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message 1: by Jan (new)

Jan Rice | 1761 comments Mod
This topic was suggested in the Introductions thread some months ago by Sherry and Nancy from NJ.

What books influenced you as a child or a youth?
What kind of a reader were you as a child?

I read my first "big" book at seven -- Heidi. My mother read to me, but by then I had two younger siblings, and apparently she couldn't keep up with my interest. So I picked it up myself. After that there was no stopping me.


message 2: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan | 186 comments Great topic Nancy, Sherry and Jan,

I had early learning problems when I started school and I really hated going. My Mother would let me buy a Classic Illustrated each week, if I did not miss a day of school. From there I connected with Robert Louis Stevenson and after reading the C.I version I would read the actual book ( Kidnapped, Dr. Jekyll , Treasure Island), which also introduced me to the library.


message 3: by Stacey B (last edited Aug 07, 2020 09:17AM) (new)

Stacey B | 1093 comments Mod
I SHOCKED MY MOTHER
My mother just gave me a box filled with many of the books she used to read to me as a child.
Madeline was one of my most favorites, which happened to be lying on the top.
Looking at it so many years later, I cant believe what happened.
As my mother was asking where we should store the box, I said-"Mom, watch this"....
and I preceded to recite the whole book to her by memory.
She was quite impressed, as was I.
And in that one very special moment, my mother said.......
"Stacey, why couldn't you have done this with your books in school??"


message 4: by Jan (new)

Jan Rice | 1761 comments Mod
Jonathan wrote: "Great topic Nancy, Sherry and Jan,

I had early learning problems when I started school and I really hated going. My Mother would let me buy a Classic Illustrated each week, if I did not miss a day..."


Did being introduced to the library give you a handle on your learning issues, Jonathan? Funny, coming home from a dr's appointment today I was listening to a presentation on reading issues on NPR, on how it's a combo of problems sounding out words and language understanding!


message 5: by Jan (new)

Jan Rice | 1761 comments Mod
Stacey wrote: "I SHOCKED MY MOTHER
My mother just gave me a box filled with many of the books she used to read to me as a child.
Madeline was one of my most favorites, which happened to be lying on the top.
Looki..."


Ha ha, Stacey. That's a great story.

I bet we all have more of these stories. After all we're in an online reading group!


message 6: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan | 186 comments I think they had to do more with maturity and processing issues. I repeated first grade and skipped 8th grade. Education was different back then. It was the last year the teacher was retiring and she held back six students that year.


message 7: by Jan (new)

Jan Rice | 1761 comments Mod
Jonathan wrote: "I think they had to do more with maturity and processing issues. I repeated first grade and skipped 8th grade. Education was different back then. It was the last year the teacher was retiring and s.he held back six students that year."

That last part: so different from now!!!


message 8: by Zahara (new)

Zahara Schara I know I am really late to the party but does Stuart Little count??
I loved that his size did nothing to dampen his sense of adventure, and its basically how I know describe myself. :)


message 9: by Stacey B (new)

Stacey B | 1093 comments Mod
Zahara wrote: "I know I am really late to the party but does Stuart Little count??
I loved that his size did nothing to dampen his sense of adventure, and its basically how I know describe myself. :)"


Haha- of course it counts. Great book.
Do you remember we connected before your book came out?
Wish I could the messages :(
What's your second book on this subject?
Mine was "Madeline". ( see above story)
A little scary for a little girl, but it was the first book I memorized at that age.


message 10: by Alan (new)

Alan Zwiren | 17 comments The book that influenced me most in life, which I read as a young adult, was "Return" by Herman Branover. It is a remarkable story about a Soviet Scientist who came from a secular society who came to learn about faith and Judaism.

The other book that impacted me the most as a child was almost cliche, "The Chosen" by Chaim Potok. A true classic for the ages.


message 11: by Stacey B (new)

Stacey B | 1093 comments Mod
I didnt read the first one, and The Chosen, yes a true classic.


message 12: by Richard (new)

Richard | 12 comments The first books which made a big impression were Peter Pan and Black Beauty.

I read a lot of fantasy when I was young (The Narnia Chronicles, The Lord of the Rings, The Once and Future King, etc) and a bit more science fiction (e.g. John Wyndham) when I got older. But I also read classics, e.g. Charles Dickens and Jane Austen.

My mother volunteered in a school library and would read new acquisitions to see if they were suitable for students. That's how she got to know the books of Chaim Potok. The first time I picked up The Chosen it did not grab me, but a few years later, I tried it again and that second try worked.


message 13: by Stacey B (new)

Stacey B | 1093 comments Mod
Richard wrote: "The first books which made a big impression were Peter Pan and Black Beauty.

