Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Books that Shape Our Lives

I love being a reader and a writer! It is who I am. But, I also love being a teacher and helping students learn that they can be readers and writers, too. This past week, I had my students create several sections in their readers notebooks. As their teacher, I like to DO what I ask, so I have put examples of MY work. After doing this assignment, I thought it would be fun to share with you all and to hear back from you.

First, I created a READING TIMELINE. Starting from grade 1 until my senior year in college, I created a timeline represetenting the books that have shaped me, are important to me, or just made me love reading. some of my favorites on my timeline include:

The Outsiders - I think I've mentioned this before, but this is what got me reading in the first place. Stay Gold, Ponyboy!

Any and ALL Lois Duncan books - She was the ultimate suspense and mystery author. Remember the movie, "I Know What You Did Last Summer?" Well, the book is SO much better and I read it years before the movie was made. The first book I read was Locked in Time and it took place in Louisiana (where I was born). Then I found out that Lois Duncan lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico (where I grew up). So, that made an even tighter connection. 

Harry Potter Series - Although I read these books (and re-read so many times) in my adult years, they are favorites and I love them. 

Second, I created a page about the LAST 5 BOOKS I'VE READ. If I were completely honest with my students, I would have had 5 contemporary romance books, and I wasn't about to put the Fifty Shades of Grey series. Since I'm a pre-teen teacher, I kindof felt compelled to have a variety of books, so I added 5 I read over the summer. The list should show a lot about a person. What does your list show about you?

So, my dear readers, what are the books that shaped you? What book woke you up to reading? What book  can you read and reread (It's ok if it's Harry Potter!)? Please comment below. I'd love to hear!

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. What a fantastic teaching tool. Your students are lucky to have you!

  2. Melinda, I've always been a reader...I started with The Little House on the Prairie Series, moved on to Anne of Green Gables, and RL Stine! Great post!

  3. When I was little I devoured everything Enid Blyton wrote - The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, Malory Towers, St. Clair's - everything! I then moved on to anything with horses in it, Nancy Drew, and the Sweet Valley High series. Then hormones kicked in and I went through a pop music magazine phase - Smash Hits and Number One. After that I moved on to adult books but whenever I think of my childhood books, I think of Enid Blyton.

    My favourite author as an adult is Sharon Penman. I bought her doorstopper The Sunne in Splendour when I was on a school trip to Belfast. The sheer length of it (886 pages) intimidated me for a couple of years but when I did read it, I loved it, and I managed to track down all her other novels while I was at college in Dublin. Her latest, Lionheart, is on my Amazon wishlist!

    I also love her Welsh trilogy, about the last years of independent Wales, not just because of the brilliant writing but because I was brought up in north Wales and I have either been to, or know of most of the locations in the books. I can read them again and again.

    Another of my favourite authors is Phil Rickman, who writes the Merrily Watkins mystery series. Merrily is a single mum, a Church of England (Anglican) priest but she is also a Diocesan Exorcist, so there is often a paranormal twist to the mysteries. Every book in the series is a great and unique read!

  4. The Outsiders is a book my daughter had to read as required reading over one summer. She absolutely loved it! So much so that when I bought her the movie she was ecstatic. After she watched it, she goes, "The book was sooooo much better."


    Go figure. It's the way I felt about Stephen King's Misery.