When my sister Mar-see-ah was learning to read right before and during kindergarten, I was 3 - 3 1/2. I watched over mom's shoulder as she was teaching her and I learned too. One day I picked up a book called Crab Apple from the library that my sister had been learning from, and I read it to my mother. Mom, at first, didn't believe that I had learned to read - she thought I had just memorized it from having heard it over and over again.
I showed her!
But this is not a story about me being a genius (although that is a happy side effect of the story - you all think I'm a genius). This is a story about that book - Crab Apple.
After the week or two was over, Crab Apple had to go back to the library, and I went on my merry way - sometimes reading, sometimes not, for a full year until it was my turn to really learn to read. I went to the library's easy reader section and searched and searched for this book. I never thought to ask a librarian or even my mother for help, I just looked and looked and looked. I never found it, and this has always been a source of much despair and anguish in my life, although again I have never searched a card catalog for this book.
A savvy reader will notice that I have linked multiple times to this book. I have found it! Well, I didn't find it myself, per se. This semester I am taking a class called "Library Materials for Children." The first day of class we were all asked to talk about the first book we can remember loving. I told them the story of Crab Apple, lamented never having found it, and admitted to not really looking the way a library science student should have.
And that was the end of that.
Or was it?
One of my fellow students works in a library. She looked this book up and then posted to blackboard that she thinks she has discovered this book in the card catalog. Her library, in fact, has it - as well as three other libraries in the Chicagoland area, and she has placed it on reserve so that when it comes in to the library she will be able to bring it to class.
A second one of my classmates saw this post, checked the library that she worked at, found it on the shelf, and brought it to class on Thursday night. Everyone clapped and cheered, and they asked me to read Crab Apple aloud. I did, and I felt like a prom queen. It was fantastic.