Nancy Drew! My appetite for mysteries was voracious when I was ten years old; and whilst I should have been sleeping, the street lamps outside our bedroom window illuminated my pages just enough to read the clues that Nancy uncovered...
My childhood friend. She had the most extensive collection of Nancy Drew Mysteries. She let me treat her bedroom bookshelf like my own personal library.
Heathcliff! He remains, for me, the ultimate literary “bad boy”. The power of reading and writing is clear in the characters’ exchange of letters. And so, I must thank Emily Bronte for creating a love story so haunting that its ghosts still roam the moors in my mind.
Boo Radley, Jem, Scout and Atticus Finch! As a teenager, it was the first story I’d read that spoke to social justice. And so, I must thank Harper Lee for writing a story that was raw and uncomfortable but also beautiful and necessary. And, I must thank my high school English teacher for taking me out of my reading comfort zone all those years ago.
Alice Walker. The Colour Purple was the first book to make me cry. My favourite English teacher read parts aloud in class, and I was transfixed.
Peter H. Reynolds.
My Children’s Literature professor at UWO. She inspired me to write and encouraged my pursuit of Book and Magazine Publishing before I decided to become a teacher.
My sister. She curls up on the couch and makes reading look like the most relaxing escape ever invented.
My mom. Her endless trips to the library are proof that a community’s love for sharing books never goes out of style.
My students. Their excitement is palpable when they find “the book they’ve been looking for” on library book exchange days or when they are so keen for me to listen to something interesting or funny that they’ve just read.
He was right all along.