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  Did someone read to you when you were a child?  If so, I’m sure you now realize that is one of the more important gifts one human can give to another.  My mother read to me every night at bedtime.  She had a treasured collection of children’s books that her mother bought for her and more that had seen better days from my Great-grandmother.  This was during the depression so no new ones were purchased.  But we had the Grimms and Aesop, Anderson, R.L. Stevenson and of course Lewis Carroll, just to name a few.  All the fables and fairytales and legends that sends a child’s imagination soaring.  Who could ask for a more fascinating tale than the one about the Taylor who killed seven with one blow?  I won’t say more about that, lest I give away the ending.  And poems that stayed with me forever, "The House that Jack Built" for one, comes to mind, and I can still recite the whole thing.  When I was in the third grade I attended a one room public school.  After saying the Pledge and the Lord’s Prayer, and the Bible reading was over each morning, our teacher would read a few pages from “The Secret Garden” and I still remember my silent plea for just a couple more pages, please, please!

  Books were hard to come by back then.  I read everything I could get my hands on.  When there was nothing else, I read the Bible, read it from cover to cover several times over, during my teen years, which may explain why I am no longer a very religious person, but a whiz at Jeopardy.  In the fifth grade I began to collect Big Little Books.  I know that sounds like an oxymoron to you junior citizens but Big Little Books were the predecessor of comic books.  They were 3 and ½ by 4 and ½ inches, width and height, and 1 and ½” thick, containing from 200 to 300 pages. They displayed a full page of black-and-white cartoon or engraving, followed by a page of text.  A lot of them were biased on comic strips of the thirties but there were also classics mixed in the lot.  My first reading of “A Tale of Two Cities” was a Big Little Book.  Some were related to radio programs like Jack Armstrong and Don Winslow, and, who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?  – Why the Shadow, of course!  I could not afford new ones, they cost a dime, but there was a brisk trade among children and I occasionally had a penny or two so could buy one second hand.  The choice between a Big Little Book and huge bag of candy was a tough one.  By the time I left home for the Army I had over 60 of them.  They were burnt a few years later when my family moved to a new place.  I see on Ebay, some sell now for as much as a thousand dollars.  {Sigh!}
   I think the only present I received for my 10th birthday was a book from an Aunt, “A History of Rome.”  The book was written for adolescents.   I realized after reading it that we had not come very far in 2000 years.  At least my family hadn’t.   The Romans had better baths and privys than we did.  We bathed in a galvanized wash tub once a week.  We had them beat so far as light was concerned though, we had kerosene lamps.  This book got me interested in history and I’ve been a subject buff ever since.
   For my 11th birthday the same Aunt gave me a secondhand copy of “The Sea Wolf” by Jack London.  It was the first book that really grabbed me.  I must have read it 7 or 8 times that year.  The intellectual battle between Wolf Larson and Humphrey Van Weyden convinced me that getting the best education I possibly could was imperative.  I found the romantic thread in the book, silly, but hey, I was 11.  What do you expect?  
   When I was 17 I read Philip Wylie’s “Generation of Vipers” and came to the conclusion that I now knew everything in the world that was worth knowing.  My intellect has been on a steady decline since that point in time.

P.S.  If you have young children, please read to them!  

How I love to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue.
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside--

Originally posted to Readers and Book Lovers on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thoroughly enjoyed this diary! (18+ / 0-)

    Hi, This old man, I really like your emphasis on reading to children.  To answer your question, I don't ever remember my father reading children's stories to me:  he read "The General Theory of Relativity" and "The Special Theory of Relativity" aloud to me so that I could memorize and recite them on request.  When I couldn't sleep he'd read poems from Palgrave's Golden Treasury  or from one of Shakespeare's plays.

    Where he excelled was in telling stories to my sister and me.  They were funny, weird, and completely enchanting.  

    At school in Singapore, our teacher read to us every day during our rest period after lunch.  She used to read from the "William" books, which I liked so much I became addicted to them.  She also read The Silver Chair, one of the Narnia series, which I also really liked.

