Monday, November 14, 2011

Books to Be Thankful For

It’s taken me a while to think about which book I am grateful for – well, most grateful for, as when I looked back on my reading career, I realized that there are so many stories that I’ve ended up attached to or have changed my life; even the ones I hated. In the process, I went through the other entries on Beth Revis’s blog – you should too, because it’s amazing to see how different books affect people. Now I’m feeling like my post is a bit inadequate, but…eh. Everyone is different.

I first read Ella Enchanted in fourth grade. Back then, I went through different phases. I used to read within a specific shelf of the library (lame joke books, horror stories – too many Goosebumps for one lifetime – and biographies). It was a blessing in disguise, I think – even if it used to seem a bit weird – because I ended up touching on different fields of knowledge that I wouldn’t if I just stuck to the fiction paperbacks. But I digress.

Ella Enchanted was the first story I can really remember being a major FAN of. I read every chapter, and then had an interlude in which I basically acted out what I had just read for the benefit of my mom and younger sister. (I think they enjoyed it.) To me, I think the appeal was that Gail Carson Levine took a boring, cliché story like Cinderella – which, to be honest, is still not my favorite – and put an original, girl-power twist on it and made it completely her own.

Besides that, Ella Enchanted gave me probably the same feeling Roald Dahl described through his character Matilda – it made me feel as though I wasn’t alone. Playing around with stories on the margins of my math notebook, looking through baby name books for characters, and constantly dreaming of making a story mine was perfectly normal. It was a girl empowerment story for me in more ways than being able to break a curse on your own and be clever and brave, but also as a writer’s success story that pushed me to keep going forward.

Wow. I really am feeling sappy today.

Want to join in? Check out the post on Beth Revis’s blog and share what book you’re grateful for. You could win 19 signed books + swag! (Just, um, let me borrow them if you win, ‘k?)


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