Jul 15, 2012
Re-Reading Childhood Books
I never found my original copy of Little House on the Prairie. I'll admit that this bothered me for years. I just assumed that all such missing items from childhood were 'somewhere at my Dad's house' and, it turns out, years later (perplexingly) that none of those things were at my Dad's house. So, my boyfriend, who picked up on my distress, came home with a used copy of Little House in the Big Woods the other day. This was so thoughtful and such a surprise that I broke down and cried! Seeing this book (the copy he found was even roughly from the same era as what was my old copy) led me to finally, bravely go searching for my copy of Up a Road Slowly. I had been afraid that this book wasn't where I thought it was and I just didn't want to know for sure that it wasn't. But there it was, on the top shelf of the hallway closet along with Jacob Have I Loved, Tex and The Outsiders. Oddly, Up a Road Slowly has been on my mind a lot lately. I read it the summer before my freshman year in high school–which is confusing as a memory because I also recall being a 'child' when I read it. Something about the way the story is organized, the way the main character respects herself and slowly achieves things meant a great deal to me at fourteen. I recall that I read Up a Road Slowly, which won the Newberry Award and is definitely YA fiction, concurrently with The World According to Garp. It made perfect sense at the time. In honor of this–or due to some sentimental forces beyond my control, I am now re-reading Little House in the Big Woods, Up a Road Slowly and Garp all at once. I highly recommend doing this.