Maybe you have one. That first book that left you awestruck. The one that after you finished reading it, made you feel like you had visited a different world and met new people.
I remember the first time I felt those things after reading a book. It was as if I had unlocked some kind of magic. Now that I’m an adult and I’ve read more books, I’m certain that I did unlock magic with that first book and I’m so glad I did.
The book that began my literary love affair was Lord of the Flies. I was in 7th grade. I will never forget when we read the section about the stick sharpened at both ends. My teacher asked the class why Jack’s group would need a stick sharpened at both ends. I imagined Jack and his troop of savages stalking their prey with that stick. And then it was if lightning struck my 7th grade mind as I saw Jack drive the stick into ground, while on the other end of the stick, something horrifying served as a warning to other boys.
It was awful and wonderful. The words became pictures and the pictures became something more. I wondered, would I be more like Jack or more like Ralph? Would I have protected Piggy or would I have been too afraid of Jack to stand up for what was right?
It was confusing and thrilling to contemplate these issues. It was like an awakening.
Though I’ve read many books since then, I’ll never forget Lord of the Flies. And I’m incredibly grateful to my teacher for introducing me to the magic of that book. It changed my perspective and it unlocked my mind. I can honestly say that I was never the same after I read that book and that’s the greatest gift a book can give.