    This old man, you've brought back long-buried memories with your discussion of the Big Little Books!  I don't remember those, they were probably only available in the USA, but I do remember reading "classic comics" in Singapore.  One was a comic book of The Three Musketeers and another The Tale of Two Cities.

    Thanks again for bringing back such pleasant memories. I'm looking forward to reading to my little granddaughter!

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 05:28:07 AM PDT

  •  Thank you so much! (16+ / 0-)

    So interesting. Kudos to your mother!

    My father gave me his copy from his childhood of Aesop's Fables with the Arthur Rackham illustrations and his Mother Goose. I loved the silly rhymes of the Mother Goose and the illustrations - A diller,  a dollar, a ten o'clock scholar, etc. The Aesop's Fables lessons have stayed with me for life - I always say the entire gamut of human behavior and motivations can be found within Aesop and Shakespeare.

    I got a box of books for Christmas one year when things were very tight and my parents kept apologizing for Santa having a bad year, and I thought - "What are you, kidding? This is the greatest present I ever had!" .  In retrospect, it was sort of a strange assortment and even dated for the time - I suspect my mother must have given me books that she remembered from her own girlhood. There was Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (the Peppers are a family of five children), Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (widow and family living in extreme poverty, very very odd book), An Old Fashioned Girl ( a more obscure Louisa May Alcott),  two companion volumes of A Child's History of the World and A Child's Geography of the World, The Call of the Wild (my father must have snuck that one in) and possibly a few others.

    As to being read books in class - my teachers read to us Charlottes Web, Mr. Poppers Penguins, Caddie Woodlawn, Johnny Tremaine.

    I worry a teensy  bit about children today being started off on Ebooks and never having the tactile pleasure of a musty old handed down book or hiding under the covers with a flashlight and your latest Nancy Drew.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 05:38:06 AM PDT

    •  Sounds like my books! (0+ / 0-)

      I still have my Five Little Peppers and How They Grew and the sequel Five Little Peppers Midway.  I remember having trouble with Phronsie's name ("Prawnsie" and "Fonzie") :)
      Polly was my favorite.  

      I had several LMA books, not just Little Women, Little Men and Jo's Boys.  

      I still have the first 3 books of The Bobbsey Twins and some of the very old Bunny Brown & His Sister Sue series.  

      The best gift I ever got was my own library card when I was 6.  I had the measles and was so miserable.  My dad went to the library and got me a card, and he checked out two books for me - Winnie the Pooh and The Shy Stegasaurus of Cricket Creek.  I loved the Shy Steggy.  When my dad passed away, during the eulogy I gave, I mentioned his first, best gift to me and my son, who likes haunting antique stores, spent the months between dad's funeral and Christmas digging through old books in various places until he actually found a copy.  So 44 years after I first read it, I got to read it again.  

      My 5th grade teacher read to us every day after lunch - A Wrinkle in Time, The Trouble with Jenny's Ear, The Black Stallion...

      When my son was born, the first book I read to him while we were still in the hospital was The Velveteen Rabbit.  Now I give that book to every new baby in the family.  My son has my Black Stallion series, he has all the Beverly Cleary books, Homer Price, all the Dr. Seuss books (of course!), a bunch of classics that Captain Kangaroo used to read to us - Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, Make Way for Ducklings, the Story of Ping...

      We read to our son every night before bedtime - sometimes little books, sometimes chapters out of big books.  He learned to read for himself when he was not quite 4.  

      His library of children's books and young reader's books rivals that of most bookstores - but I've always believed the best gift you can give a child is a book.  

      Thank you for your diary!  It brought back a lot of warm memories and made me smile.  So nice to "meet" another advocate for reading to children!  

