Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May I Tell You Something About Me?

I was inspired a bit by my post yesterday about my Christopher Pike books and falling in love with them, and decided to go back to the very first book that started my journey and love of reading. 

I hated reading when I was a kid.  I remember being forced to read The Secret Garden (still do not like) and some other books, but the only thing I ever enjoyed was Shell Silverstein's poems.  And then, at the beginning of 8th grade, Mrs. Morales, my reading teacher, told us we we're going to do SSR in class on Fridays.  The first two Fridays, I picked out some random books I had no interest in and faked it.  Fell asleep, too, the second time.  Then, the third week, I had picked up a few YA Horror books that looked a little more intriguing, and decided to give one a shot.  I still, to this day, remember what that books was, the book at started it all:


It was so good and creepy.  That was 20 years ago, and I still remember the first rhyme/note sent by the killer by heart:

Dade and Sheree went up the hill, 
With Joey right behind them, 
Now Dade is dead and Sheree's ill, 
And Joey's leg can't find him

If Dade was one and Sheree two,
And Joey number three,
Who will be next? Could it be you?
Why don't we wait and see?


There was a roller coaster that had been tampered with.  Dade died, Sheree's gorgeous face had been disfigured, and Joey's leg went flying one direction and he went to the other.  And somebody had done it on purpose!

W.O.W.

This was a Point Thriller book.  So, from there, I read every Point Thriller book I could get my hands on.  And then, I moved on to Fear Street Books, and read all of those I could get my hands on.  Then, I read Witch by Christopher Pike, and read every book I could get my hands on.  This happened all before Christmas that year, because I remember going on a trip to Michigan (driving from Tucson - eek!) and when we we're preparing to go, my mom took me to the library.  I picked out 20 books (max allowed) and then had my sister, who didn't want any books, check out 20 more for me.  Well, dear old sissy let out to the librarian that they were all for me.  When the librarian looked at them and skeptically asked if I really thought I could read all those in three week's time (and suggested maybe I should put some back), my mom smirked and said "We'll be lucky if these last her the four day driving trip to Michigan."  I had become quite the speed reader.  Just so you know, I didn't finish them on the drive, but I did finish them all by the time my three weeks was up.  

Anyway, at some point, I started BUYING all my books...and buying all the backcopies of books I had read.  I waited to post this until I got to work this morning, because I wanted to show you one of 7 boxes full of books that I've put in my classroom over the years, still full of books I read when I was a kid (but beat the hell up, b/c elementary kids have no idea how to treat a book right, and don't even get me started on the number of books that have gone home and never returned...I was prepared for that when I let my kids read them, though).



 I don't use them this year because I'm not teaching in a regular classroom, but you'll see many of my Point Horror/Thriller books in there, some Fear Streets...but no Christopher Pike and no Funhouse, because those are in my personal library at home.  (Oh, and there's multiple copies of some because I've bought and added to my class library over the years).

Another set of books in here that I wanted to mention was the Nightmare Hall books, also by Diane Hoh (author of Funhouse) because it was a published set of horror books AT A COLLEGE!  See, back then, books like this were published, and they were freaking good!  I was so disappointed when they cancelled this series.  NA books, whoooo!


Anyways, I could go on and on and on and on about books, but I'll stop here, leaving you with this questions: 

Do you remember the first book that made you fall in love with reading?   Please, do share!

20 comments:

  1. Well if I'm going WAY back (because I selected Sword of Shannara yesterday) the only one I can remember is The Mouse and the Motorcycle.

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    1. I remember my sister loved that one. :D

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  2. I'll have to second Alex with "The Mouse and the Motorcycle." I'd also shout out to "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" and "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark."

    I have to agree with you on people not treating books correctly. This same topic came up in conversation on Saturday night. Six adults (six kids playing upstairs) and only myself treats books properly; one woman voted ebooks exclusively, while the other four (two women (including The Wife) and two men) went for the cracked spines, laying books face down, dogeared pages...all of those things make me shudder.

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    1. I tend not to loan out books from my own personal library because I can't stand a book coming back to me in horrible shape. I've even made my sister buy me a new copy of a book because she cracked the spine in several places and I can't stand that! It's been a while since she borrowed one of my books, but she now has learned to treat books as precious as I do. :D

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  3. One of the first books I remember reading on my own was Judy Blume's "Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great." My Aunt bought it for me. Needless to say it was love at first sight :)

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    1. Of course it was, with a name like that!

      I think my mom read that to me... :D

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  4. It was No Greater Love by Danielle Steel. It was my mother's and she told me the characters were on Titanic. So I read it and loved it.
    Though I'm not a big fan of these sugary romances (anymore), I've read many of Danielle Steel's book when young because those were the books my mom had ...

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    1. Ooh, the Titanic...may have to read that one, although I am NOT a fan of Danielle Steel's (as you said) surgary romances. Then again, I'm not a fan of Nora Robert's work, either, who is not so sugary but right up there with Danielle Steel.

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  5. I had hyperlexia at age three, so I can't really remember a time before I was reading and loving to read. The book that inspired my lifelong love of reading was probably one and the same as the first book I read on my own, the adult, uncensored version of Grimms' Fairy Tales. In hindsight, I realize starting to read such an intense book at only three years old had a huge impact on how I viewed the world and the kinds of things I wrote about. Even when I was writing more simplistic stories in elementary school, they weren't all flowers, puppies, and rainbows, since I knew real life is more like a Grimms' fairytale than a Disney fairytale.

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    1. Wow, I imagine the advanced material really could warp your world view. LOL.

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  6. I don't know if I remember the first book--I'd have to think about it for a while since it's been so many years!

    I loved Christopher Pike! Whenever my parents would take my sister and me to the bookstore, his books are the ones I looked for.

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    1. I still have them all and don't plan to get rid of any of them any time soon. :D

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  7. I remember my fourth grade teacher reading Beverly Cleary books and I've been hooked every since.

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    1. I remember Island of the Blue Dolphins from 4th grade, which I enjoyed, but the teacher read it to us and we read along. I remember the Beverly Cleary books being huge and us fighting over them on library check-out day, too. :D

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  8. I loved Christopher Pike--those were my first. Then I included Fear Street. I remember all the Point books too. Loved 'em.

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  9. I was crazy for horses, so the first books I remember reading on my own were Walter Farley's Black Stallion books. Oh, and the Jungle Book. I do wish that reading lists were more diverse for younger kids - my nephew loathed reading until he ran across a series of sports-based books (the author escapes me). But his teacher didn't accept them for book reports.

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    1. I read The Black Stallion with my students last year...it was the first time I read the book all the way through, and I was surprised how good it was! :D

      That's a shame about your nephew. As long as they're not comic books, I'll accept any book for a book report that catches a child's attention in my classes. It seems pointless to negate the student's enjoyment of a book because it's not a topic the teacher deems valid. That's like shaming a kid and making them feel more isolated because a book they like doesn't meet the teacher's standard of literature - way to go, idiot teacher.

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  10. I didn't like reading or writing until the third grade. My parents think it had to do with the fact my vocal vocabulary was light years ahead of my visual vocabulary and it made me frustrated, therefore I hated reading and writing.

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    1. I actually see that quite a bit, here, and there's nothing cooler than seeing a child get excited about reading for the first time because the visual had caught up with the verbal. :D

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