Magazine article American Libraries

Reading Is My Passport

Magazine article American Libraries

Reading Is My Passport

Article excerpt

Reading is, and always was, my passport to a new world. As a child, I was often ill due to congenital health problems. When I was too sick to play with my friends, reading was my solace and my refuge.

Through books, I gained a whole new perspective. I could run and play like Ramona Quimby, climb trees like Henry Huggins, and dance like Ellen Tebbits. In my imagination, I could skate as well as Hans Brinker. I could solve mysteries like the Boxcar Children, and travel like the Bobbsey Twins. I endured the hardships of frontier life like the Ingalls family and Caddie Woodlawn, emerging with nary a scratch. In short, I could be like the healthy, happy children pictured in the Tasha Tudor books, free to enjoy life without fatigue, malaise, or pain.

Today's children face other obstacles. The world has become a more complex and dangerous place. Books can be a safe haven in a tough world. I believe in the power of books to ease children through the difficult transitions of death, divorce, and separation, and the horrors of terrorism and abuse, as well as chronic illness. …

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