Literary History

Posted: August 29, 2010 in English G10

The first full book that I ever read was The Witches by Roald Dahl.  I was 7 years old when I read it.  Previously I had read shorter children’s literature, such us Dr. Seuss books.  But The Witches was the first time I ever felt connected to a story.  It was the first time I could see connections between the main character, and myself and was the first time I had ever been truly terrified while reading a book.  I read it because I really liked the movie based off of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and knew it was a book, but someone had already taken that one out of my 1st grade classroom.  And from then on I always enjoyed reading.   As a child I always felt a little smarter than the other children around me; I was able to read before them, I could do more complicated math than them, and I was able to come up with better 4-square strategies.  Do to this superiority complex I felt connected to the main character of The Witches who had been able to cleverly deceive a large coven of witches.  Another point at which I connected with the main character was the emotions the story brought out.  In the section when the witches are attempting to transform the main character into a mouse I felt as scared as him.  The Witches was an excellent start to a life full of reading.

Link to review:

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls represents the mid-section in my literary journey.  I was 10 years old the first time I read it, when my grandpa gave it to me as a Christmas Present.  I read it because I knew my grandpa loved reading, and talking about books.  I was enthralled by the adventures of Billy Coleman, and was inspired by his tenacity.  Before I had read about Billy saving up all of his money for something he really desired, in the case of the novel, dogs, I had never really saved up for anything before.  After I began reading the novel, I felt like saving up my money for something important to me; I ended up getting a large amount of GameCube games.   Another feature of the novel that helped me relate to the character was his largely outdoors based life.  I enjoyed roaming around the woods and exploring creeks in my youth, and seeing this boy doing the same things I liked to do made me feel like he was really similar to me.   One feature of the book that I hated at the time, but love now was that the end made me feel real sorrow.  Shortly before reading the book I suffered the loss of my own two dogs and the end of the novel reminded me of that loss.  Where the Red Fern Grows helped me to mature in both my reading, and my living.

Link to Review:

Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the third installment in my series of personally significant works of literature.  I read it for the first time when I was 13, and I found it a joyful experience to read about this fictional Huckleberry Finn.  Huckleberry Finn’s disregard for all rules and regulations made him an exciting character to read about.  I had no idea what he would do next, and I enjoy that in a novel.    What I felt was most attractive about the novel was that I wanted to by just like Huckleberry Finn, and go on excellent adventures with friends like Jim.  Of course, I felt terrible when Huck was locked in his father’s cabin.  A free spirit like him would hate being locked up.  While reading this I felt as though I were locked up like him, although his desire for freedom was greater than mine.  The book had vast amounts of obscene language and racial slurs, and I feel that reading through it without giggling at every piece of vulgarity showed how I’d matured as a reader in the past few years.

Link to Review:

These three works helped to define me as a reader, and highlight the different sections in my life so far.  As I grew my interests grew.  I expect the year in grade 10 English will feature works of literature that help my interests mature further.  I expect the year to also feature more challenging works than previous years.  I already experienced that with After Dark, a novel with complicated and never thoroughly explained plot lines.  I’m hoping the novels we read in the future are slightly easier to understand than that one.  I hope to succeed academically in the English program this during this school year.


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