One of my goals for the Hippodilly Circus has been to give teenagers a place to speak and be heard. Here, the goal is met. Erin is a fantastic person and as you’ll find is brilliant and funny. I am honored that she has chosen to share this story with you on Hippodilly Circus. I hope that she’ll find a great and supportive response.
Thank you, Erin!
As a kid I was indifferent towards reading honestly and I wasn’t a very good reader because of it. That is until the beginning of kindergarten when we began learning to read. There were a plethora of levels that you had to reach to get brightly coloured stickers and, more importantly to some people, bragging rights. Yellow, blue, green, purple, orange, etc. but the last level was dark red and I took my sweet time of getting there; until Kayla came along.
This rude little munchkin is who I credit for my love of reading, but at the time I hated her kid sized guts. At least once a week this girl would come in and switch out her books for the next level, sneering at my innocent (almost angelic) face the whole time. Each time she’d receive a new book she’d laugh like the miniature villain she was and proclaim herself the “Queen of Books” (more like Dictator of Books). This of course made me want to destroy her and her happiness (I know lovely right?) so I set to work. Every night I’d go home and read for at least half an hour, imagining the face Kayla would make when I beat her down. Nearly every day I would come in and gain a level, much faster then that little puppy kicker was advancing, so I caught up quick.
Within a few weeks I was at the level right below dark red, but so was Kayla. We glared at each other as we both snatched the orange books. The next day I sauntered past her sad attempt at confidence and performed my reading test, behind me Kayla lurked the whole time of course, but I had done it. I had reached the final level with a quarter of the school year left to go. I would say that I feel remorse for the dancing a laughing in Kayla’s face that ensued but… She deserved it.
The following year, Kayla was in a different class, but I realized I missed reading every night, so I picked up a Junie B Jones book and started up again. Now, I understood why Kayla loved to read, still didn’t feel bad about the whole thing, but you know.
To this day, reading a good book can make me feel in control or relaxed. I wonder where Kayla is now, probably in some high school terrorising slow readers or kittens, who knows. The point is: reading is like allowing some one to climb into your head a paint a beautiful picture for you, like your own personal Michaelanglo to your Sistine Chapel ceiling of a brain. It’s funny to look back on my distaste for reading as kid because it just seems so odd. Books are almost like little movies that you can watch at your own pace AND you get to decide who is cast and what it looks like! You’re basically a director, OK maybe not but you can pretend. This is also my theory for why people don’t like movie adaptations of books, it ruins their artistic vision. Anyways, the moral of this story is; if you’re good at reading you should encourage people instead of putting them down because books are fun or something… I don’t know, use your imagination.
Erin is a 16 year old girl from Burke, Virginia and she is very excited to be given the opportunity to be published in Hippodilly Circus! Her favourite author is Rainbow Rowell (Sorry Eoin Colfer) and she loves all of her books.