Read what you need

A Reader's Story

July 25, 1999

"My first real, beloved, grown-up books were not the great classics many writers claim they devoured before they could digest solid food. They were the [British] Claudia books, which sucked me into the joy of total immersion when I was going on 15.

"I'm not even ashamed. I have a feeling that if I re-read this series now, I would still love Claudia, laugh myself sick, fall in love with David and suffer a physical shock and sorrow when their son Bobby is run over and killed.

"The books you love when you're young build your bones. They become part of you and never, ever leave you. That's why it's so important for people in charge of children to realize that books fill our empty spaces and that, in all of us, these spaces come in different shapes and sizes. It follows that people read what they need."

--Lynn Reid Banks, author of "The Indian in the Cupboard," from "Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children"

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