      "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

      by Ricochet67 on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 07:04:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great comment, Phoebe! (14+ / 0-)
    I worry a teensy  bit about children today being started off on Ebooks and never having the tactile pleasure of a musty old handed down book
    Rummaging in the old library of my home town, where all the books dated from the 1890's, was one of my greatest childhood pleasures.  And yes, those books did smell a bit musty!  It was part of their charm.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 05:40:21 AM PDT

  •  Wonderful diary, thank you! (11+ / 0-)

    I loved the comment on the Bible as preparation for Jeopardy.  When I was growing up, it was pretty much a diet of the Bible and the newspaper.

  •  A note about our diarist today (10+ / 0-)

    He's in a different time zone so he's not up and about yet.  He'll join us when it's morning in our 50th state!

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 06:09:02 AM PDT

  •  Recommendations (10+ / 0-)

    I've been reading to my son every night since he was 6 months old and he's now 11.

    The most important thing I learned from a book about how to get a child to love books is that English grammar and vocabulary cannot be taught - it must be learned through hearing its correct use and encourage your child to read everything - including comics.   With that a book lover was born!

    I basically set out to read books aloud that had a wonderful use of English, a great story while avoiding the intentionally dumbed-down or abridged books.  (I confess that I refused to read Harry Potter books aloud as I couldn't stand them and suggested he read them on his own but that was my only refusal.)  

    Some of his favorites:

    Treasure Island, Tin Tin comics at 2 yrs
    The Yearling, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner at 3
    Johnny Tremain at 5
    Mark Twain at 6
    all mythology books by Rosemary Sutcliff - a gifted author who writes thrilling books with the most beautiful language

    At the moment, we've been reading a lot of Popular Science articles but I would love book recommendations (just placed a hold on Sea Wolf at my local library).

    Thanks for the diary!

  •  My favorite time of the day is (11+ / 0-)

    when my 9-year-old son and I snuggle up for Story/Bedtime.  We've only missed a handful of nights in all the time he 's been alive.  "Goodnight Moon" to "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" to "Frog and Toad" and now we're reading "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH."  

    My best investment ever, in him and myself.

    Great diary!    

    Metaphors be with you.

    by koosah on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 06:26:56 AM PDT

  •  I used to read to my girls on the bus. (8+ / 0-)

    I got asked a lot where people could get hold of Robert Asprin's MythAdventures books.  Only one person ever complained.

    And when my first was a teenager, I lost count of the number of times she stayed home with her bedroom door open and the radio way down so she could hear what I was reading aloud to her sister.

    We used to read out loud to each other as well, a chapter each in turn till we finished the book.

    Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

    by loggersbrat on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 08:20:30 AM PDT

  •  Wow, this is a fantastic diary!! TY so much :) (4+ / 0-)
  •  My parents read to us all the time. (8+ / 0-)

    I loved looking at the pictures and talking about what was in the pictures and in the story. I read everything I could get my hands on whether it was age appropriate or not. My grandparents would give me 10 Nancy Drew books at a time for Christmas and birthdays. I couldn't wait for the next batch to come. I still have them all and read through them again a few years ago. I remember reading Jane Eyre when I was ten and even though I understood the words I couldn't understand how Jane could love someone who was blind and disfigured - at 41 I get it now. Somewhere I got a children's version of Edgar Allen Poe stories. It scared the hell out of me. I was probably eight at the time.

    Now, I illustrate children's books and I love every minute of it.

    •  10 Nancy Drews at a time! (7+ / 0-)

      My first Nancy Drew was "The Secret in the Old Album" which I think I got as a birthday gift when I was in third grade. My father berated whoever gave it to me for creating an addiction in me and contributing to a hole in the family budget since one Nancy Drew is like one Lay's Potato Chip - no such thing.

      But, fortunately for him, I did discover that my public library had Nancy Drew books, albeit in an older edition with  tweedy blue covers and no dust jackets. I went back and started with the first one, The Secret in the Old Clock, (I think) and tried to read the rest in order although at a particular point the library no longer had the newer titles and I had to subject my parents to the weekly please, please, please oh please for a new one.

