Friday, February 11, 2005


Today has been absolutely lovely. While walking to class this morning, I was filled with a sudden desire to read The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. I've never read it, but I knew that it matched the magical feeling I had.

Call me a geek. I don't care.

After class, I came home and began looking for a copy of the book to buy off the internet, but I wasn't sure I was getting the right edition from, so I thought that maybe-just-maybe that used bookstore on 12th Street might have it. So I lit out in great hope. But they didn't have it. They did, however, have three Newbery Medal winners to add to my quickly-growing collection.

I have Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse, and few days ago, I ordered The Giver by Lois Lowry and Missing May, which I read in junior high, by Cynthia Rylant. Today, I bought Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson, and a hardback copy of Crispin: The Cross of Lead, a rather new Newbery Medal winner, by Avi.

When will I read these? I have no idea. And I'm not really sure what my obsession with children's books is, but I think I'm trying to make up for my nearly bookless childhood. And I think children's literature has such a greatness that we don't usually comprehend as children and that we choose to ignore as adults. Plus, I have to do two book talks on Newbery Medal winning books this semester in Teaching Reading.

[Before you think of me as a deprived person--and maybe I am--let me tell you that my parents raised me well. The tradition of storytelling runs deep in my blood, as well as an insatiable curiosity. These are ingredients for the love that I have for reading and writing. And I did read as a child, just not as much as most of my book-loving peers. I'm a miracle, I suppose. Or more likely, a late-bloomer. But I am lucky. Most people who don't learn to love reading as a child never do. Child and adolescent literacy is so important. Hear the teacher?]

Alas, my search for The Wind in the Willows didn't cease, mind you. I knew that I would be able to find a copy at the Calloway County Library. And I did. There were several different editions, and to my excitement, they had the one with illustrations by Ernest H. Shepard. It has that wonderful Beatrix Potter pastoral feel. So I checked out my first book from that library. Thank you, Dr. Bolin.

Ignoring the cold and clinging to the beauty of the day, I went to the park to read. I settled in a sunny spot for a few pages, but it was just too chilly. So I closed the book (which was hitting this incredibly sappy spot I've been speaking of) and pulled out the camera. I liked to have killed myself--or atleast broken a bone or two--several times climbing and crawling about the creek. Let's just say I got a little muddy. And I'm washing my jeans right now. It was great, great fun. :-)


hollynicole said...

i, too, bought the giver yesterday! i also bought 1984, a wrinkle in time and go ask alice (which is such an easy read, and i'm almost finished with it)

yay for books.

Anonymous said...

My copy of the giver is on its way to the bookstore as we speak! We all just love the memories of that darn book. Did Holly tell you that it's book #2 on our book club list?

PS... a great storyteller, cass? am i the only one who recalls "something happening somewhere with someone one day?" hahah j/k! I love you!