Whenever the topic of book banning comes up, someone invariably makes the argument that banning books is silly because books can’t make us do anything. Reading Harry Potter goes the argument will not turn a child into a wizard. True, but you’ve got to know that thousands of children wanted to be wizards after reading those books.
Of course books are a safe place to work through emotions and experiences without having to go through them ourselves. But arguing that books don’t change us seems like an argument against books rather than for them.
So, in that spirit, here are some things that I did (and do) because I was influenced by books I read as a child:
- I started addressing my journal to Kitty after reading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank Later, after I lost a friend, I began addressing my journal to him, which is where, in turn, I got the idea of having Dara address her journal to Rachel as a child in Secrets.
- I make little “x”s on my bug bites. I think I read this in one of the Soup books by Robert Newton Peck, though it might have been another book I read around that time.
- I played in a magical land in the woods near my house, just like the kids did in The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson.
- I joined the Peace Corps after reading Bryce Courtenay’s The Power of One. I really wanted to go to South Africa, where the book was set, but I was stationed in Cote d’Ivoire instead. It didn’t work out quite as planned, but that’s a story for another day.
Those are the just the first ones that come to mind. I would love to know how others were influenced by the books they read as kids. Please share in the comments.