe a bit of a show off.
I like to think she’s still a role model for me today, though my memory isn’t quite photographic and I’ve never had to locate missing monkeys.
So what did it for you? Was it a children’s book or something you encountered later in life? When did you give yourself up to the reading gods and never turn back?
*Did that not work? Try this.
P.S. Do you know about the group read Jim and I are doing? Are you already reading Eleanor & Park? We can’t wait to discuss with you.