Book Marks by Kim Baker
I can’t recall many stories from my youth. Isn’t that terrible? I know I read. A lot. I remember the carpet in the Casper Public Library. I can recall the frustrated anticipation of waiting for the Scholastic book club orders to be distributed. I had a system for questioning librarians and teachers to find out if the dog in the story died before I would risk the first chapter. I even finagled a job in the school library after school. Mrs. Schuster would let me put away books and dust shelves in exchange for book recommendations and the occasional sweet treat. But when I try to remember which books I read, and what actually happened in the stories— apart from a few favorite exceptions I’m usually blank. Middle school and high school are a whole different experience. I don’t know if my brain became more capable of retaining information, but I can recount whole passages from S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders (Stay gold, Ponyboy!). I can tell you about Holden Caulfield’s malaise and what Elizabeth and Jessica fought over at Sweet Valley High (I know.). But my middle grade years are kind of a blur. That’s where my heart lies as a writer and a reader, so the realization freaked me out. It didn’t make any sense.