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I have loved a good book for as long as I can remember. Hours spent getting lost in adventures, getting to know parts of myself, and riding emotional roller coasters with every turn of a crisp page. Reading might be my favourite way to escape and find adventures without ever leaving the comfort of home. I honestly don’t know what started my love of reading but I do remember my favourite childhood book and how much it influenced me and the path I chose to go.
My grade 1 teacher had to find a way to introduce the Second World War into the classroom. The way she chose to go about it was to read Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. For those who have never read it before, it’s about a young girl and her family’s journey in trying to save their best friends, a Jewish family, in Copenhagen during the Second World War. Friendship, loyalty, the loss of innocence, tragedy, this historical fiction will give you all the feels, even as a child.
Number the Stars got to me. With every sentence, I found myself relating to both Annemarie and Ellen. I would look at my best friend and think about what would I do to save my friend, to help her survive during one of the worst moments in history. This story was the spark that started my fascination with history. I can honestly say it’s the reason I have a massive history book collection, it’s the reason I chose history courses in high school, and it was the reason I became a history major in university. I still have my grade 1 copy of the book and I pick it up off the bookshelf every few years and reread it. I can confidently say that Number the Stars was my absolute favourite childhood book and continues to be my favourite book.
Do you have a favourite childhood book? How did it influence you?