Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ramona Quimby, Nancy Drew, Anne Shirley and Me

A girl I knew in college posted on Facebook today that she was grateful to enjoy reading now that someone had turned her on to Twilight and she realized how much she loves reading. Now, I am not here to judge what people are reading. In fact, I find that SUPER annoying. Who cares if I'm not reading a great work of litrachure (as the English say) as long as I'm reading? I read the Twilight series, I won't lie. I enjoyed it. It kept my attention.

What caught my eye with this post is that she didn't start loving to read until she read Twilight. That only came out a few years ago. So for the majority of her life...... she didn't love reading?

That concept is so foreign to me. My mother loved to read and she read to us. Every day. Every night. We spent our summer vacations at the library going through stacks of books. I can't imagine a childhood where I didn't read.

The first chapter book I ever read was Ramona the Brave. The book cover was maroon with Ramona hiding under the covers, and the pages were worn with my years and years of re-reading it. Oh Ramona Quimby. I loved Ramona. I wanted to be Ramona. Who was in first grade in 1991 who DIDN'T want to be Ramona? I read all of Beverly Cleary's books about Ramona, and the ones about Ellen Tebbits too. She took ballet. I couldn't imagine a life without Ramona.


And what about The Secret Garden? Oh Mary. What a life she lead. My sister Erin and I loved Secret Garden. We spent hours with Mary and Dickon as they tended the garden. We also used to rent the movie from the video store as often as we could. Not too long ago I was in my friend Sarah's backyard and she was showing me some greenery she had been cutting down from her back fence. I said "It looks like the Secret Garden!" And Sarah said "I thought that too!" Sarah, a bosom friend as Anne Shirley would say. And speaking of...


...Could you imagine a life without Anne of Green Gables? No adventures of Anne-with-an-e Shirley? No summers spent in the warm breeze in Avonlea?

The Phantom Tollbooth. Half Magic. The Baby-Sitters Club. Nancy Drew. The Boxcar Children. CAN YOU IMAGINE BEING 9 AND NEVER HAVING SOLVED A MYSTERY WITH HENRY, JESSIE, VIOLET AND BENNY? 



How magical the written word is can't be put into words. Ironic, isn't it? Books are the answer to what makes a childhood magic.

Now I'm desperate to go find a copy of Nancy Drew and the Clue of the Tapping Heels.

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