I read a lot of fantasy when I was young (The Narnia Chronicles, The Lord of the Rings, The Once and Future King, etc)..."


Richard,
The first two books you mention - Peter Pan and Black Beauty are wonderful books. I do understand the influences pass to children. children. I cried each time I read Black Beauty and believe it was that book which gave me a love and respect for animals as well as an advocate.
But Peter Pan- omg.. My grandmother bought me the green hardback illustrated book, reading it to me so many times until I could read it myself.
How dare she tell me I would never be able to fly, no matter how much wishing I did. That was a spoiler. :) until I read it to my kids, repeating the tagline of : 'Do not try this at home".
- Me, I would have gone to a friend's house to do it..


message 14: by Richard (new)

Richard | 12 comments Stacey B wrote: "Richard wrote: "The first books which made a big impression were Peter Pan and Black Beauty.

I read a lot of fantasy when I was young (The Narnia Chronicles, The Lord of the Rings, The Once and F..."


I read a lot of books about animals when I was young. And it's Interesting how you can instantly recall the physical description of a book. I read lots of books electronically now but there's something great about holding the print copy, feeling the paper, pausing over the illustrations.

Those are funny stories about how you carried on your grandma's traditions of cautioning your audience. My mother did most of the reading to me, as my grandma didn't speak or read English too well. But I was still read to a lot, and I think it played a role in my becoming a big reader as well as a writer.


message 15: by Stacey B (new)

Stacey B | 1093 comments Mod
Richard wrote: "Stacey B wrote: "Richard wrote: "The first books which made a big impression were Peter Pan and Black Beauty.

I read a lot of fantasy when I was young (The Narnia Chronicles, The Lord of the Ring..."


Richard,
My mother also read to me, but my grandmother made it more fun.
I will never forget my parents telling me they wont buy every toy I wanted, but they would never say no to any book I wanted.
I too attribute that to my love of books- so how come I'm
not a writer :)
In regard to holding a book, turning sometimes extremely thin pages, was a feeling of comfort. When kindle and sony came out, everyone loved them except me. I fought them for years until the day came I couldn't close or lift my suitcase.


message 16: by Richard (last edited Nov 11, 2021 06:16PM) (new)

Richard | 12 comments Stacey B wrote: so how come I'm not a writer? :)"

I always wanted to be a writer but I thought it would never happen. At a party I met by chance the woman who became my editor. She suggested I contribute a story to an anthology she was putting together. I did, but the anthology wasn't published immediately. A few years later it was, so when I was 40-mumble, I finally got something published.

You read a lot, you told me. You write book reviews, don't you? Maybe you have a blog somewhere? Or some little poem or story that was never published? This is your apprenticeship. It's never too late to start. :)


message 17: by Jan (new)

Jan Rice | 1761 comments Mod
Alan wrote: "The book that influenced me most in life, which I read as a young adult, was "Return" by Herman Branover. It is a remarkable story about a Soviet Scientist who came from a secular society who came ..."

The Chosen impacted me too -- but not that long ago. I can't claim it as an early influence. I think that's why his book The Gates of November won our last poll, although a lot of us hadn't heard of that one.


message 18: by Jan (new)

Jan Rice | 1761 comments Mod
This comment is about a book series that did NOT influence me as a child, because I had never heard of it: All-of-a-Kind Family series of five books by Sydney Taylor, three from the 1950s. I have just read about these books because there's a new biography of the author that got reviewed in Jewish Review of Books. I read all of the standard American girl books. Had my mother never heard of these because we lived in the South? Or if she had heard of them did she think they weren't "American" enough? I am going to ask my sister if she ever heard of them, but I doubt it!

The last two of the series came out in the '70s.
I'm wondering if other members read these.


message 19: by Brina (new)

Brina | 108 comments Jan you saw my review. All of a Kind Family was my first chapter book. It was also my mom’s. She grew up with these books and passed them on to me. I have the set. So excited for the author biography but working full time I’ll read it over the summer.


message 20: by Stacey B (new)

Stacey B | 1093 comments Mod
Jan wrote: "This comment is about a book series that did NOT influence me as a child, because I had never heard of it: All-of-a-Kind Family series of five books by Sydney Taylor, thre..."

Hence- the "Sydney Taylor Award". :)
I read them- then did a google research on her.


message 21: by Jan (new)

Jan Rice | 1761 comments Mod
Thanks, Brina, and thank you too, Stacey.
So far, I really enjoyed the article! https://jewishreviewofbooks.com/jewis...


message 22: by Jan (new)

Jan Rice | 1761 comments Mod
P.S. Brina, when you get to the bio, if it gets bogged down in details at points, the article explains why.

Sidney Taylor sounds like such a creative person!


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