The Book That Made Me: A Collection of 32 Personal Stories

Edited by Judith Ridge. Candlewick, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9549-1
In a volume originally published in Australia, Ridge asked more than 30 writers (including Ted Dawe, Ursula Dubosarsky, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Jaclyn Moriarty, Mal Peet, and Markus Zusak) to share the book that “made them readers, made them writers—made them the person they are today.” Mandy Hager quotes George Orwell on the importance of “political purpose” as a motivation for his writing, while explaining how 1984 outraged and galvanized her “to make change for the better in my world.” Fiona Wood calls on the words of L.M. Montgomery’s characters in Anne of Green Gables to delineate eight “extremely useful things” she learned from that novel, including “Daydreaming is good for you” and “Feminism will save you.” Photos of the authors as children lend another personal touch to the essays, and Shaun Tan intersperses entertaining cartoons of “random strangers” answering the question, “Why do you read?” (“I like urban paranormal Victorian steampunk speculative romance. A lot more than your dumb questions,” snarks a young respondent). Impassioned and intimate, these essays create an eloquent ode to the power of story. Ages 14–up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/16/2017
Release date: 03/14/2017
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 298 pages - 978-1-5252-2964-0
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-7636-9671-9
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