I remember very clearly the book that got me hooked on reading. I was ten and in the last year of junior school. Back then, in the 1960s, we read from Ladybird books. The teacher had us stand at her desk and read aloud as she pointed to the words with her pen.
A Book About Dancing
One day, the teacher handed me a blue hardback book, suggesting I take it home to read. She told me it was a book about dancing and I remember wondering if I would enjoy reading it, as dancing was not something I was into. Or so I thought.
The book did look very ‘grown up’ though. It was thicker than any book I’d read up to that point. It was illustrated with black and white line drawings, but was mostly solid text.
How pleased I was that she allowed me to take it home to read.
A Gripping Story
I saw Dancing Star as my first real book with twenty-three chapters. It is the gripping story of Anna Pavlova, Prima Ballerina of the Imperial Russian Ballet.
The opening chapter set the scene, with the eight year old Anna being taken to the ballet to see The Sleeping Beauty. That was the moment she decided she wanted to be a ballerina.
I Was Hooked on Reading
The second chapter started with the line, “When Anna Pavlova was born, at St Petersburg in 1882, no one believed she could live.”
I was hooked. Every spare moment I had, the book would come out and I would read a chapter. I struggled with Anna through her training, felt her pain after gruelling sessions in the dance studio and celebrated with her when she finally achieved her dream.
To a rather shy, quiet child, the world of books had been revealed to me and set me on the road to a lifelong love of reading and writing.
The book was written by Gladys Malvern. It is still available on Amazon and or from Waterstones book store.
Do you remember the book that triggered a love of reading? Please do comment and let me know.