Author of Campfire Kids and Tabby Cat Trails and Missing in Tuscany (being published in 2013). Before I learned to read I listened to the Storybook Lady on the radio. When her theme song, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, came on the radio my sister and I flew into the room to hear the story for that day. My love of reading and writing grew from there.
The year I learned to read was the most magical year in my life. Those words started forming images and bringing things to my life that I had never seen or heard about before. Dick and Jane, Sally and Puff, and Spot were born to me that year and I reveled in their antics. As I progressed in both age and reading prowess I learned about things that my uneducated parents could not have taught me.
The joy of my life on the farm that my sharecropper father worked and made a living for our family was the Riverside Regional Bookmobile that traveled throughout one of the most poverty-stricken regions in the United States and brought books to children eager to read and learn.
By reading “The Boxcar Children” created by Gertrude Chandler Warner ,“Nancy Drew” created by Edward Stratemeyer, “The Good Earth “by Pearl Buck, “The Diary of Anne Frank” by Annelies Marie Frank, “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott, and “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee I learned to be self-sufficient—a woman unafraid to try things that go against the current mores, be more accepting of people and their differences, hate atrocities against people and work to inspire people to be more compassionate and to accept diversity in our lives always.
I want to inspire young people to read and grow in their awareness, values, compassion, and sensitivity; to know that they can do anything they aspire to and are willing to work for.
Reading changed my life and it can change others. We who can read must work to make sure others learn to read so that they can unlock and enjoy the rich possibilities for their own life.