I read my first book – a mystery story – when I was seven and nearing the end of grade two. My reading vocabulary was still very limited, but my desire to read was overwhelming. Why? I saw my sister and father reading every minute of their spare time, and so I knew it must be fun and I couldn’t wait to read a “real” book.
After I brought home the reader I had finished at school, my sister handed me a book with the pronouncement that it was a good book and much better than anything I had been reading in the classroom. She was three years older than I was, an avid reader, and I trusted her. The book was difficult for me and I had a lot of trouble with the first pages, never mind the many chapters that followed.
However, it wasn’t just the inspiration of seeing my family engrossed in books since I was a toddler, it was the book itself that kept me struggling through to the end:Nancy Drew and The Secret in the Old Attic. Even now, the title intrigues me.
Tough as it was, I managed to finish the book. I seriously wanted to read a “real” book, and was fascinated by the story. There were two or three illustrations and one near the back of the book was of the beautiful, intrepid Nancy creeping up a dark staircase to the attic with only a candle to light the way. I turned to the picture again and again.
The Subject Fascinated Me
I was at an age when that kind of bravery left me spellbound. How could Nancy do such a thing? At seven, I raced in and out of dark rooms as if pursued by demons.
I didn’t care if my fear was foolish, as the adults kept assuring me.I dreaded being sent to my room after dark to get something, and no one would ever go with me into the jaws of death – my dark bedroom.I was barely tall enough to reach the dangling chain that would turn on the light and I could pull it only when I reached the middle of the room. I was very afraid, even though the light from the hall allowed me to see into the room.
I had to keep reading The Secret in the Old Atticto find out more about this incredible girl and figure out how she could do anything so frightening as go up to a dark attic by herself. And what was going on in that attic?I really wanted to know. (I don’t have that book and I can no longer remember. Does anyone else?)
I was lucky that all the ingredients were present to make me want to read even when it wasn’t easy. With so many incentives,I was compelled to finish the book. My love of reading was born and I became a lifelong reader.
I hope children are inspired to finish reading the mysteries I write for them. I’ve finished writing the sequel to Something’s Missing, and I’m now in the final stages of editing it. It’s called Someone’s Trapped, and has a soccer setting.
The first book in the series, Something’s Missing,is for sale in paperback at this link to Amazon.com, or by clicking on this Amazon.ca link, and also at Barnes and Noble, and independent bookstores. If your child enjoys e-book reading, watch for the Kindle version of Something’s Missing,which should be out soon.
(And if anyone remembers what was going on in the old attic, let me know!)
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