King of the Wind: The Story of the Godolphin Arabian - Marguerite Henry

Day 21: First novel 


I was almost seven, and my dad was reading this aloud to my brother and me. He went on a business trip a couple of chapters into the book, and I just couldn't wait to see what happened. My mom, who spent hours reading aloud to us during the day, was busy putting my toddler sisters to bed, promised to read the next chapter as soon as she could, but I was impatient. After all, I'd been waiting since the evening before, which seemed an eternity. So I picked up the book and muddled along myself.


That was the first of countless nights I'd pretend to go to sleep, only to turn the light back on as soon as my parents went downstairs after tucking us in. It took me the rest of the week to finish, and I used a dictionary to look up words I didn't know, but I finished the book before Dad came home from his trip.


After that, there was no turning back. I had my nose in a book when I wasn't doing something else. Even when I should have been doing something else - especially class work. 


Thanks to Mom and Dad, for all those hours you spent reading to me. Thanks to all my teachers who returned confiscated library books. Thanks to the librarians who set aside confiscated library books (it was a small town!) and who recommended ever more challenging books.  Thanks to the authors I've read over the years (and the ones I'll read in the future) for creating worlds in which I can lose myself.


But it all started with Mom and Dad and the countless hours they spent reading aloud, instilling in me a love of books and stories.


And that copy of King of the Wind? It's still on my book case, more than 35 years later.