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June 1, 2016

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The Reader That I Am: The Giver

If you love books as much as I do, it’s usually difficult to single one out. Which is your favorite? Which has influenced you the most? Which is the best? All of them! When I was asked to pick a book that made me the reader that I am today—something I had never even thought about before—I immediately thought, there’s no way to choose! As a kid I read everything I could get my hands on. I grew up with the Berenstain Bears. I roamed the prairie with Laura Ingalls Wilder. I got caught in Charlotte’s Web, I ate Green Eggs and Ham, I found Where the Sidewalk Ends. How could I possibly pick out just one book that shaped the reading habits I have now, as an adult (albeit an adult who primarily reads children’s books)?

Instead of looking back at all of the books I loved as a kid, I had to look at the present. What do I read now? And how did I get here?

The search began at the giant bookshelf in my living room. First I had to move aside my three—yes, three—sets of the Hunger Game series to see what was behind them. Oh wait, that’s a clue. And what was behind them? Turns out, lots more YA dystopian fiction. Everything from Veronica Roth’s Divergent to Kat Falls’s Dark Life and Lauren Oliver’s Delirium. I came to these through my love of the classic dystopian stories that were assigned in high school—Invisible Man, 1984, Fahrenheit 451.

But going back even further—all the way back to Mrs. Hull’s fifth-grade class, to be exact—I realized that the very first dystopian book I ever read was The Giver by Lois Lowry. It’s such a powerful story and something about it has always stuck with me. It was the first step on the path to my current reading identity.

Post-apocalyptic world? Oppressive government? Rebellious teen fighting for a better world? I’m there!

The Giver made me the reader that I am.

Rebecca Cox is an associate editor and owns three sets of the Hunger Games trilogy because one is hardcover, one is paperback, and one is waiting to be given to someone who’s never read the books!

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One Response

  1. Joan Little

    Hi Becky, It was a nice surprise to see you in print. Great comments. Love, N.

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