Sunday, September 8, 2013


Way back in the third grade, I read Robert C. O'Brien's "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH" in Mrs. Barrett's classroom because, well, I liked the look of the cover.

For years after that, I looked for mice peeping out of fence posts as we walked and wandered and played in our neighborhood. It's from this book the desire within me began to grow to write books of my own (an as-yet unfulfilled desire, but at least I've got books written and being edited right now, though not yet published). Something about that little face, peering out at the world, trying to live in it, trying to understand it, just grips a part of my mind that won't let it go.

To me, it's a powerful book. I can't even take it off the shelf without feeling inadequate or in awe, knowing as an author I've got a lot to live up to.

Because of this power, I've kept an eye open for O'Brien's other books, and this week at the Idaho Youth Ranch thrift store, found the only one missing from y collection: "A Report from Group 17." For sixty-five cents, I was back in the third grade, sitting in that desk by the bookshelves in the back of the room, blissful, happy, not caring that recess would soon be there and I'd have to wander the playground alone far from that magical bookshelf.

I'm going slow through it. I'm already committed to two other books. But it's just as good as NIMH. More for me to aspire to.

There are other books I long to collect: E.W. Hildick's complete McGurk Mysteries series. A book whose title and author I've forgotten, but who wrote about boys battling a sinister takeover of the world by the girls in their school. I'll find it, one of these days.

No comments: