This week’s Think Write Thursday topic is to tell you about a book I wish I could read again for the first time.
Well…. really? Where do I begin. Perhaps at the very beginning of my reading life. I would love to go back and experience anew that incredible sensation of the words on the pages making their way into your brain, making sense, and drawing you into the story. For me it happened in first grade – we moved from the City of Holland (and Holland Public Schools) to the “suburbs” (and West Ottawa Public Schools). In Holland, they were using a phonetic reading approach – sounding out the words, which did not work at all for me. I struggled mightily with the process (as curiously did my Heidi as well as many other children around the world).
So, new school and all my class mates are reading and me??? Not so much. Enter Mrs. Hayward – she gathered me up each day and off we went to a little room by the gym and together we would sit and read. I believe the method West Ottawa was using at that time was the “look and say” approach. Where phonic did not work, having someone tell me what a word was did. Soon my reading memory held dozens and dozens and dozens of words. But, I would love to go back in time to feel that excitement that first time reading Fun with Dick and Jane became a story I read that made sense!
Maybe Dick and Jane was not the best book I have ever read even if it was first! Perhaps, the best book would be to go back to Little House in the Big Woods – my first introduction to Pa, Ma, Laura and Mary (and Jack the dog!). The Little House books most certainly hold a special place in my heart. They filled an entire summer reading program’s worth of reading! I devoured them voraciously and read each more than once.
Perhaps, the best book would be Night by Elie Wiesel. I read this in high school and was horrified by man’s inhumanity to man. And, as painful as the reading of this book was – I could not put the book down. Elie’s words made an incredible impact on me and through the reading, I understood that being silent is not always the best thing. Making the right decision is not always the easy one. Powerful lessons for a hopeful teenager…
Perhaps, the book I would like to go back and read for the first time is Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. This was a passage book for me – the first truly adult novel I had ever read. I had graduated from Harlequin Romance novels and moved in the world of meaty reading. It was gritty and descriptive and evocative. It opened my eyes (and mind) to reading that grabbed you and carried you along to the end and left you wanting more!
Or maybe it would be any of the dozens of Dr. Seuss books I read to my children – books they loved so much and were part of our daily lives. Were they my favorite reads? Perhaps not on the millionth time, but the words on the page brought reading alive for my children.
So, you see, I really cannot pick just one book I would like to go back and re-experience – there are far too many to choose from!
But, how about you, Gentle Reader – what book would you go back and read for the first time?
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When I was in first grade, I had a book checked out for most of the year; I absolutely loved it. It was called “Where Did Josie Go” https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000JC0W3Y/ref=olp_product_details?_encoding=UTF8&me= . The cheapest copy I can find now is $60!
I can’t remember what it was about exactly, but I loved the book so much that I named a western doll that I had “Josie”. She was plastic, like a Barbie, and she was turquoise, and had a bandana, a purse and some other accoutrements, all in plastic.
Thanks, Kat, I hadn’t thought about the book or the doll in YEARS! 😀
Gosh, it is hard to choose just one! I think I would go back to 4th grade and re-read The Secret Garden and Meet the Austins…I loved those books so much!
Hooray for Mrs. Hayward and thank you for reminding us of that wonderful aha! time when we started reading. I often wonder why some people become readers and others don’t; John and Justin read only when necessary and it kind of breaks my heart. I wish everyone could experience that feeling of wonder, transportation, and awe. Happy Reading!
I loved those Little House books, too. And The Godfather. So many options to choose from with this topic.
I feel like this is a question along the same lines of “What is your favorite book” — it’s pretty much impossible to pick just one!
One book that does stick out in my memory is “Sarah, Plain and Tall.” It was a favorite I read over and over again, and I recently reread it with my daughter (along with the sequels). I’m not sure what it was about it, but I do know that the writing just made me feel calm.
Another one that sticks out is “The Handmaid’s Tale.” My aunt gave me a copy as a gift, and my mother told me it wasn’t appropriate for my age (I think I was in early high school at the time), so naturally I read it on the sly. And it really flipped my world upside down for a bit — though at the time it seemed like a situation that was such an impossibility. Now, not so much.
I love Dr. Seuss too and the Laura stories!
I also love L.M. Montgomery’s books.
There is a copy of Night sitting in my front living room. A leftover from Dan’s high school years. I can’t quite bring myself to read it yet. One day.
Your Mrs. Hayward was wonderful. I love the Little House books, I wish I had thought of them.
PS–I just saw your button for Unraveled Wednesdays! I hope it’s ok if I join in. Yarn Along was a great way for me to track both reading and knitting progress. (This week I made my own Work in Progress Wednesday, but I am excited to join in with you and create a community like Ginny’s.)
Hoorah for your teacher! She’d be most proud of you and herself. A great topic—stretched our imaginations. And provides lots of great ideas.
It’s great to have fabulous teachers in our life-stories, isn’t it???
So many books . . . I hardly ever re-read any of them (because too many new ones I can’t wait to dig into!). Sometimes I just wish I could sit around and read all day long . . .
Oh to go back and read books for the first time. I remember reading berenstein bear and struggling with the words. I remember my first book Helen Keller’s autobiography as a teen and being changed forever. I remember the smell of the library and the excitement of choosing books when I was 12 years old. The best feeling ever!
Your Mrs. Hayward was a jewel! My book group has been together for 30 years and nearly every book on that very long list would be wonderful to read for the first time. So many of our lives are woven together through the words we read.
This was such a fun topic – I love reading all the stories about favorite books … and adding to my TBR! The Little House books were great for me, too. My mom (re-)read them along with me – sadly, my girls didn’t enjoy them. Gone with the Wind was my first adult read. 7th grade. I might be the only person of our generation who read the book before she saw the movie 🙂