The Little House Books — October Memoir Challenge
This is my ninth post, for age 9, of the October Memoir and Backstory Challenge hosted by Jane Anne McLachlan. My previous posts: Baby Speed Eater, Two Tales, Curls, Most Magical Christmas, Kindergarten, Places, Mental Health in 1969, and The Boxcar Children.
Mrs. Bridges, my fourth grade teacher, read aloud from the Laura Ingalls Wilder series every day after lunch. Of course, I had the same frustration that I do now with audio books — too slow! So, I borrowed the books from the library until Christmas when Santa brought the boxed set.
This was still a few years before the Little House on the Prairie television series, so I had a head start on the story from many of my contemporaries.
I wrote an ode to books in the fourth grade.
Obviously, I had begun to appreciate books for their information as well as the entertainment value. Even fiction, I realized, could be a source for making a person smarter. A common topic at our family dinner table was “what did you learn in school today?” As often as not, what I learned was something about the way things were done in the olden days because Mrs. Bridges read us an exploit of the Ingalls family making maple syrup or surviving a blizzard.
How did you come to appreciate books as the fount of knowledge?
I read so much as a child that when I got to fourth grade, I was officially forbidden to use the school library. The teachers and my parents made sure that I would not be admitted if I tried to slip in and get a book, because they decided it was the only way to get me to pay attention to anything else. So I’ve never thought of books as a “fount of knowledge,” but more as an escape from what other people want me to learn.
Seems like there has to be a better way to handle that problem!
Forbidden to use the library?!?! What were they thinking? Sounds more like the teacher should have kept your book on her desk until you could take it home, lol.
So sweet, Joy! I’m loving your memoir posts even if I’m not getting around to comment on all of them.
I’ve always loved reading but I don’t think I appreciated learning from them as much as I appreciated the purely entertainment value of books! No wonder books are such an integral part of your profession. 😉
I had literature in the house because my mom was an English teacher. What I went for in the libraries, both public and school, were mysteries and biographies. Still staples of mine. I think I must have read all of the Boxcar Children by the time I hit 4th grade and most of the Nancy Drews. The biographies were a bit sanitized for our grade level and the midCentury mythology of perfection. But I still remember the librarians who always had a stack of recommended reads for me.
That’s a great post! You brought back thos magical times, listening to a teacher read a great story. For me, it began with my teacher reading, Mrs Whiskerd reading Shadow Cage by Philippa Pearce and then the incomparable Iron Man by Ted Hughes. I now read both books to my classes. I hope it has the same effect on those I teach.
Ah, what a great idea for what to do with those little things we have managed to keep from school days! I love this, like the Letters to Santa that the Press-Journal used to put in the paper in December. Thanks, Joy. As for me, I think Kathy and I have both said it here or on FB, but our mom took us to the public library every week and we all piled our arms up with books to check out for the week. I feel like I should give something back to that library, honestly.
I loved this post. I read ALL the Laura Ingalls Wilder books when I was a kid and loved them so much. I’ve always loved to read and loved when the teacher read a story to us. That was one of the high points to school for me 🙂 Thanks for that reminder!
Your poem is great too.
So sweet. I love your little note. I grew up without a TV and so books were what I had. I remember, at ages five or six, telling my children that they “got” to decide when to turn their lights out at night as long as they were reading. The first few mornings they had very red eyes from not sleeping till late, but then it all settled down and they’ve been great readers ever since.
I didn’t read these as a child, but as a father of children and I loved them! Especially the one featuring Almonzo. Thanks for the memory!
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