By Ariella Moon
The discussion reminded me of my own childhood, when novels like The Chronicles of Narnia sent me on grand adventures, and Nancy Drew taught me the value of keen observation. In books, girls were smart, curious, adventurous, and brave. The library was my mother ship. In the small town where I grew up, the library was a musty, former one-room schoolhouse located at one end of Main Street. I still remember struggling under the slippery weight of the ten books I would check out twice month.
Both my parents worked the swing shift at Lockheed, which meant they had little time or energy for me and my two siblings. The one activity Mom made time for was reading. Long after my brother and I could read, we would beg Mom to read Hubert’s Hair-Raising Adventure to our younger sister and us. Why? Because at one point in this tale of a conceited lion whose mane went up in smoke and was eventually magical revitalized by crocodile tears, our mother would laugh so hard, tears would stream down her cheeks.
When my mother read to us, we felt valued. We had her undivided attention. How rare is that in this era of cell phones, tablets, and other devices?
Reading sparks a child’s imagination, builds vocabulary, widens horizons, prompts discussions, and sets up a child for success in school and life.
We fostered in our daughter a life-long love of reading. (Do not challenge her to a Harry Potter trivia quiz. You will lose.) At fourteen, she won her first writing contest. Now, despite her busy career as an engineer, she has been a valued beta reader on each Ariella Moon book, including SPELL FOR SOPHIA, which is on sale for 99 cents through November 15.