Like many Scholastic employees, I was the kid who always had her nose in a book. I’m lucky that my mom, an elementary school teacher, always encouraged my love of reading, taking me on endless trips to our local library and bookstores.
One of my mom’s favorite stories is the time where she and my dad realized that sending me to my room for a time out wasn’t actually punishing me — I was just sitting down and happily reading! They eventually had to resort to taking away my books if I had misbehaved. Trust me, it was extremely painful.
Literature has been such a large and constant presence in my life that it was so hard to narrow down this list to just five books that have impacted me! But here they are:
I must have read this book a million times in elementary school. The cover of my copy is tattered and dog-eared, and there are an unmentionable number of stains all over it. I LOVED the fact that Gail Carson Levine turned the traditional Cinderella story on its head. And (spoiler alert) when Ella finally breaks her curse and saves the Prince? The perfect ending.
My mom started reading this series aloud to me when I was very young, and it is one of my favorite memories of childhood. I always felt like I WAS Anne Shirley — red-haired, freckled, and full of big words and crazy ideas. (Also, Gilbert Blythe was totally my first book boyfriend. *swoon*) I loved following Anne as she grew up throughout the series, but the first book has always been one of those stories I can return to again and again and find comfort.
I probably wouldn’t be a true millennial if I didn’t include Harry on my list! I was 9 when I read the first book, and every summer after that was defined by counting down the days until the next book released, devouring it as quickly as possible, and then re-reading the series over and over and over again. Harry, Ron, and Hermoine became dear friends whose trials and frustrations and joys were so delightfully alien, and yet so familiar to my life that I loved (and still love!) spending time in Rowling’s magical world.
For the vast majority of my life, I read books as fast as possible with the only goal of finding out what happened next. That changed when I read Maggie Stiefvater’s writing. She has such a beautiful way with words that made me, for the first time, stop to take my time and appreciate her pacing, syntax, and a million other nouns you learn as an English major. I will forever read anything Maggie writes, be it tweets, blog posts, short stories, or novels.
A Snicker of Magic is a middle grade book that came out when I was working on Scholastic’s Trade Marketing team that I wish my eight-year-old self could have read. Felicity Juniper Pickle (best name ever) is a “word collector” who sees word everywhere — floating above strangers’ heads, tangled in her dog’s ears — but she’s never seen the word “home” until she comes to Midnight Gulch. It’s the most beautiful story about home and family and loving words and just a tiny bit of magic. I wish that I had been able to read this as a child, but I am SO happy that I am able to read and share it now as an adult.
What five books would you include in your Bookprint?