Peg's Reviews > The Book That Made Me: A Collection of 32 Personal Stories

The Book That Made Me by Judith Ridge
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it was ok
bookshelves: informational, memoir, non-fiction, professional-rdg, young-adult, adult

It’s not surprising that many authors were readers as youngsters, but it is interesting to think about what book(s) impacted them significantly. Ridge, an Australian expert on children’s and young adult literature, has collected essays by thirty-two authors, mostly from Australia or New Zealand, about the books that influenced them and/or led them to become authors. Responses are remarkably varied and are heavily weighted toward contemporary classics like Watership Down, Anne of Green Gables, Nineteen Eighty-Four, and The House on Mango Street. Zusak writes “Twelve Reasons why The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton is one of the books that made me me.” Drawings by Shaun Tan provide brief breaks between individual works, showing all sorts of creatures responding to the question, “Why do you read?” Answers range from inspiring to challenging to weird. In addition to his drawings, Tan writes about being “hooked (and a bit unsettled)” by a fairy tale by Orwell and shares a lengthy list of books that have influenced him as a writer and illustrator. Will Kostakis details how his dislike of Paulsen’s Hatchet led him to surreptitiously write a story about a kid from a broken home—and to realize books not enjoyed also help readers know “ourselves, our tastes, and our limits.” As in any anthology, the writing is mixed; and readers will likely find themselves moving on to another essay more than once. That said, it is an interesting collection that will be most enjoyed by teens and adults interested in writing. It also may be useful in creative writing classes. The index lists all books and authors mentioned in the essays. Authors most recognizable to American readers are listed on the cover.
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Reading Progress

July 18, 2017 – Shelved
July 18, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
November 16, 2017 – Started Reading
December 29, 2017 – Shelved as: informational
December 29, 2017 – Shelved as: memoir
December 29, 2017 – Shelved as: non-fiction
December 29, 2017 – Shelved as: professional-rdg
December 29, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
December 29, 2017 – Shelved as: adult
December 29, 2017 – Finished Reading

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