I was a creative child and always loved to tell stories. Whenever I found a good book, I would dive right in and finish it as soon as I could. I remember counting down the days until the Scholastic Book Fair during elementary school. I loved seeing all of the books around the room.
Reading was exciting and helped me grow into the storyteller I am today. I was heavily invested in the characters and the worlds they lived in. When I was in 5th grade, I wrote my first book titled “The Necklace” and later in the year I wrote a book about an imaginary friend. I still enjoy reading and writing today. I hope to write my own book one day! Below are just a few books that helped me become the storyteller I am today.
It was difficult to narrow down my list but these books stand out to me when I think about my childhood and the critical years of my development.
Junie B. Jones series by Denise Brunkus and Barbara Park
I still have some of my original Junie B. Jones books. I read all of the books at least twice and could recite the opening by heart. Junie B. Jones was silly, fun, adventurous, and learning so much! I wanted to be her friend. My first-grade teacher introduced me to the series and I am forever thankful for that. I couldn’t imagine going through school without Junie B. Jones. As a storyteller, I learned the fun of storytelling and how characters can impact a child’s life.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
This book helped me get through my early teenage years. Between learning about friendship, boys, and my own body, this book had it all covered. My grandmother gave me this book because she thought the title was fun. I still have it in my room and want to re-read it for fun this summer. As a storyteller, I became excited to write about my personal experiences in a creative way.
If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where’s My Prince? by Melissa Kantor
My mom bought this book for me after my father got married. We didn’t think my new stepmother was wicked but the title intrigued my mother, especially since the girl on the cover is wearing converse. I read this in middle school and couldn’t wait to enter high school and find my prince like the main character wanted. I’ll never forget one of the lessons the main character’s’ stepmother told her (for some reason, it has stuck with me)—lotion your elbows! As a storyteller, I reflected on how I could to tie my personal stories into a larger theme.
On The Run 1: Chasing the Falconers by Gordon Korman
The author visited my school to talk about his new book. I remember sitting there anxiously waiting for the assembly to end so I could go home and read it. I hadn’t read a lot of action thrillers but I dived right into his story and could vividly picture the siblings on the run together. As a storyteller, this opened my eyes to stories that I couldn’t relate to and made me think about other perspectives.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
I read this book in 8th grade in language arts class. I loved being immersed in a different world and reflecting on the idea of having a purpose in life. It is one of my favorite books that we had to read in school. It was great to still feel excited to read at a time where other students were losing their love of reading. As a storyteller, this allowed to think outside of the world we exist in and let my imagination take off.
My first day of school! Growing up, my favorite subject was language arts because I loved to read and write.