Reading has always played a large role in my life, but the first book I recall infiltrating daily life was Where the Red Fern Grows. My mom spent a summer reading the book to my brothers and me. We wept when we learned the fate of Big Dan and Little Anne.
The book, though, took on physical implications when we got a puppy that same summer. She was a mutt comprised of Australian shepherd and collie and looked much like Lassie with the exception of her stubby tail. We brought her home nameless, but our mom already knew what we were going to call her. By the end of the afternoon, we were darting around the yard with our own “Little Anne.”
That was the first book to make an impression. The second and third were The Indian in the Cupboard and Treasure in an Oatmeal Box, the latter of which still has a place on my bookshelf. They were followed by many other books such as one about Mary Slessor, a missionary to Africa; Harriet the Spy; and a slew of Nancy Drew mysteries.
All those books introduced me to worlds I didn’t know but wanted to explore and understand. Books can still do that, and that’s why I continue to read. I want to learn about this world and the people in it. I want to find the books that cause me to pause and look at the world anew.
How about you? What was the first book to make an impact upon you?