Life Changing Book

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.

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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.