Having recently come across a few long-time “keeper” books I’d forgotten (one a hardback collection of horse stories given to me by my grandparents when I was eight years old), I started thinking about how books have long been a part of my life and how I’ve always loved reading--and especially reading during those mid-late grade school years which can be, for many children if they are fortunate, what I’ve heard called “The Golden Age of Reading.”
When my family would move to a new town, the first settling-in priorities included enrollment in school, finding a church, and getting a library card. Scholastic book order delivery days were eagerly awaited. And often as a family, we took turns reading books aloud to each other--Dickens’ A Christmas Carol being a long-time favorite. Growing up, we often found BOOKS snuggled in the branches of the family Christmas tree!
When my reading skills developed sufficiently to explore new reading worlds on my own, I devoured poetry, history, world travel and geography, biographies and autobiographies, science (I loved astronomy, geology, archaeology and animals)—and, of course, FICTION. Which got me thinking…who were a few of my favorite fiction authors during those mid-late grade school years--and why?
I was born horse crazy, so a no-brainer in the “why” department included Black Beauty and books in Marguerite Henry’s Misty of Chincoteague series and Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series. These books--their settings, situations, and adventurous, come-alive characters--filled my imagination.
The Laura Ingalls Wilder stories of a pioneer girl captivated me, for I’d grown up on the real-life stories of my own ancestors’ experiences and came from a close-knit extended family, too. Some not-so-well-known books riveted me, as well, such as Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s The Velvet Room, in which I immersed myself as a sixth grader. As a child who at that point had lived in five different small towns in a four-year period, I could identify with the challenges and dreams of the young heroine. And who could forget amateur sleuth Nancy Drew?
I’m currently writing contemporary inspirational romances set in small-town, mountain country Arizona. They reflect my love of family and close-knit communities, and how important a role God plays in our lives--especially when we cooperate with Him. (And yes, I slip horses in whenever I reasonably can!) Due to long-time interests, however, I also could have easily gravitated to writing inspirational romantic mysteries or westerns. (Who knows, maybe one day I’ll add those to my writing repertoire!)
What books linger in YOUR memory from your mid-late elementary school years? What about them drew you? Something about a particular character? The setting? A situation that you identified with? The fact that they were in a series where you could revisit them time and time again?
If you’re a WRITER, share with us your elementary school “golden age” reading favorites and how you think they might be impacting what you’re writing TODAY.
Do you see anything in your overall youthful reading interests that might be fun and “fair game” to incorporate into one of your stories now or in the future?
How can you make YOUR book one that will linger in a reader’s mind long after the last page is turned?
And if you’re a READER, what were your “golden age” fiction favorites--and do you still gravitate to those topics / types of books when looking for something to read today?
If you’d like to be entered in a drawing for a copy of my May 2016 Love Inspired release, “Claiming the Single Mom’s Heart,” mention it, then check the Weekend Edition to see if you’re a winner!
GLYNNA KAYE treasures memories of growing up in small Midwestern towns--and vacations spent with the Texan side of the family. She traces her love of storytelling to the times a houseful of great-aunts and great-uncles gathered with her grandma to share candid, heartwarming, poignant and often humorous tales of their youth and young adulthood. Her Love Inspired books--Pine Country Cowboy and High Country Holiday won first and second place, respectively, in the 2015 RWA Faith, Hope & Love Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards. Claiming the Single Mom’s Heart, her tenth Love Inspired book (and the second in the Hearts of Hunter Ridge series) is available now!
Their Unexpected Love. Sunshine Carston is looking for more than beautiful scenery when she moves with her daughter to Hunter Ridge, Arizona. She’s looking for answers. According to family legend, her ancestors were cheated out of their land by the Hunter family. But when she meets Grady Hunter, Sunshine’s mission is endangered—how can she investigate the Hunters when she’s falling in love with one? When Grady’s mother becomes ill, Grady steps in to help her run against Sunshine for town council. But what will Grady say when he finds out about Sunshine’s investigation? To rise above the past and forge a future together, they’ll need a love stronger