Learning to Read and the Library Card

My grandmother taught me to read.

While she cooked, I would sit at the kitchen table, drawing row after row of variant loops and squiggles on lined paper, from time to time calling, “Are there any letters here, Grandma?” Bless her, she found one every time, and right then she would stop and write the true letter plainly for me to use as a model for practice. It wasn’t long before I could write all the letters, quickly learning the order from the alphabet song. Words followed, and to teach these Grandma used my sister’s first grade readers—I can still see blond-haired Jane with her blue ribbon, running in her white dress and black Mary Janes alongside the brown-haired Dick, accompanied by the energetic Spot. After that, Grandma started letting me choose books during the weekly trip to the library, checking them out on her card. Soon, though, my appetite for books exceeded the checkout limit, meaning Grandma had to forego getting books for herself, and so she asked that I be given a card of my own.

Click here to read the full story on the Macmillan website.

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