Books have made a difference. They have changed the world and our individual lives. For me, stories and reading were normal when I was young and reading has made the difference ever since. The first stories that I remember vividly were the Uncle Wiggly Stories by Howard Garis. (If you were born after 1950, this will all be news to you.) Uncle Wiggly, the rabbit gentleman, who used a red and white striped crutch because of his rheumatism, was regularly challenged by a number of bad chaps. Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy, the muskrat lady, was his kindly housekeeper. These are wonderful memories for me and books that make a difference to you must somehow hit a sweet spot of truth, association or memory.
Books, through the years, have changed individual thought and even affected social policy, causing readers to rethink attitudes and prejudices of earlier generations. They have served to precipitate discussions; pros and cons, agreement or disagreement. A few of the following fit this category and can be found in the library:
Fools Crow-James Welch
Things Fall Apart- Chima Achebe
Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee-Dee Brown
Their Eyes were Watching God-Zora Neale Hurston
To Kill a Mockingbird-Harper Lee
The Color Purple-Alice Walker
The Grapes of Wrath-John Steinbeck
Catch 22-Joseph Heller
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings-Maya Angelou
Native Son-Richard Wright
Silent Spring-Rachel Carson
Uncle Tom’s Cabin-Harriet Beecher Stowe
Uncle Wiggly, and all the riches of public libraries through these many years, have made a difference, and made me different, and for that I’m glad. I invite all you book readers to tell me about a book that has impressed you in some way-and why- for a future article.
See you at the library!