A reader is being born. A real reader, not just someone who's learned to read. The kind of reader who finds an author or a character or a certain kind of book and falls in crazy, overwhelming, blushing, stammering love.
My daughter has been reading for a couple years now -- she's almost eight -- and she's liked a lot of the books she's read so far. She had a close but not BFF thing with Junie B. Jones for a while, and she was fascinated when I read All of a Kind Family to her (so very other! to a kid with a DS and movies on demand). But she wasn't dying to read anything. I wasn't finding her curled up in her room with a book, or tripping over her feet because she was reading as she walked down to dinner.
But she discovered Judy Blume this week, thanks to the school book fair (and the fact that I hadn't bought her any of Blume's books yet). And she is IN LOVE, official, capital letters love. Specifically, so far, with Fudge-a-mania.
And I'm ... almost jealous. That moment when reading clicks for you, when you read a book and realize the voice is someone you know, someone familiar even if their circumstances aren't, someone who thinks and feels the way you do, and can take you places you never imagined -- that's a once in a lifetime thing. That's the prelude to the day when you realize you think about Harry and Hermione and Ron as real people, and you half remember having been to Narnia (even though you really haven't, of course), and you're screaming at someone in a Stephen King story to GET OUT OF THE BASEMENT, FOR GOD'S SAKE, and you can't think about Katniss's sister Prim without crying.
And that's pretty awesome for anyone, and especially for my kid. Plus, now I get to read Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great again.