There are times in your childhood that are connected to books. Those moments with books are unforgetable. Being alone and safe in a good book is what I think are the best memories of my early teen life. I mark the passage with certain titles I would like to share with you now. Maybe we have them in common. Maybe your child is reading them now, or would like to.
I remember my Judy Bloom phase, when realistic fiction was a touch of real life. She had a knack for making me laugh and relate with the problems of her characters. I recited "Are you there God, it's me Tiffany" for awhile.
Then, I read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. It started my direction of reading into Sci-Fi/Fantasy adventure. I liked the interplanetary travel and delved into time travel, but most of all, the characters were special because they adventured in other worlds. Than, I read the Lord of the Rings series when I was thirteen. If ever a book reading experience changed my life, this was it.
I remember making a blanket nest in my grandmother's bedroom during Thanksgiving break. I started eating pita bread as a snack while I read. Pita bread reminded me of the elven bread Frodo and Samwise received to continue their adventure. It put me more into the story to eat it while I adventured through Middle Earth. I explored the avenue of escape while I read this classic fantasy adventure. I learned why Tolkien is the Father of Fantasy. He is the master of story telling and world creation. I longed to stand in Middle Earth and imagined the shire. I longed to visit England and filed that dream in my bucket list.
I moved on from that fantasy adventure story to eventually exploring the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section in my city's local library. There was a paperback section where I could explore and find amazing authors. I found the world of bards and Pern with the Harper Hall saga with Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, and Dragondrums when I was 14. I discovered another world with friendly dragons and longed to be a harper. I related to the outcast feelings of her characters and loved the medieval planetary world Anne McCaffrey created. I got lost in another world again.
How does the story end? Well, these books shaped my mind as a child. My love of England continued to eventually finding the right man and marrying him. It wasn't a surprise he was British, and lived near and explored as a teen the Lake District, where Tolkien wrote a lot of the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. I found another world in participating in Renaissance Fairs, and play the Gaelic harp walking the streets as a bard. I traveled to New Zealand during the summer of 2011, and stood on the movie set of the Hobbit. I was able to visit the infamous sheep farm, stand on the path near Bag End, and gaze at the shire. It was amazing. I couldn't stop taking pictures of myself next to hobbit holes.
Inspiration can be found in a lot of things. Books are forever a way to give the gift of escape and adventure while safely in your blanket nest in your grandmother's bedroom.
**Tiffany Turner is an elementary teacher that has brought the love of writing to her students for 16 years. She has just released her third book in her fantasy adventure series, The Lost Secret of Dragonfire.