Tuesday, November 1, 2011


All this week I'm going to be discussing the books I'm most grateful for. Doing a post like this one is all you have to do to qualify for the 19-YA-Book Giveaway I launched yesterday. Just tell people about a book you're thankful for, include a link to the contest and the graphic right there to the right, and you're qualified.

Chronicles of Narnia
by CS Lewis

If I had to pinpoint one book that changed my life, it would be this one.

I remember when I first discovered The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It was at my local library. The children's section was in the basement of the library, and under the stairs that lead into the section was "my spot," an area were I would pile up books and pour myself into them until my mother dragged me away. 

I had read every single Babysitter's Club and Sweet Valley in the library, and was getting a little sick of it. (Or maybe I was just sick of Jessica. She was never as cool as Elizabeth.) Frankly, at the time there was little else beyond picture books down there. 

Then I found The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

It was, in a word, magical. I went through the wardrobe with Lucy, and I never came back out. 

I've re-read the entire series countless times since, but that first time I read it was the best. That was when I realized that books could be more than the words on the page. To an adult reader, the allegorical subtext of the novels is pretty obvious, but to me, a kid with no experience in that sort of thing, piecing together the meaning behind the story was like putting together a puzzle, uncovering each detail as if it were a carefully hidden clue in a mystery I was living with the characters.

I love Narnia not just for the story (and Reepicheep! and Mr. Tumnus! and Puddleglum!) but also for that moment of discovery. I loved it so much that, from a very early age, I dedicated myself to books. I went on to major in English, get a master's degree in literature, become a teacher of English for six years, and all the while weave together stories that always had a hint of snow or Turkish delight in them.

If you haven't yet, be sure to tell me about what story you're most grateful for and sign up for the giveaway! And, after today, I think you can figure out why I decided to include a box of Turkish delight with the prizes... :D

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