      At one point my father pulled me aside and said "Listen! Carolyn Keene is a fat little man who smokes a cigar and lives in Brooklyn!" But, sadly for him, I really didn't care about the secret life of Carolyn Keene and remained steely and adamant about my girl detective fix.

       My favorite little game was to look at the little drawings on the inside of the hard covers to see if I could correctly identify each vignette drawing with the appropriate title - "Oh look - that's The Clue in the Old Locket! There's The Password to Larkspur Lane!, etc.

      All good things must come to an end and one day I knew that as much as I loved her, I had to leave my Titian haired sleuth and her roadster behind. The last one I recall reading was The Phantom of Pine Hill.

      To this day when I see a Nancy Drew at the bookstore with the new, modern hip Nancy on the cover, I pull it out of the shelf to see just how far behind am I in the title list.

      “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

      by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 12:38:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mine were the yellow hardcover ones. (5+ / 0-)

        My grandpa finally hit on something I liked and went with it.

        I still love mysteries! Honestly what I loved most about Nancy Drew was how independent and intelligent she was. It spoke to me.

        •  Oh yes, mine were the yellow hardcovers too (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Diana in NoVa, LSophia

          The blue ones were the first editions I guess. By the time I got to her Nancy had already been around for a few decades.

          Carolyn Keene also wrote The Dana Girls, but for some reason, they just didn't have the same appeal.

          Carolyne Keene I believe was the pen name of some guy or woman who really did churn out Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, The Bobbsey Twins, Tom Swift, and who knows how many other series of books under a variety of pen names. There's a book out about it which I never read but always meant to.

          “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

          by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 12:59:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hark! a Vagrant (0+ / 0-)

          I like Kate Beaton's versions of Nancy Drew mysteries: Hark! a Vagrant.

          Better to hide your tax returns and be thought a crook than to release them and remove all doubt. [Adapted from Abraham Lincoln]

          by Caelian on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 01:40:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Wow beaky, what a wonderful job you have! (0+ / 0-)

      I really envy you.

    •  Loved Nancy Drew & Jane Eyre is frequently re-read (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      This old man, Phoebe Loosinhouse

      The girl down the street had a bunch and I had a bunch.  We traded back and forth - eventually, between the two of us we had the whole set.  

      My favorite was The Secret in the Old Attic (# 21).  

      When I got married, I gave my set to my neighbor - she had younger sisters who were working their way through them... sometimes I wish I'd kept them.  But I had so many books, I had to cut down from 110 cartons to a dozen or so.  I did keep my Black Stallion series (my son has it now).  I kept my first 3 Bobbsey Twins, a few others from that era.  My oldest book is an Uncle Wiggly schoolteacher's edition from 1927 with 4 color plates and "suggestions for teachers" at the end of each chapter for discussion.  

      I love Jane Eyre.  I've re-read it nearly every year (and I'm terrible about picking up every version of the movie to see if somebody gets it right - if I put them all together, I'd probably have the dialogue word for word).  

      Poe was too scary - I only remember reading the Telltale Heart and the Cask of Amontillado in school and was seriously creeped out.  But our teacher gave us the option of reading a few different Newberry medal winners that year and I latched onto A Wrinkle in Time and it's sequels.  Still have them and started reading to my son when he was about 8.  I'll never forget the day he came home from school and was telling me that a Tesseract wasn't just something L'Engle made up - they were talking about it in his math class (I never got past algebra, so I never knew Tesseract was a real concept until then).  

      My favorite line in the movie, You've Got Mail is:  "When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does."  

      So, so true....

      "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

      by Ricochet67 on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 07:46:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I remember the Secret in the Old Attic (0+ / 0-)

        Spiders, silk formula. Some NDs were more memorable than others. I liked the Leaning Chimney, the Ivory Charm, the Black Keys, and the Old Album

        Right in the middle of my Nancy Drew phase I tumbled onto Harriet the Spy which became one of my big favorites. When her classmates discover her notebook with all of her mean observations about them in it, I practically felt physically ill right along with Harriet. The illustrations in that book were absolutely perfect.

