Monday, February 27, 2006
A friend of mine told me several years ago about a list she had of the 100 things she wanted to do before she died. She had things on her list like...learn to play another instrument, get married, have children, bungee jump, learn another language, live overseas for a while...things like that. I thought it was interesting because I had never thought about what I would like to accomplish before I die. I just did life and I liked it that way. But I thought there had to be some goal that would be fun to try to accomplish. So I thought and thought. I still couldn't come up with anything that I really felt like I wanted to do before I die. Then I thought of something. I love to read. But not just any old books will do. I am a huge fan of children's literature. I decided that I would read all of the Newberry Award winning books and the honor books from 1922 (the first year it was awarded) to the present. That should take some time considering there are 365 of them through 2006 and every year they add a few more. So I printed off the list and was pleasantly surprised to see that I had already read some of them. In the 1930's and 40's several of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder made the list. I had read those several times. Beverly Cleary had written books that received the award as well. I had read everything by her when I was a kid. And there were several books that were required reading in school that were on the list. So I went to our school library with the list in hand and marked all the ones that they had, checked out several and started reading. As of today I have read 108 of the titles on the list. I have really learned a lot because of the many different subjects written about. Some of my favorites have been Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo(which is now a movie), The Wanderer by Sharon Creech, The Giver by Lois Lowry, Onion John by Joseph Krumgold, and The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois. I also really enjoyed Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes. I had never read it and had never been interested in reading it but was pleasantly surprised at how good it was....of course, it won an award! I do keep looking at the books on the list like An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793, and Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mount St. Helens and wonder how they could be good...but they won the award or an honor so they must be worth it. So that is my goal. Instead of 100 different things to do...365 books to read...with more being added every year. And if I die before I get through the entire list...then I'm done! God has called me home.