What Children’s Book Influenced Your Life?


That’s the question editor Anita Silvey asked me one day. I was able to answer very quickly–A Wrinkle in Time. I read that book so many times I wore out my copy. Meg, Charles Wallace and the crew kept me entertained again and again. Meg was my role model–tall, smart and awkward. She also knew how to ask questions.

Now Anita’s new book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children’s Book is out. She asked more than 100 leaders from the arts, sciences, politics, business and ME to talk about a children’s book they loved. My response is on page 97!

Life is sometimes a big circle. Anita was my editor on Through the Eyes of Your Ancestors, my guide to family history for kids. It was my first real book and that title launched me on this career.

One of the things Anita believes is that if a child reads (or is read too) 1,000 books, it’ll make them a life-long reader.

So, I want to know. What children’s book influenced your life? Join the discussion on my Facebook page or add your comment to this posting. Spread the word. This is a question worth discussing in book groups.

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3 Responses to “What Children’s Book Influenced Your Life?”

  1. Debra MacLaughlan-Dumes says:

    Although "A Wrinkle in Time" was also a favorite, I'd have to say that "Harriet The Spy" by Louise Fitzhugh was a greater influence. Harriet's obsessive notebook-keeping (and I mean that in a good way) inspired me to start a journal, which eventually led the way to a writing career, and her ability to observe and analyze probably helped influence me in my genealogical research too.

  2. Nancy Heifferon says:

    The first book that leaps to mind is "Wind in the Willows." I loved it when I was younf and have reread it periodically as an adult, usually on gray days and in the bathtub. It's a beautiful work on true friendship. Very different creatures form strong bonds of friendship. They go great lengths for each other, accept each others weaknesses and foibles, tell each other the truth. There are no fair weather friends on the river or in the Wild Wood.

  3. Anonymous says:

    King of the Wind, a story of a beautiful Arabian horse, his tale of oceanic travel, starvation and eventual triumph as one of the three founding stallions of the modern thoroughbred racehorse. Beautifully illustrated, it led me to want to draw, photograph and ride as well as appreciate the delicate beauty of wildlife in general.

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