When I was a child, my mother gave me two of the greatest gifts a reader can receive: access to books and choice.
Though not a reader herself, my mother always let me buy three books from the Scholastic Book Club flyers when my teacher sent them home. I would pour over those whispery pages, agonizing how to whittle my choices down to three.
My mother never put any restriction or judgement on the books I picked, so I was free to try new things, to take risks. I was also free to find comfort in something familiar. I was even free to fail, to experience making a choice that I later regretted.
I bought great literature, like The Witch of Blackbird Pond and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I also bought (and still have!) The Peanuts Lunch Bag Cookbook. No one would classify…
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