Museum of Me | May 2022
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ―
Greetings, Gentle Readers!
This month is all about reading…specifically Your favorite book as a child/kid/teenager…
Let me get my docent hat on and begin to tell you all about The Reading Life of Kat!
This week there was great debate over what book was my actual favorite… there are oodles. Truly. Oodles. Do I talk about Laura Ingalls Wilders Little House Books? Or maybe Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series? Those were absolutely beloved books of my youth. Deeply beloved. Or maybe I should talk about E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, or Stuart Little, or The Trumpet of the Swan… yep, deeply loved one and all. Or perhaps John Peterson’s The Little’s series… gosh, I loved them as well!
And so the Favorite Book Debate began… and while I loved every book mentioned above, none of those are what I am going to talk to you about today.
This exhibit has one book with some absolutely magnificent characters. It is a story of survival, over-coming loneliness, and so much more.
Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins was a “turning point” book for me as I was growing up and it is a book that has stayed with me all these years later.
I am pretty sure that I had no idea what a Caldecott Medal winning book meant back then, but yes… it is absolutely an award winner. It was published the year I was born in 1960… which I don’t think I realized either when I first read it.
I clearly remember getting this book from the library for a Summer Reading Contest. It was a time when I was living at my grandparents house and I can remember laying in bed reading it late into the night (at least for a 10 year old girl!) Karana was a true heroine… a survivor… smart and capable. And who can forget Rontu, Tainor, Lurai, Mon-a-nee, and Rontu-aru! Karana overcame adversity, made friends with her enemy, and survived for eighteen years…alone…which to 10-year-old-me seemed like an eternity!
I remember having long conversations with my grandparents, describing to them life for Karana on her island. My grandpa was decidedly more interested than my nana was and he and I imagined how we might survive if we were stranded somewhere! But my grandpa’s favorite part was her befriending birds… such a smart choice!
I spent lots of time “being Karana” as a child… I desperately wanted to get a dog I could name Rontu. (I eventually got a dog, who got named Mitzi) And there were plenty of times as a child when I imagined being “left” permanently at my grandparents house (which did finally happen but not until I was a sophomore in high school).
Beyond my 10 year old self, this is a book I have read again too many times to count… and in each reading, it loses nothing, but rather, with each time I have read it I have gained new insights… it is absolutely a book that is a patient teacher!
If you have not read Island of the Blue Dolphins, today I would encourage you to do so! And if you’d like to take home a copy of the book, you will find one in the Museum’s Gift Shop! (Haha, yes that is my Amazon link)
Thank you so much for stopping by today and visiting this Museum of Me exhibit! A big thanks to Kym for all her work on this (and for the gorgeous new image!)
I wish you a great weekend from a house that at long last has a sofa! See you all back here on Monday!