07 January 2011
Book Blogger Hop: What Book Influenced You?
My computer died at the end of the old year and I've been visiting family in the frozen hinterlands of middle America since January 1, so I'm happy just to be getting my first blog post of the new year in by the end of the first week. This week's hop question, sponsored at Crazy-for-Books, is what book influenced or changed your life and how did it do so?
Madeleine L'Engle's wonderful Newbery award winning book, A Wrinkle in Time. It was published in 1962 and very revolutionary for the time. My sister Cathi gave it to me for my 6th Christmas in 1978 and it was pretty revolutionary then, too.
I've been almost a life-long reader. My mother taught me to read when I was two and I was reading chapter books on the middle grade level by the time I was four, devouring most of C. S. Lewis's Narnia books before I started first grade. The problem, as with so many precocious readers, was finding material that challenged me without being ridiculously age inappropriate.
The day I sat down with my sister's gift, I was mesmerized. Oh, I'd read much of the day's usual suspects: Beverly Cleary, E. B. White, C. S. Lewis. My mom took pains to introduce me to two real Wisconsin (my home state at the time) heroines: Caddie Woodlawn and Laura Ingalls. (Not Judy Blume, though. My family's natural midwestern conservatism deemed her too racy for me. And though Nancy Drew was encouraged, I loathed her. Simply loathed her.) But when I first made friends with Meg Murray and her little brother Charles Wallace, I learned for the first time that smart, awkward, and quirky girls (i.e. girls a little bit like me) could be heroes, too, and that you don't always have to know all of the answers to life's questions. Two pretty good lessons to learn at the tender age of six, if you ask me.
Alas! If only the precociousness of my youth carried over into my adulthood.
What about you? What book has influenced or changed your life?