        And Jane Eye. Well. What can be said about Jane Eyre except that it's really never been topped in terms of the plot arc and the ending and actually created a template for hundreds and hundreds of novels that followed.

        I'm a huge Austen fan as well and have reread those from cover to cover and basically know them inside and out.

        Once I read every Bronte and every Austen and every Elliot, I turned to the lesser known Victorians like Gaskell and others and that's been fun.

        “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

        by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 03:03:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  All the Oz books, all the Tintin books, ... (4+ / 0-)

    Both of my daughters loved being read to, especially the elder.  I read all the L. Frank Baum Oz books, all the Narnia books, all the Tintin books (most of my copies are in French so I had to do real-time translation), lots of Kipling Just So Stories ("Son, son, son, she said ever so many times, graciously waving her tail, what have you been doing that your shoudn't have done?"), The Jungle Book (older daughter did a hilarious mongoose routine), various E. Nesbit including The Five Children and It, The Story of the Amulet, and The Enchanted Castle, and the wonderful Edward Eager books Half Magic and Knight's Castle.  We also read a lot of old comic strips from the Smithsonian Collection book.

    They both developed into very interesting people.

    My mother read to me when I was a child, though from a different repetoire: Dante's Inferno, Moby Dick, The House of the Seven Gables, Thurber, and some book about people dying of bubonic plague during the middle ages.  I'm sure she meant well.

    Better to hide your tax returns and be thought a crook than to release them and remove all doubt. [Adapted from Abraham Lincoln]

    by Caelian on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 12:21:02 PM PDT

  •  Beautiful Tribute to Literacy at the Hands (6+ / 0-)

    of caring parents.

    Your reading childhood and mine though separated, I'm sure by miles, and maybe years, sounds like the same fortunate and magical life.

    I remember settling into the couch cushions, getting deeply comfortable with a copy of Tenneil's illustrated Alice's Adventures in Wonderland gouged into my tummy -- a gift from my unseen, yet revered godmother who lived in England and who sent me gifts of beautiful books each birthday and every Christmas into my teens.

    I remember even earlier lying on the floor of the nursery school that I went to after kindergarten and first grade were through for the day, where I waited for my parents to pick me up after their workday, reading that same book you so loved, A Secret Garden, and feeling -- no, knwing -- that only I and the girl and boys in the book knew that such a wonderful place existed behind its sheltering wall.

    But even before those times, I remember lying in bed at the end of the day listening to either my mother or father read to me from Curious George or any of my collection of Beatrix Potter books patiently over and over again, and with the same patience, putting up with my corrections if they dared leave out a single precious word.

    Whenever I was sick, which seemed too often, only the sound of my parents' voices reading to me could soothe me to sleep.

    It is the most wonderful gift I ever received in my life:  the love of reading bestowed tenderly on me by two loving parents who let me into the Secret Garden of literacy at an early age.

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 12:59:13 PM PDT

  •  Congratulations, This old man, on your diary's (3+ / 0-)

    promotion to Community Spotlight!  Way to go!

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 01:06:56 PM PDT

  •  Big Little Books (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Diana in NoVa, This old man

    I remember those - my uncle had a bunch that he lent me when I was 7 or 8. But for me it was the Whitman Classics to start. Black Beauty and Beautiful Joe are the first books I can remember reading. Then there was Star Man's Son by Andre Norton. Those three pulps soothed a lot of pain when I was young.

  •  Love reading to my Grandchildren (3+ / 0-)

    I recently read Pollyanna to my 9y/o granddaughter while she was visiting. Lots of great life lessons in that book.  We also read Little Women together.  She reads a chapter to me and then I read one to her.   Soon I would like to read her my own copy from childhood and my favorite book, The Diary of Anne Frank .  I try to find her  books that have strong female characters
    As long as you have a good book you can never be lonely.

