Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


7 Comments

Love! To! Read!

I LOVE to read. The fact that I’m a writer might have tipped you off to that little tidbit. I’ve never met a successful writer who didn’t like to read.

I saw on Facebook that a Broken Arrow teacher was honored on an afternoon talk show (I think they said Ellen) and one of my FBF said she wished she’d had a librarian like her. The woman made her want to read.

Aw, man. Don’t you like reading??? My heart hurt for her. (Yeah, I’m weird.)

But that made me wonder . . . why do I love reading?

Was there a teacher who put the reading itch in me? Not one specific one, but in grade school, we had to read 25 books a year.

In second grade, I remember making 25 verbal book reports to the teach. I loved it!

Anyone remember Flicka, Dicka, Ricka books?

1 book

How about Snip, Snap, Snur?

3 book

Not surprisingly, both series were written by the same woman–Maj Lindman. I only recall one book’s story (2nd grade was a long time ago!) but I remember I liked the boy books better than the girl ones. (Hey, riding a sled is a lot more fun than baking a cake, even today!)

While I read those twenty-five books a year, I realized I could become anyone. And I could go anywhere.

I spent an entire Christmas vacation one year reading a chapter book about a girl who owned a horse and the adventures they had. I don’t remember the title, but I remember that book!

In seventh grade, Mrs. Ault read a book to our class (right after lunch) called Rifles for Waite by Harold Keith. I loved listening to her read. The kids in our class disappeared as the story took over.

This is from Wikipedia:

Jeff marches off to Leavenworth from Linn County, Kansas in 1861, on his way to join the Union volunteers. He’s off to fight for the North; his zeal having been fueled by reaction to the guerilla war of “bushwhackers” that was taking place in eastern Kansas.

However, Stand Watie is on the side of the South. We meet many soldiers and civilians on both sides of the war, including Watie’s raiding parties, itinerant printer Noah Babbitt and, in Tahlequah, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) the beautiful Cherokee girl, Lucy Washbourne.

Jeff’s story is notable as he eventually winds up fighting for both the North and the South (while on a special undercover mission) at different times during the conflict while making new friends on each side.

It is also notable for the detailed depiction of contemporary Cherokee life in Indian Territory, including various tribal political factions. During an undercover mission Jeff finds that Captain Asa Clardy of the Union Cavalry is smuggling new Spencer rifles to the Indian forces of Stand Watie.

Keith portrays how Jeff Bussey, in the midst of huge conflicts, had to choose one side or another at various times and how this was not always as simple as it may seem in historical hindsight.

I loved that book. 🙂 Maybe because they visited places in Oklahoma (hey, Grandma lived at Tahlequah!) and not many books at that time did. Or maybe because it was about a kid not too much older than I was who put his life on the line for what he believed. Cool!

Another book memory–The Pink Dress. I LOVED The Pink Dress.

1 a dress

This 1959 book by Anne Alexander is hard to find today. This one is for sale on Amazon for $850! YIKES!!! I won’t be buying it, but it really was a great read for a seventh grader.

The main character was a little older than me and had a boyfriend. One of the first books I read with tons of tension. Will-she-get-the-blame-even-though-she-didn’t-do-it type stuff kept me glued to that book!

I had to see what was going to happen.

Pink Dress was a little dated by the time I read it. In my mind, the boyfriend was a greaser with a ducktail who wore a leather jacket and rode a motorcycle. Even high school bad boys didn’t dress like that anymore. But I felt a little guilty reading it because I knew my mama would never approve of a boy like that! 🙂

Are you a reader?

What books do you remember from your childhood?

 

Advertisements