Thursday, September 2, 2010

Oh, You Never Forget Your First...

Book, that is.  (Ya, get your minds out of the gutter people) No, I’m not talking about your favorite picture book your parents used to read to you at night.  I’m talking about the first book you ever read because you wanted to and not because it was part of the curriculum. 

 The book that seemed to spring straight out of your daydreams and bring you on the perfect adventure.  

The book that was so good you stole it from your elementary school library in fourth grade only to stumble upon it in an old box at your parent’s house twenty some odd years later.

Or maybe that’s just me.

In my case, this book was ‘Into The Dream’ by William Sleator.  For years I remembered the plot line like the back of my hand but the title constantly eluded me.  Until some serious Googling finally bore fruit (woah-that phrase wouldn’t have made any sense ten years ago). 

Here’s the back blurb:

‘Every night Paul has the same frightening dream. He’s standing at the edge of a vast empty field, trying to move toward a large, glowing sphere.  A small boy is in terrible trouble…and Paul must save him.  Paul’s convinced he’s losing his mind—until he learns that his classmate Francine is having the same harrowing dream!  The two of them are determined to solve the mystery and save the little boy—before their night-mare becomes a terrifying reality.’

I’m going to order myself a new copy of this.  I haven’t read it since fifth grade but from the reviews, it sounds like it’s just as good as the kids from my generation remember and I find it funny that even as a ten year old, my tastes for paranormal were already well defined.)

Does anyone else have a book that stuck with them from a young age and reflects the kind of writer they’ve become?  

36 comments:

Summer Ross said...

R.L Stine

Jen said...

This sounds so good!!!

Summer has a good one!! R.L. Stine I love! Rohl Dahl is also awesome, but the book that stuck with me since I was a child was:

The Red Heels by Robert D. San Souci/Gary Kelley

It was also my very first signed copy, I still have it on my bookshelf!

Alesa Warcan said...

I was given my first copy of Gorinosho before I could even read... And I still have it.

Of course, by the time I could understand it, I had to get a translation. But still, I've always liked having it. It was and remains an important memento of my parents.

It interesting how things from our childhoods follow us...

April said...

RL Stine. Oh my goodness, I definitely remember him.

I think for me it was Little House In The Big Woods - the entire Laure Ingles Wilder series. My mom read me the first book, and I read the rest. I loved those books and still have them and hope I can pass the love off to my stepdaughter (though right now, she's enjoying our way through James and the Giant Peach which is good too. :) )

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

The Little Princess, by...hang on, I don't remember!........................by Frances Hodgson Burnett (thank you, Google). I loved that book, and now it's one of my daughter's favorites, too!

How do you get your books in English over in France? Do you order online? Just wondering :D

Matthew Rush said...

Mine was and will always be The Hobbit, and then LOTR, probably because my dad used to read them out loud to us, then I read them on my own and fell in love.

LTM said...

I don't know if it reflects the kind of writer I am, but I LOVED The Princess & the Goblin so much as a little girl, when I saw it BAM, I grabbed a copy to read to my daughters...

Warning: This is NOT a read-aloud book. It's very Jane Austin, but the girls seemed to like it (when they weren't falling asleep). :D

I think Into the Dream totally explains Electric Heat. ;p

Carolyn V. said...

I can't remember the name of the book, but it was about a cat that went back in time. That was my first book love. <3

Summer said...

I really can't remember, honestly. But I remember loving a book called Skinnybones, because I thought it was really funny. And I also loved The Princess and the Goblin and The Secret Garden. I don't know! I read a lot when I was young, plus my mom also read aloud to me and my brother every afternoon. She read us Tarzan of the Apes (unabridged) pretty young, and that was magical.

Slamdunk said...

For me, it was Fellowship of the Ring by Tolkien.

It was one of those "wow, who knew reading could be enjoyable?"

Shannon said...

Grade 4/5 I read the first book in the Eye of the World Series by Robert Jordan. Maybe a bit old for me, but I loved it. Younger than that it was all about the Black Stallion books. I think I have them all packed away waiting for my own kids to be ready!

Melody said...

Let's see... I can't really remember anything from my elementary school years. I just read everything I could get my hands on (and was allowed to read). But then, in Jr. High, I was part of a summer reading program that recommended NIGHTMARE ACADEMY, by Frank Peretti. Thus I was introduced to YA Fiction (thriller, spy, dystopian, Christian) in one fell swoop, and I have NEVER looked back. :)

Clara said...

The golden beetle, a mistery! I actually started writting misteries, then went to fantasie!
Nice to remember!

Ted Cross said...

For some reason I was completely fascinated by the very idea of history, so I was awestruck when my mom gave me Illustrated History of the World for my fifth birthday. I made sure I gave it to my own sons, too.

Mary McDonald said...

The Boxcar Children was the first 'real' book that I loved. I was in third grade. However the book that was more serious that I fell in love with first was The Forgotten Door.

Damyanti said...

Robinson Crusoe, my first hard-cover book! I was so upset later when my mum gave it away to charity!

Laura Pauling said...

