Growing up, my parents taught me to love reading, but we didn’t have a lot of money to buy books. We used the public library and I read a lot of hand-me-downs—The Bobbsey Twins, The Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden—that got passed around the family.
Somehow, I don’t even remember how, I was given a brand new copy of The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. I was in love with it, not only by the stories but because it was MINE!
I made the mistake of taking it to school with me when I was in third grade and, when I was bored in class, opened it in my lap and started reading. I was lost in Kipling’s world of talking animals when suddenly, I looked up to find the teacher standing over me. Busted!
As punishment, she took the book away from me—and kept it for the rest of the school year! Nice way to reinforce reading in kids, right? I was so happy to be reunited with my old friend on the last day of school, and I have never forgiven that teacher for her over-punishment!
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