  •  One I was surprised by (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    This old man

    Robert Greene's 48 Laws of Power.

    Not because it is an instruction manual. Just the opposite. But because it suddenly made me realize how people who search for power misdirect what they say--or how well-meaning people let them. Or how people can lose that power once someone sees a contradiction or social slip-up.

    I saw certain past conversations in a different light--ones where I couldn't put my finger on what was going on, but people were doing something other than what they said. I could more easily call people on their nastiness--maybe not in public, but I'm able to see and steel myself against a lot of red flags.

    I also liked Martin Amis's Money (it's ok to be profanely pissed off at money) and CS Lewis's The Screwtape Letters (funny and dark look at morality.)

    There are other you-can-write-like-that?! books like Catch-22 or Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as well. Others have made me say "Oh I get it now" or even made me realize that supposedly boring styles are good for me.

    Some authors I needed to read several books from before I realized they'd done a lot for me--that includes Robert Cormier (Chocolate War/Beyond, especially) and Louis Sachar. Sachar in particular--seeing him change gears from Holes to a book about bridge and even a clever one about math word problems (wayside high) gave me an idea of the variety authors can experience and pass on.

    Realizing young-adult books were more grown-up than a lot of adult fiction was sobering.

  •  Who would like to do a diary for the 28 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, This old man

    September edition of this series?  I also have four slots open in October.

    Please kosmail me if you'd like to do a diary about a book that changed your life.  It's so easy!  I have a template that tells you exactly what to put in your three basic paragraphs.  Of course, you can write more if you want to--but three paragraphs are all you really need.

    And then the fun begins when people come in and start reading what you've written.

    Don't delay--get in touch with me today!  :)

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 01:38:55 PM PDT

  •  My mother read us (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Diana in NoVa, This old man

    the Winnie the Pooh stories (and poems) every night before bed.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 02:05:23 PM PDT

  •  On reading and being read to (3+ / 0-)

    Back in the dawn of time, my dad would read Mark Twain's Roughing It to me and my sister.

    Anyone else remember ChexExpress on the back of Wheat Chex and Rice Chex?

    As a 12 year old or so, read Lord of the Rings, Harlan Ellison, Azimov and the like; also Thurber and Robert Benchley.

    When I had kids, I actually read the whole of Lord of the Rings to my son, Ramona (Jackson not Cleary) to my daughter, and of course Harry Potter.  They had the set of Tintin I had as well.  Now I am saving it for my grandchildren.

    For punishment I would threaten to read from one of my economic textbooks.

    A book the changed my life - when I was 12, I picked up a copy of Dalton Trumbo's Johnny Got His Gun - one of the most powerful anti-war novels ever written.

  •  Give a gift of science (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Diana in NoVa

    For 40 years the National Science Teachers Association and the Children's Book Council have teamed up to find the best children's science books each year. You can find the Outstanding Science Trade Books on Facebook and at

    Most folks would be amazed at the high quality of what makes the list--and the "popular books" (Like Ms. Frizzle and Magic School busses) that don't even come close.

    There is no better gift you can give a child than a sense of real science and confirmation of their own curiosity and genius.

  •  I remember finding (4+ / 0-)

    Terry Brooks and Tolkien when I was about 8, certainly changed my life pretty much utterly.

    Funny how something so small as a book can change teh course of your life?

  •  Watership Down (3+ / 0-)

    When I was 12-13.

    •  Loved it, too! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      This old man, coigue

      So many memories being triggered by this diary!  

      Watership Down led to some of my friends getting really silly and writing each other notes in school in Lapine.  

      I had 2 pet rabbits when I was in middle / high school and so did one of my friends.  I read Rabbit Hill when I was younger (still have that, too).  Guess I've always liked rabbits.  

      Had a house rabbit a few years ago, his name was Fiver and he was litter trained.  He and my cat got along great, as long as Fiver used his own box and Shutterbug used hers.  

      "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

      by Ricochet67 on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 07:59:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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