Sunday, June 8, 2014

Books My Daughter Should Read, Part 1

My daughter Ellen in the local library
By Laurie Epps

So much of my identity is wrapped up in books that to really know me, my daughters would have to read some of my most favorite books to know anything about me.

In the Joy Luck Club, Ying-Ying attributes her daughter’s instability in the present to her past own weakness: “Now I must tell my daughter everything. That she is the daughter of a ghost. She has no chi. This is my greatest shame. How can I leave this world without leaving her my spirit?” (286)

This is not only a record for me, but also for all of my daughters, in hopes that they will know my spirit. Much of who I am is wrapped up in the pages of these following books.

For the young girl:

The Little Engine That Could 
by Watty Piper
As a girl, I’d make my brother Robert read this to me over and over again. Young girls truly need to believe that they can do, and become anything.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie 
by Laura Joffe Numeroff
This is my favorite children’s book as an adult. In a fun, and inclining way, this book really demonstrates that some people are never satisfied. No matter how much you do for them, they just want more.

“Stand Back,” said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!” 
by Patricia Thomas
Delighted with humor, this was a relatable story for me as child because I’ve always suffered with allergies. It also probably crept into my library as a girl, because it gave my mom a chance to talk to me about covering my nose & mouth when I’d cough or sneeze.

With author Patricia Thomas at the Writers Plot Conference in 2012

For girls in 5th-8th Grade:

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
This was a favorite book of my grandmother Everitt, my mother, and I. Part of what makes this a wonderful story is that it’s told with four strong narratives of the March sisters. I love that it’s so sweet and introduces strong themes of family, love, and friendship. Little Women is so encouraging, in part, because it teaches girls that even though life is always changing, it can still be pretty darn good.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
I remember being assigned this book in junior high by an English teacher, and I began reading the book with a closed mind. My thought was, “This is a boy’s book.” Truly, it’s not. Written by a sixteen year old girl, the Outsiders goes in depth with the “socs” and the “greasers.” The socs were upper middle class kids at the local high school, and the greasers were the poor kids from the wrong side of the tracks. I fell in love with the characters in the book, and fell in love again with them on the screen (All the 80s heart-throbs were in it.) But on a deeper level, thematically it talks about tolerance. No matter what walk of life you come from, problems are just the same, and it’s rough all over.

For more book suggestions, come back next Sunday. Please share with me, what were some of your favorite books as a child?

Laurie Epps is a recent graduate of Anderson University majoring in Creative Writing. Already Laurie is most published as a feature article writer, essayist, and poet.  A seeker of beauty, her is dream is to travel the world one day and tell the many stories of those she meets. Columns include: Monday Morning Book Club, and Thoughtful Thursdays, a column dedicated to the fine art of poetry.

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