Reading has always been very important to me. From the first moment I learned to read, books became my best friends. I remember going to the library in the first grade checking out a book that I would read by myself for the first time ever. I remember struggling through the words with my mom and committing them all to memory. My childhood was full of ups and downs that I didn't really understand, divorce, moves, emotional abuse. But one thing was always my solace, books. Whenever I moved to another new school and found myself without friends...again, I could go to the library and find my favorite author. I read about my favorite character and knew that they would always be there. They were constants in my life. Just a few of my best friends were Anne of Green Gables, she understood being new at school and not quite fitting in. The girls from the Babysitter's Club had such a tight friendship and it wasn't always roses, maybe it made me feel better about not having such tight friends at that age. The Sweet Valley High Twins captivated me from the beginning. I read them at a young age and was facinated by their stories of high school, which I soon found out wasn't how high school worked, even if you did live in California.
My point here is that reading means alot to me. The connections you make as a reader are precious and important. I now know that connection is just as important to the writer. As a writer, I want other children to feel that safety and connection that I felt. I want them to have books to turn to to escape the realities that face them. So when I went to the assembly at my kids' school the other day and watched a presentation in which 65 third graders held their favorite books in their hands, I was brought to tears.
Here is the youtube video that gave our school the idea to do this presentation.
BTW, love this middle school that took the time to promote reading in such a wonderful way!!!