The first book that changed my life forever, wasn’t an inspirational or motivational book. The author is not a guru of any type. The first book that changed my life forever, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.
I have dyslexia and the school I was attending used phonics to teach us to read. I have nothing against phonics, but it is a horrible way to teach a child with dyslexia. However, that information was not known at the time.
I also have a hearing disability that made it impossible for me to differentiate some of the vowel sounds.
What a combination? It’s no wonder I struggled learning to read and lost the desire to even try.
I was in forth grade and the teacher decided to read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing to the class. Each day, she would read a couple of chapters. I would close my eyes and picture the story in my mind. It was my favorite part of the day.
When she finished reading the book, I felt lost. I wanted to know more about Peter and his brother. I went to the library and eventually read all the books they had by Judy Blume. After I ran out of Judy Blume books, I started to read books by Beverly Cleary. Next I was ready about Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew.
It was a struggle at first, but the more time I spent reading the better I got. I didn’t know it at the time, but the most effective way to teach someone with my set of disabilities to read was through a method of repetitive sight reading. Since I fell in love with stories, that is exactly what I was doing.
It was Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing that motivated me to develop my reading skills and gave me a love for books. It changed my life forever.