Some children love to read. They peruse the picture book section of the library, excited to discover new stories. Eventually, they graduate to chapter books and young readers, their love affair with the written word growing as they do.
I was not one of those children. Reading came very hard for me and only after many, many years of frustration and determination--both on my part and my mother's.
Now, as a literate and book-addicted adult, I look back on my road to reading and realize just how crucial the summers were. My mother didn't allow us to lull away our summer vacation. She enrolled us every year in our local library's reading program and scheduled trips to the library every week. Thanks to my mother's dedication and a group of caring librarians who helped me find books that would capture the interest of a reluctant reader, I eventually began enjoying what I was reading enough for it to be worth the monumental effort the undertaking required.
So, this time of year I often find myself reflecting on those books I remember most from our annual summer reading fest.
- Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell
- Carlotta, by Scott O'Dell
- pretty much anything by Scott O'Dell
- the "Shoes" series by Noel Streatfield
- The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- The Little House on the Prairie series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- and so many, many others
Which books do you remember from your childhood? Which made an impact? Which have you shared with your own children?
I was fortunate to have a mother who didn't give up on me, who worked hard to help me develop a love of reading. She likely would never have guessed during those years of struggle that her daughter, who could hardly string words together and seldom made it through a book without pushing it aside in frustration, would grow up to be an author.
We as parents, as caregivers, as teachers may not know precisely what we are preparing our children to do, but we can profoundly impact the person they will become.
Sarah M Eden is a mom, a taxi and an author of historical romance novels, which her daughter describes as “Kissy, romantic books where the people lived a long time ago and talked funny.” When not writing, Sarah sometimes sleeps, occasionally cooks dinner for her family and very rarely cleans her house. Visit her at http://www.sarahmeden.com/