I loved the first Black Stallion. And that theme of the underdog fighting back and winning is always one of my favorites. And I do believe that theme is sometimes present in my current work.

Renae said...

We loved RL Stine at my house. Our copies went through me then my sister and are in sad shape now!

Bethany Mattingly said...

I loved Scribbler of Dreams by Mary E. Pearson. I still read it occasionally and I still fall in love with it every time. I also read a lot of the Boxcar Children books.

Lisa Gail Green said...

YES!!!! And yours sounds really good too. Mine was the Phantom Tollbooth. Also, I loved a book called Time at the Top about an elevator that takes a girl back in time. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane..

Jolene Perry said...

To Kill a Mockingbird made me want to write. I read it really young (stole if from my older sister) and even though I didn't fully understand it then, I did love the book.

Old Kitty said...

Oh what a lovely book - great premise too - it's got me hooked just reading the blurb! Wonderful.

My first book that made me want to try my hand at writing stories??

S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders.

Take care
x

Dianne K. Salerni said...

This isn't a direct answer to your question, but I LOVE William Sleator! Surprisingly, I don't think I've read Into the Dream - but I love Interstellar Pig, The Boy Who Reversed Himself, The Duplicate, and The Spirit House. Sleator is the Stephen King of YA!

Tamara Narayan said...

Somehow I got a copy of Stephen King's Salem's Lot at the tender age of nine and fell in love with his awesome story telling. I also remember adoring The Secret Garden and The War Between the Pitiful Teachers and the Splendid Kids. All I can say is, Up With Worms!

Mina Carlisle said...

Ella Enchanted.

My mom got it for me as the first ever Book-as-a-Birthday-Gift I ever got and I love it. I actually had to purchase a new, hardback copy of it because the one my mom gave me was in two million pieces because I read it so much.

Jemi Fraser said...

I don't think I write like any of them, but some of my absolute faves were Nancy Drew and Anne of GG :)

Vatche said...

Yes! I went to Barnes and Nobles a few weeks ago and I went to the children's section to find GOOSEBUMPS books. I used to love those, but I gave all of them away after losing interest in them, but I am determined to get them all back when I have the money of course.

Also, DELTORA QUEST, which I still have all the copies of on my bookshelf, is another that has actually stayed by me since I was seven or eight years old. I remember the epic adventures of Lief, Barda, and Jasmine still. I'm definitely going to try rereading them when I get all this college books out of the way.

Write on and read on!

Kelly Dexter said...

There were so many books, but the one that sticks out the most was called Into the Land of the Unicorns. I remember reading it and feeling as though I was having some kind transcendent, spiritual experience. It was supposed to be the first in a series, but if any others were written, I never found them. I have no idea what happened to the book :-(

Also, The Chronicles of Narnia was probably my first epic fantasy series, and I'm loving the way the movies capture the books.

Erin Kane Spock said...

As a child, Anne of Green Gables. I laughed, I cried, it became part of me. I reread them recently. Still excellent.
As a young adult, it was a fantasy/romance called White Raven by Diana Paxon (doesn't appear to be in print any lonter) that my parents never should have let me read. There was a spiritual aspect that touched me, left over from my time in Ireland as a child. And there was a sexual aspect that intrigued the young, hormonal me. I read that book I don't know how many times. Even the cover was super cool in a Celtic way.

Teenage Bride said...

Believe it or not the first book i read of my own accord was a collectors edition of Black Beauty... Oh the fond memories of adolescents.

Raquel Byrnes said...

The Girl with the Silver Eyes and Shutterbugs and Car Thieves were two books I LOVED as a kid. I read them over and over.

Funny, I hadn't thought of them in years and you know what...I totally write in that genre! Weird.

Edge of Your Seat Romance

Nicole L Rivera said...

My fourth grade teacher read How To Eat Fried Worms aloud to the class. I found myself seeing what she was reading, drifting further and further into the story, and when she stopped for snack time I was disappointed. It took what seemed like and eternity -- probably only a week -- for her to finish the story. From that moment on I was in love with the art of storytelling, from reading to writing to watching movies. Ever since then I'd long for the time to compose in our little black speckled notebooks. Story's became my life at the ripe old age of nine. :)

Vicki Rocho said...

OMG, there are so many. I don't remember what the VERY first one was.

I remember the first romance, I couldn't put it down and would read it in class.

There was one about the President's daughter (her name was Megan and she was the spunkiest MC I'd ever read).

I remember Flowers in the Attic (8th grade) -- how SHOCKING!

Stranger in a Strange Land (6th grade) I wanted to meet (ahem grok) Michael...

ahhhh, the memories!

Donna Hosie said...

Charlotte's Web was the one that made me stop and think about books as items to be cherished.

Jennie Bailey said...

Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster! I found a copy at a garage sale a few weeks ago and just HAD to buy it. Such good childhood memories. But I also read and reread The Hobbit and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Those all sparked my imagination at a young age and made me want to write! Oh, and Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time. I was a total book geek.

Culture Served Raw said...

Great post. I think Isabel Allende was one that stuck with me. I love the romantic style of writing mixed with ironic self-awareness, it certainly changed my approach to writing!

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