Books as Life-Changers?

WordPress asks us what book(s) changed our lives.

If I’m being totally honest, I have to say that books read in childhood leave the biggest impression.  Here’s my list from many years back:

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.  I was given this book when it first came out in the 1950s.  It was my first aha moment – experiencing something called symbolism.  The sacrifice of Aslan.  The mourning of the girls at the stone table.  The deeper magic from before the dawn of time.  Oh, I got it!

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher.  Fisher was a devotee of Maria Montessori.  She wrote this story about a little girl who was brought up by anxious, overprotective people who sheltered her from anything that might cause distress.  Circumstances caused the child to be forced to move to the other relatives who lived on a farm in Vermont.  These hardy, hard-working folks believed in leaving people to manage their own lives.  And so Betsy moved from feeling abandoned to trusting in her own abilities.

Animal books.  From Black Beauty to Jenny Linsky to Beautiful Joe to Lassie Come Home, emotional stories about clever, wonderful, hard-working animals have always moved me.  They gave love, worked hard, trusted their instincts, suffered adversity, and triumphed in the end.  They transcended culture and age and remain among my favorites today.

Parents, grandparents and godparents, choose your gift books carefully for the young people in your life.  You’re shaping their values and faith in our world.

When I read a new book these days, I can only faintly hope to enter such an inspiring world as those books of my past.  I look forward to hearing about what books the rest of my fellow bloggers and readers name as life-changers.


One Response to “Books as Life-Changers?”

  1. Amy Headley Says:

    Again with the books. Well of course the Lion,Witch and Wardrobe. Didn’t get into the rest of the series until I started reading them with my son. Little Women series, and over and over the pure joy of the Man Who Was Magic. In high school those classics, Scarlet Letter, Great Gatsby. My dad read us The Gift of the Magi most Christmases. From an early age I was drawn to dark,twisty writing: Poe, Plath, and if an animal story involved death, I raged yet embraced those deeper levels of emotion I was pushed to.As an adult, it’s all poetry, and non-fiction, especially involving physics and time/space questions which I thank C S Lewis for-popping in /out of worlds, time passing differently,perfect beginning to love of this science.

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