Well, this question left me somewhat stumped. As an avid reader, there are a lot of books that I could put here. So, do I put the book that got me back into reading last year? Do I put the book that renewed my faith in YA fiction? Do I put one of the books that left me in a flood of tears? Or do I put one that left me with a silly grin on my face? There are just too many to choose from! And then it came to me. It should have been obvious all along.
As you may or may not be aware, I moved country when I was 13 years old. Now, 13 isn’t a great age to undergo such a change. You need your friends at 13 and where I was, not only was I in a different country where people spoke a different language (and very little English) but I was also in an area renowned for being cold towards anyone not from their region. They don’t call them “the wooden heads” for nothing! Of course, I soon made new acquaintances, but these people already had their own friends and the language barriers only meant that I felt the loss of my old friends even more keenly. This wasn’t a good time for me personally or for my family as a whole as each of us was suffering from the same fate. I felt alone – the only things I had left to turn to were my dog and my books. Because I no longer had friends to hang out with at the rec (a big playing field in the village where I grew up – also had a swing set) after school, I threw myself into reading. In those first few months I spent most of my time reading or sleeping – being surrounded by a foreign language all day really takes it out of you and most days I would be in bed by 8pm! But one book in particular really helped. It was a book that I had already read a few times but it became the image of my last link to the life I’d left behind. It became a lifeline. I read it over and over. Even now, though it’s probably been at least six years since I last read it, I still view it with reverence and awe. The book was lost for a couple of years when I leant it to my brother and he did that thing where you put your book down somewhere then forget where and it doesn’t resurface until years later. This one just happened to resurface over this past summer. It’s now back with me, where it belongs. So I’m thankful for this book, for helping me through my darkest hour.