As a child, my two older sisters were already in elementary school and I could not wait to follow in their footsteps. Attending a school in the country over 60 years ago, we did not have kindergarten so I entered the first grade at the age of five.
My nemesis was reading, which was always a chore. Much of the time in elementary school I didn’t even read my four page Weekly Reader. I can remember in junior high (now middle school) sitting on our shaded porch during the summer reading a book about Willie Mays, the Hall of Fame baseball player. I was so proud of myself reading when I didn’t have to. I’m not sure if I ever finished the book. Of course, our educators have gotten smarter now requiring many students to do assigned summer reading. I would classify myself as an average student all the way from kindergarten through twelfth grade and then through college.
I don’t hold any credentials to confirm the following statement but I strongly feel that a development of a love for reading not only will help one through his educational years, but life in general. If you don’t think this is a valid assumption, I suggest you read about Ben Carson in The Big Picture. Ben, an African American from a single parent family, who was called a dummy in his elementary school, was forced by his illiterate mother to read two books a week and write book reports on them. Over a brief period of time he became the smartest kid in his class. Later, Ben became the youngest head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University.
What new worlds can be opened up for each one of us through reading? Whether the book is about sports, history, how to do something, famous people, mysteries or a myriad of other topics, new worlds and experiences are sitting on the shelf waiting to expand our knowledge or just to entertain us.
Jeff Hall, Honey Brook, will be writing a monthly book review, Book Beat.