Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Laura, Anne and Alexander were my childhood friends by Syndi Powell



My heart is aflutter! One of my favorite books of all time, "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day", is being made into a movie that premieres this October!!! Who wants to go with me to see it?

There's something about books that we read as a child. Some stay with us much longer after we've closed the cover on it. The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder was one of those. The Anne Shirley series was another. I fell in love with the plucky heroines and followed them on their life journeys through the pages of a book. They were my friends and confidantes, and how I longed to lead lives like them.

In the movie, "You've Got Mail", Kathleen Kelly (played by Meg Ryan) says, "When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does." She's right about that. Books we read as a child become a part of the fabric of our soul. They have an impact on us that we can't even begin to understand at the time or may ever be able to articulate later.

I admire those who write books for children because they have an awesome privilege as well as a responsibility. They are molding our sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, grandchildren. These writers are presenting our children with characters and worlds to educate, inspire and motivate. They are expanding their imaginations beyond their iPods and cell phones. Thank you to all of you who do.

As for Judith's Viorst's book about Alexander, it reminds me even now as an adult that this is only one bad day. Things will get better. Even if I have to move to Australia.

What books inspired you as a child? What favorite book do you still read?




16 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm so glad to see this. I read Judith Viorst's columns in my mom's magazines for years! I made lots of series friends and am still convinced I would know Trixie Belden if I met her on the street. I think being a reader is just one of the luckiest things in the world to be--right up there with being a writer. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liz, how could I forget Trixie Belden? I was much more of a fan of hers than Nancy Drew :)

      Delete
  2. It's so funny, because I still fall back on that title and sometimes say, boy this is a terrible, horrible, ho good, very bad day.
    And Liz I loved Trixie Belden. And as a kid we had hand-sized fat books called: Big/Little books that were so well read in our house the pages were falling out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roz, books that are falling apart are evidence of books that are well-loved :)

      Delete
  3. I loved Trixie, too! I loved Little Women, Anne of Green Gables and a whole host of Golden Books that I kept for ages. I remember so clearly getting comfortable, beginning to read, and feeling transported. Still happens to me today. Glad to 'hear' you, Syndi!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Muriel, I forgot about "Little Women" too! There were so many wonderful books that I read as a child that I don't think I can remember them all.

      Delete
  4. Syndi, great post! I am so passionate about books I read as a child. I think I feel about them the way kids do nowadays about movies. And they do stick with you in a special way--to this day I'm still traumatized from reading Where the Red Fern Grows. When I was small I carted around Richard Scarry's Best Storybook ever and collected Little Golden Books. When I graduated to chapter books it felt like I won the lottery. I loved E.B. White especially Trumpet of the Swan, and Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach. Oh, and Watership Down by Richard Adams changed my life--I wanted to BE a rabbit (until I was way too old to want to be a rabbit Lol). And I adored all of Beverly Cleary's Ramona books! I could go on and on....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carol, I must admit that while I loved Ramona, I identified more with Beezus. I was the oldest of three girls and had the more practical nature of Beverly Cleary's older sister character. Great choices on your favorites!

      Delete
  5. I was a Junie B fan. Still am. But I do remember reading the boxcar children and from then on I planned contingencies in case I was on my own (is that decrepit house too scary to sleep in? would someone notice a missing tomato from that plant if I needed it?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melinda, too funny about planning for contingencies. I'll admit that I haven't read the Boxcar Children series, but I might have to make a trip to the library soon to remedy that deficiency!

      Delete
  6. I read all the Trixit Beldons too! And Donna Parker, Robin Kane, the Dana Girls. Melinda, I used to be a kindergarten teacher and Stupid Smelly Schoolbus was one of my favorites. I read them to my son, but he likes Horrible Harry better. Carol, I could never finish Watership Down. It scared me. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pamela, which Trixie Belden was your favorite? I think mine was the Arizona mystery where they helped out on a dude ranch during the holidays. Although the first book of the series holds a special place in my heart just because it was the first.

      Delete
  7. Thank you for this post, Syndi! I have loved reading as far back as I can remember. Your post has brought back so many wonderful memories for me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Anna! I'll admit that I was a huge reader as a child. My mom would send me outside to read in the summer so that I'd get some fresh air at least. I'd sit on a swing or under the cherry tree with my book.

      Delete
  8. I'm a day late on this post but had to add that one of my favorite childhood books was Are You There God, it's Me Margaret by Judy Blume. As a young girl it really helped me to understand and accept things about myself and my body. And even though I didn't read Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery until I was an adult, it's absolutely also one of my favorites.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm very late reading this post, Syndi, but I love it! You've brought back memories. I loved all the books you mentioned, as well as the ones mentioned by others in the comments!

    ReplyDelete