While other kids were kicking a soccer ball around or trying to swing over the top of the swing set during recess, I was hiding out in my elementary school library reading any book I could get my hands on. It’s safe to say that this was the moment I became a bookworm and ever since then have loved connecting with different characters through their stories. My bookprint has taken me through the Great Depression, life as an orphan, and enchanting places from Amsterdam to Hogwarts.
The Boxcar Children Series by Gertrude Chandler Warner
I learned what books were the best ones to pick up through my friends and local librarians. It was through one of my earliest friends that I received my first book recommendation, The Boxcar Children. These books resonated with me as a young reader in a multitude of ways—initially as a book that someone my age had read and enjoyed. This was the first time I met someone who had similar book interests to my own. And secondly, these books were about children my age but in a completely different lifestyle or setting. It was the first time I realized that not everyone lives a life similar to my own.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
The Harry Potter series may seem like a given, but this was the first time I remember reading a “big chapter book.” Life before consisted of small paperback books light as a feather. These books were introduced to me when life started to get a bit tricky in grade school—do I follow the kids who make fun of others or do I stand up to someone when they are wrong? Seeing Harry standing up for Ron was insightful for me, and a lesson to be held onto for a lifetime.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
As I continued going through each grade in school, I began to dislike the required reading more and more. It wasn’t until my sophomore year English teacher told me to give Of Mice and Men a shot. This book helped me realize that a story can still relate to something you feel or think today, even if it happened during a different time period.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This book fell into my lap at exactly the time I needed it. After my junior year of college I was dealing with a tough breakup where yes, my breakup happened when I was abroad in Amsterdam. I shortly after, got into an awful car accident that make me terrified to get inside any type of moving vehicle. I stayed up the entire night to read TFIOS. This book brought me courage to believe in love again, to overcome my fear of driving, and to believe in the power of friendship.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Growing up as a young woman, I am faced with daily interactions of girls posting about their body images or their annoyances on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and their personal blogs. Although it can be easy to get warped into this, reading this book as an adult made me realize that most of my problems are minor and there are other people dealing with much bigger issues, and handling these issues much more gracefully. This book taught me the lesson of stepping back and examining my thoughts before blasting them out to the world.
How do you connect your stories with your favorite books?