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IRIS'S LITERARY SENSE II
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REFLECTIVE ESSAY

Rainbow

 

IRIS LEVENSON

ENGLISH 1B

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     A Literacy Autobiography

 

My farthest memory of reading goes back to “Fun with Dick and Jane”. I mostly enjoyed the illustrations.  Dr. Suess books also played a big role, in my earlier years of reading. “The Fly went by”, was one that I read, over and over. I liked the sound of the rhyming words. I found it fun to read. It was like reading a song.  Latter I discovered “Nancy Drew”, books. I found her methods for solving mysteries, were fascinating. She was a heroine for me.  In my teenage years, I was drawn to biographies. I suppose I was in search of finding the answers to life’s complexities, while reading about successful people. Some famous in history, such as ‘Clara Barton’, is one that stands out.  I think one of the greatest influence’s in my world of reading was my eighth grade. English teacher. Her name was “Ellen Peck”.  She encouraged her students to study all aspects of the Art world. We learned of different clothing designers, different musical composers, authors, and the differences in literary works. We studied various theatrical productions and so on. She became an author of two books. One of her books was “The Baby Trap”; the other book was called “How to Catch a Teenage Boy and What to do when you get him”.  She actually made an appearance on “The Tonight Show”.  This led me to believe that being so close to success allowed anything to be possible.  I actually started to write a bibliography.

 

The quickest I ever read a book was on a rainy Sunday, curled up in a cozy chair, and devoured it from cover to cover. The book was, The Exorcist.  The movie was a total disappointment in comparison to the book. Two books that made an impact on me were John Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley” and Dick Gregory’s, “Black Like Me”. I think both books created awareness outside my own surroundings.  After that I had the strong urge to travel. I arranged to go to Israel with a group of people from all over the United States and I met some interesting people throughout Israel. It was the mixture of cultures that made it so interesting.  Latter in my early twenties; I remember reading “Fear of Flying” by, Erica Jong.  I read the book because that was a taboo, best seller at the time. It was a very daring book. Another book I remember reading was a book called “Mixed Blessings” and I remember it was a story about family and relationships. I believe I enjoyed it, because it was about the time in my life where I was trying to figure out my new relationships, being on my own for the first time and having a room mate and a detachment from, what I had only known as my home all my life.

 

I started to read again when I had my daughter. I would take her to the library every week. We experienced all the activities the Library had to offer. We would lie on the pillow and get totally absorbed in stories. We would read at bedtime every night. We would read during meal time.  I would read with expression. It was fun and entertaining.

As my daughter grew older we would read chapter books at bed time so every night we would look forward to what was next. My daughter became very interested in the Holocaust and Jewish history. One of the books we read that I thought was excellent for a girl of 12 and over was the book “Letters from Rifka”. As I finished reading her the book I began to cry, the ending was so uplifting. She began reading them on her own and she became totally into it. These moments shared are memories that we will always cherish. Lindsay is an avid reader today.

 

As for me I took a Children’s Literature class at Sierra College and thoroughly enjoyed it.  One of the books that captured my liking was “Tuck Everlasting”, I found it to be so enchanting and again the movie didn’t do it justice. It was a wonderful story, of love and sacrifice, wrapped up in fantasy. The class taught me a new appreciation for children’s stories. I now understand how Grimm’s fairytales, got its name. I was introduced to the many versions of Cinderella. Now I am reading a variety of books. I just finished “The long Goodbye”, by Patti Davis and Angry Housewives eating Bon Bons,  The Revenge of the Middle Age Women, and “ The Idiot Girls’ Action Adventure Club” by Laurie Notaro. I like reading books that move along and without over kill on the nouns. I also enjoy books that I can relate to.

 

So in conclusion, books have played an influence in my life throughout the years. That must explain why bookstores and libraries are my home away from home.  To sum it up, I love to read because it’s having an adventure on a budget.

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