It’s Slice of Life time with Two Writing Teachers! A story from the story well…
The first chapter book I ever read by myself, from front cover to back cover, every single page, understanding the whole thing without any help, was The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.
I remember the day I finished it. I think I was in 2nd or 3rd grade at the time, but on this day I was home and it was daylight out. We were living in what we still call, simply, “The Green House” (As opposed, of course, to the white house, the brown house, the Drayton Harbor house, and the house my parents still live in today–the Harborview House. Good names, yes?). I was in the top bunk of the extra-tall bunk beds my dad had made for us. I don’t know where my sister was at the time. I’m sure if she was home I would have been bugging her instead of reading, so she must have been somewhere.
My eyes were tired. I had bifocal glasses (click here for that sad tale), but I always looked over the top of the bifocal part. I had that feeling of having read too long, but I knew the end of the book was close, so I toiled on. As I read I imagined how I would announce my roaring reading success to my family. I would be official. A reader. A CHAPTER BOOK reader. I think I spent more time imagining finishing the book than paying attention to the story. In fact, right now I can only tell you that I imagine the mouse rode a motorcycle at the end, but I can’t guarantee it.
I remember finishing the final paragraph–with that lovely blank and empty end-of-the-book space after it. I remember shutting the book and starting the climb down the ladder. I’m certain I was calling out my success as I climbed.
And, I hate to be anti-climactic here, but that was the last moment of that day I remember. I remember afterwards and ever since thinking of that book as the first chapter book I ever read by myself, from front cover to back cover, every single page, understanding the whole thing without any help, but I don’t remember what happened after I climbed down that extra-tall ladder.
Must have been some party, huh? That’s all I can figure.
How about you? Do you remember a reading first of your own?