Friday, July 4, 2014

The Lost Books

(Photo credit: Pinterest)

Let's play detective.
Or pretend we're playing detective...
which might sort of be the same thing.

So in order to bring you this blog post, I feel compelled to give you a brief run down of a bit of my reading past:
I wasn't much of a reader until I got onto the Harry Potter bandwagon, admittedly quite late as the only books I had to wait to come out for were the 6th and 7th ones. Before then, I can recall a few crucial points.

1. Due to a horrid reading program in second grade and a grumpy old-man teacher, my reading level dropped considerably. It was feared I wouldn't progress enough in time to advance in school. As I had been read to by my parents for years, had a vivid imagination, and had been doing well up until then, my parents were shocked.

2. I'm guessing somewhere around 3rd grade, I was dealing what I'm pretty sure, in hindsight, was some sort of depression and grew and interest in stories. There was the picture book I wanted to write, featuring a Penguin who wanted to fly, and so built his own airplane. There was the chapter book set in the future about a girl who won a school contest to go to the moon, only to discover aliens on the other side guarding buried moon-stone treasure. I think there might have also been one inspired by a fairy Christmas tree ornament I had, but I don't really remember it. But, moral of the story, at third grade I was developing an interest in story and story-telling.

3. I began to enjoy reading again somewhere in 6th grade. I became a fiend for the Scholastic book orders and, believe me, my mom was over the moon about it. She was/is such a book worm and was really beginning to wonder that I wasn't going to go down the same path as her. This is where the reason for my blog title comes in.

As far as book titles go, I remember very few of them when it comes to what I read in my elementary and junior high school days. There's Hatchet. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 4th. None in 5th cause that teacher didn't read to us. None in 6th cause that teacher didn't read to us either. One in 7th of which I don't remember the title but was about, I believe, a midwife's apprentice living in the 1500's, and The Giver by Lois Lowry, Fever by Laurie Halse Anderson, and Down River by Will Hobbs (Great Book!) in 8th.
Other than that, there were what I like to call the "Lost Books." They were books I read on my own time, some of the first I not only finished in a timely fashion, but became emotionally invested in, enough so that they stayed with me even until today. The titles I've long forgotten. Additionally, they were all from school or classroom libraries, so are likely old and hard to come by. But like I said, I loved them and I'd love to re-read them if anyone happens to think they might know of them and their respective title. And, of course, if you did read them, I would love to know what you thought of them.
Unfortunately, I don't have much to go by, but this is what I got.

1. Lost Book number one was my first introduction to urban fantasy after The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge and before I got big into Harry Potter. It was a book about a boy who somehow winds up on an adventure with a girl who, I believe, is from the past. She has some nature inspired name like Thicket or Thorn and bright eyes. The boy is tasked with carrying magical stones that have the power to save the world against "The Bad Guy," of which I remember no more than that he's bad and he's a guy. The girl, I think maybe, comes and goes and her father is also a part of the story. The main character's brother also comes into the story.
There's also a lot of rain.

2. Lost Book number two was a fun book about a girl living in San Francisco, dealing with a mystery behind the ghost of a girl who died in the infamous 1906 earthquake. That's basically all I got.

3. Lost Book number three was a whimsy little book about a girl, whose name I believe was Sophie, who lived with a silly, oddball family of artists and spunky, imaginative kids. There's a lot of meaning behind color and what colors stand for. If the main character's name is not Sophie, it's something which also isn't color, because I remember her talking about the rest of her siblings having color names when she didn't. There was also something really important about a small angel statue and a trip across the globe to find it, to Italy or some Mediterranean country.
Also, it was possibly the first book to ever make me laugh out loud.

That's it.
Just three little, presumably obscure books that, I'm sure, had a remarkable impact on my reading journey as a blossoming young girl. Books held such a discovery aspect for me back then. Not just in turning the page and watching the story unfold, but in the discovery of what books could do for me. Right around sixth grade something just clicked, and I realized that a book world was a good world. There was meaning and intrigue and joy in them. Also, the school library became a place of refuge. I wasn't in there all the time, but those days where all my friends were home sick or the rain and cold outside forced me to seek the indoors, I found myself drifting through the isles of colorful spines of hundreds of books, ogling at the endless possibility of fantasy and mystery and adventure. Taking my sweet time to peruse the titles and descriptions.
Ah, I could go on infinitely. But I'll stop here. And perhaps it'll end up that no one will be able to assist me in my quest. Perhaps those books will always have to live in just my head alone. But the fact they're there is what really matters to me.
Because these books, they live.

And do you have any Lost Books you'd like to one day be reunited with? I won't guarantee that I can help you, but I'd love to hear about them and what they did for you as a young reader. Who knows, they could crop up in some library or used book store some day.

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