Contributor: Hannah Vickers
Growing up, being the youngest of four girls and a daughter of a pastor, my sisters and I never really were allowed to view a great deal of violence on TV, so besides the occasional hair pull, or a slight shove now and then, we were oblivious to the harshness of reality. Our games, books and movies were filled with the usual Disney storyline that always ended with a happily-ever-after. PBS was a must, and anything outside of our little town of Cut-N-Shoot, Texas was blurred by a force field of safety. But, even the strongest parental protection over us could not shield us from a worldwide phenomenon that touched American children in 1997—the magical world of Harry Potter. Read more
Contributor: Priyanka Thupili
Like many children, my first reading experiences were dominated by illustrations plastered across pages and the captions that accompanied them. As a four-year-old, I relished flipping through pages and wreaking havoc upon them with the scribbles of crayons and whatever instruments I had access to at the time.
Not too long afterwards, I progressed to books with fewer pictures, if any. Once I turned six, I was rather proud of the fact that I was now civilized enough to stop scribbling in books. Apparently, so were my parents; this was around the time my mother introduced me to the local public library. We had established the habit of a weekly excursion to this oddly quiet place, and as I learned to read faster, I grabbed more and more books. When I was a six-year-old, the first few of these books that legitimately had me hooked were from R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” series. Read more