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Clean Out Your Bookcase Day and My Memories

By: Lisa McGrew

In honor of Feb. 20th National Clean Out Your Bookcase Day, I decided to go through my son’s childhood books.  He is now twenty-one years old but I could not bring myself to give away all of his books.  I donated quite a few throughout the years and kept a few, read during his middle school years, to add to my middle school classroom collection.  I never denied him a book when we went to the store but I did deny him toys.  As I look at his collection, I see all the adventures he took while reading.  His love of books shines through in the care he took.  Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney reflecting his awkward years as a pre-teen and tween; not to mention, the Middle School series by James Patterson. He would always prefer the more humorous stories over anything else and as a young adult now, I see his humorous side often.  I also see his love for comic series and drawing reflected in the “Wimpy Kid” style of delivery and Captain Underpants. He once wrote his own comic book series in fifth grade to sell to his schoolmates.  I still have those copies of his artwork and creative plot about “Stinkman.” You can imagine what superpower was evident in his storylines.  As I pore over the titles, I hope that other children can enjoy the freedom of a book.  You can live many lives, go many places, risk so many things without needing anything other than your imagination. That is priceless while so many items in this world are unattainable, a book and a good story is not.  In order to leave the mundane all you need is to open the cover.  So, although I do intend to keep some of his most treasured books, I plan on donating the rest, so other children can share in the same adventures and grow in their love of reading.  

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