What Book Made the Biggest Impact on your Life?

I have always been a good reader.  I loved school, enjoyed going to the library and would rather draw or write than play outside most of the time.  I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up from the first time I helped a little boy sitting next to me in first grade.  But my passion for reading didn't develop until the fifth grade.

In fifth grade I learned about the presidents, was a school patrol and I fell in love with reading. Everyday after lunch we put our metal lunchboxes away and settled in our desks to hear our teacher read aloud from a chapter book.  The one that I remember the best is:  Where the Red Fern Grows  by: Wilson Rawls 

I was a ten year old kid living in the suburbs. Having no schema for this story's setting caused me to really use my imagination.  I was transported to the Ozarks of Oklahoma, with a little boy saving his money penny by penny to have enough to buy two coonhound pups for companionship and to help him "treeing" raccoons.  And even though I had nothing in common with the character in this story, I felt like I was there with him in his tragedies and triumphs.  I hung on every word as my teacher read this story aloud.  I dreaded the moment she would close the pages for the day.  Tears leaked from my eyes as the story ended and I furiously wiped my face before my classmates would notice.  I hated the story to end.

This book impacted my life the most because from that day on I always had a book ready to read.  I tried to read all the Newbery award winning books, the entire Little House on the Prairie series and any books written by Judy Blume.  I chose the specialty of reading/language arts as a teacher and enjoyed transporting my students to that place that my teacher had taken me, surrounded by the magical words of a story.  I have grown up to be an avid reader myself.  I surround my own kids with books and even though my 14 year old thinks she has outgrown read alouds, I hear her slip into the room while I'm reading to my 7 year olds. 

Other bloggers sharing their posts from the fall blog challenge can be found here :)


Melanie, I had a metal lunch box also, loved "Where the Red Fern Grows" and didn't have the schema for the story either! I can't remember if I shed a tear at the end or not, but I do recall the ending being extremely moving and very sad.

Maybe I should visit the library and check it out. It's been decades since I've read it and would love to be transported back to that special place again. I'm a softy when it comes to a well-written story...

I am so glad you are an avid reader because there is nothing that I like better than for you to come to me and say, "I just read this and you're going to love it!" As a result, I rarely read anything that I don't really like! Keep reading, dear friend! What you read earns great dividends in my reading life!

Z said...

I remember reading this as required reading in my 6th grade English class. At first, I thought, great a hunting book. I hate the book already. I'm a mexican-american girl raised in south Texas by a semi-catholic mexcian family with only some family members that have held a gun and it was not to go hunting but rather because they were part of a gang or getting initiated into a gang. I thought, I cannot relate to this stupid book.

I read the book and finished it through without a problem. Fast forward to today and I STILL remember the book and how it made me feel. It was...is...a great book!