I was twelve when I moved to Wisconsin with my family to live with my grandmother. It turned out to be fortuitous that we made the move because my grandmother had the beginnings of dementia. We were able to care for her, keep her at home for the last years of her life.
As soon as we moved, the first thing I did was find a Library. My family was exceedingly poor at this point, and we were all heavy readers.
Fortunately, the nearest town had a Library, and my grandmother drove me there twice a week. I was limited to 10 books each time by a the Librarian, but I always had them read by the next visit.
After I blew through the Young Adult section and the Fantasy section, I moved into the Science Fiction section. It’s really not that much of a jump – the two sections overlap a LOT.
I found Mercedes Lackey in the Fantasy section and her voice was perfect for the child I was. I don’t read her anymore, but I admire her fantastic work ethic, and her stories live in that bit of imagination that comes out while waiting in doctors’ offices or check out lines.
Anyway, I found a book in the Science Fiction section that I adored at the time, filled with people riding Dinosaurs in a war, and I blew through the whole series. Loved it. No other books out at that point.
It became a memory, and sometime this last year I wanted to read it… and couldn’t remember the title or author! Just what the book looked like.
I searched five or six times with no useful results.
Most recently, I did an image search with the key words instead of a text search. And, lo! 15 or so pages down into my search I spotted the cover.
The book was ‘Bazil Broketail’ by Christopher Rowley:
I ordered a ebook copy because it was cheaper, and I’ll be rereading soon to see if it’s as good as I remember.
I started 7th Grade in the same town, and I blew through the High School library with similar speed. I was being picked on, so I would retreat to the Library during lunch and homeroom to read. I was there so often I started shelving books and helping, and the Librarian let me look at the catalogues and suggest books that might be good.
I found Tamora Pierce at this point and blew through her books. I don’t read her anymore, but her proactive female leads lived on in how I write today. I remind myself as I write that the protagonist MUST take actions. They’re not a passive rider in their own lives!
During that time, another book stuck in my memory, one with a dragon and gladiator fights, and the dragons spoke mind-to-mind with… bubbles? Colorful bubbles?
I didn’t remember it clearly, but this last week, with my first success fresh in my mind, I tried searching for this one too.
And I found it!
The book was actually book two, ‘Heart’s Blood’ in ‘The Pit Dragon Chronicles’ by Jane Yolen, and here’s a peek of the series:
I ordered used copies of the first two books. I haven’t read the further ones, and I thought I would see how I liked the first two, if they stood up to my memories.
I remembered Jane Yolen more for the ‘Great Alta Saga’ books, primarily ‘Sister Light, Sister Dark‘:
I have the second book in this series, but never owned a copy of the first.
So, two mysteries solved! We’ll see how my memories measure up to the books themselves. Are there books you remember from your childhood that you’d like to read again? What books from then do you still read?