Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Imagine Your Story

I got a text from my husband last week after he checked the answering machine:

"Congrats. You are a summer reading winner at the Hutchinson library. You read the most books. You get a sticker book."

A sticker book? Didn't I enter the adult division of the contest, I questioned myself?

As it turns out, that was just Randy's attempt at humor. Instead, I got a book bag and book light with the logo, "Imagine Your Story," along with a hardcover book they selected.

It may not have been a trip to the Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty. (One sister evidently still has some unresolved issues from my elementary-school prize from the summer reading program at Pratt Public Library long, long ago.) But even if I'd won a trip to something fun like that, it likely would have been canceled this year anyway in the wake of Covid-19.

Imagine Your Story.  My story includes a whole lot of reading.

As I've been digging through boxes this summer, I found a prize from what I'm guessing was my first reading award. It was a book by Robert Louis Stevenson.
When Kinley was here, I showed her the inscription on the inside cover:
Since Kinley had just finished second grade, I thought she'd be interested. Yes, "once upon a time," Grandma Kim liked to read just as much as Kinley does! (Grandma Kim still likes to read, but that's not a surprise to either of the girls.)
This was how I looked on the first day of 2nd grade. I probably didn't look a whole lot different at the end.

Earlier, when I'd weeded out books on the office shelves, I found a couple of other books awarded as year-end reading prizes. I got "Best Friend" for reading 166 books in third grade and "Anne of Ingleside" for reading 47 books as a 4th grader. (I guess I was a slacker in 4th grade or the books got longer - probably the latter.)
Kim's 3rd Grade Class - Byers Grade School

As you can see, I didn't have to "beat out" too many readers in the third grade at Byers Grade School.
My fourth grade class dwindled to three people. (So you can take my award-winning ways for what they are worth!)

The following year, when I was a 5th grader, Byers joined Skyline Schools, a rural consolidation. Either books weren't awarded as year-end prizes or I was no longer the "champion" reader. I'm kind of guessing it was the former.

Just for a little perspective: I also found some report cards and notes from the same teacher who awarded the reading prizes. She sent math flash cards home over the summer, with a note to my parents that I needed to practice my math skills. So I certainly wasn't winning any math awards in grade school (or high school, for that matter)!
I thumbed through "A Child's Garden of Verses" this week, looking at the illustrations. I found a couple that help explain why I love reading so much, I think.
Reading can transport us away from our everyday lives. I'm someone who pictures the scenes in my head as I read. Even during Covid-19, they can take us far, far away.
They can help us think "Happy Thoughts."

We all could use a little of that, don't you think?

Several times this year, I've posted some book recommendations. I posted this same recommendation on Facebook last week, but for those who aren't my Facebook friends, I'll repeat it here. I always love finding a new-to-me author who already has several books published.
Steve Cavanagh is my discovery this summer. I've read three of his books already - The Plea, The Defense and Thirteen. My library is fresh out his books, so I ordered a couple more via a used book site.

The series features a con man turned lawyer Eddie Flynn. I would call them a combination of mystery, thriller and courtroom drama. With an excess of July rain, Randy has enjoyed reading them, too. We both highly recommend the series. (I am a much better reader than golfer!)

I also recommend this book by Robert Dugoni. It was one of my favorite books from last year, but I don't think I ever shared it here. It's a coming of age story about a boy with a rare eye condition that makes him look different from everyone else. It's about prejudice and friendship - two things that are certainly in the forefront this summer as well. It will make you think.

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