Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I Was Hooked by...

In the previous post I talked about the contest over at First Books where you win books for your state by to voting on what book got you hooked on reading. Now, I don't think mine will rank up there with the top well-known, best-sellers that seem to be making up the list, but it ranks number one in my childhood memories.

Follow My Leader
by James B. Garfield. How cool is this! I thought I'd go google this title, a title I'll always remember, and have to spend some time searching through site after site before I 'd find the same book I was looking for. I mean I read it in about 1966 or 67. It can't still be in print can it? Low and behold. One try at google and look what's at the top of the list. That's the book! With a new cover and a 1994 publishing date. It's still in print!

It was the very first chapter book I read all by myself, but on top of that, it opened doors for me. With that book I discovered that books could lead you into a whole other world. I had some trouble early on learning how to read. When I was in 3rd grade I had to go to summer school to catch up. That's when I ended up reading this book. And that's one of the reasons this is a book I always remembered. It really was the one where everything "clicked " for me.

A couple of years ago my Mom said she'd found some old books that belonged to my sisters or me and wanted to know if I wanted them for my library. There were two of them there that I couldn't believe she had kept! One was my little sister's favorite book The Mouse and the Motorcycle that I remember reading to her, and the other was a tattered, scribbled on, 1957 copy of Follow My Leader! It actually has my older sisters name written in it, in her hand writing, but I'm not telling.

How about you? Share what book hooked you. I'd love to hear about it! One anonymous reader already posted her books here.


karen lee said...

Hi Gail,

I had Follow My Leader too! It was one of the first books I bought through the school book orders - so it was a milestone. I think it was 1970. The dog's name is Sirius - yes?

I have way too many important books lining my path, but the one that resonates still is A Wrinkle in Time. I think I've almost figured out how a tesseract works.


Karin Cameron said...


(I also struggled with reading- still do- and did 3rd grade twice.)

My favorite book was anything by the Babysitters Club or Boxcar Children. I can't remember exact titles, but I remember that those books got me to start liking to read - regardless if I was way too old for the reading level on the back.
I stopped liking to read after I finished those books, and didn't read for fun again until 2002 when I started nannying for a family that didn't allow tv - staring at the wall during nap time got very boring! Now, of course, I love it.the book that got me started again was by James Patterson.

Rilla said...

Hey Gail,
I was the opposite...incorrigible bookworm. I used to love anything by Enid Blyton, TinTin and Asterix comics and fairy tales and mythology but two books stand out for me from the time before I got hooked on Tolkein...Turi's Papa, I can't remember by whom. But I remember the story and that Turi was Hungarian and his Papa was Istvan Hubay, skilled violin maker, running away from communism, through the woods and into Italy where he would have to prove his craft at Cremona. His mama was Tzigany but she had died young...I get teary-eyed just thinking of that book. I seriously need to get my butt to amazon and see if it is still in print...coz I want one. Oh, the other one is Tristan and Iseult by Rosemary still in print...have a copy. Books with hooks...what would we do without them...thanks for the trip to the past.

gail said...

Hi Karen. How cool that Follow My Leader was your first book too! I'm away from home right now, but when I get back I'm going to check out the dog's name. I don't remember it.

Karin, I'm way too old for the reading level on the back most of the books I read now! Glad you got back into it.

Rilla, you sure do sound like an incorrigible bookworm! Thank you for the trip into your past. Turi's Papa sounds like a book I'd enjoy today.


Dan said...

Follow My Leader was one of my first books too. In fact, it is 10 pm and my 11 year old is finishing his book report on that very book. I asked him to read it, because I read it at his age. It was fun to see him turning pages and telling me what was happening in the story. Each chapter brought back a 35 year old memory.

gail said...

Wow Dan! How cool. I don't know how I didn't see your post before, but glad I did now. I guess your son is reading different books these days. :)