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27 Books That Sparked Your Literary Awakening

"There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all." —Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

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1. The Giver by Lois Lowry

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It really exposed me to how books can transport you to different worlds and make you feel something for fictional people.

Submitted by taylornaylor

2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

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It was the first book I read in one sitting, and that was the day I decided to add English as a second major.

Submitted by michaelm169

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4. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

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I got so fed up with having to wait for my dad to finish reading it to me, I went to the bookshelf and started trying to learn to read. This made me love reading.

Submitted by Oriane Hakkila, Facebook

5. Divergent by Veronica Roth

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It actually made me feel so excited, sad, and every other possible emotion. It was a movie in itself just by reading it.

Submitted by brianaet

6. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

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I loved how strong the female protagonist was, and it was very powerful to read about a girl doing remarkable things.

Submitted by hschnucks

7. Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine

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I would go to various libraries just to find different books from the series I hadn't read yet.

Submitted by siarracruzzieg

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8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Sally CC BY-NC / Via Flickr: queenieandthedew

The stories of the four sisters changed my relationship with both books and with my friends and family.

Submitted by Molly Lahr, Facebook

9. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

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I've always walked to my own beat and been very bull-headed, so I related to Ferdinand! This sparked my love for books that are character-driven and ultimately have a message!

Submitted by Suzi Rogers Grant, Facebook

11. 11/22/63 by Stephen King

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The character was so easy to relate to, because he was flawed, but undeniably likable. Even though he was quite average, he still had an excellent adventure.

Submitted by meredithb4f4141cdf

12. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

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Being a kid with heart trouble and a limited ability to play outside, my books were my life, and this book was where it all began.

Submitted by Lindsay Kottmann, Facebook

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13. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

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I had never related to a character as intimately as I had with Miss Margaret Simon.

Submitted by Julia Frampton, Facebook

14. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

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I admired Francie's ability to see the world in a positive light, even though her life was certainly far from easy.

Submitted by amyj1313

15. Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene

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I learned about class, poise, and determination from these books. The unflappable detective taught me to be observant, and intuitive, and to always trust my instincts.

Submitted by annag4d97f0a92

16. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

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Since it didn't have any pictures, I thought I wouldn't like it. However, the characters were so vibrant that the pictures came alive in my mind rather than on the page.

Submitted by Sarah Elizabeth Wilson, Facebook

17. White Fang by Jack London

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I looked up all the words I didn't understand, asked adults to explain a sentence, and reread it until the book made sense. This inspired me to understand every book I read after.

Submitted by amandah4cccf5671

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18. The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner

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I would spend hours in our back woods pretending to forage for blueberries and digging holes to use as a refrigerator. It was the first time a book lit up my imagination like that.

Submitted by Emily Batson Tennent, Facebook

19. The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

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I became our library's 'most frequent flier' after reading this book.

Submitted by sideswipe75

20. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr

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It's one of the reasons why I'm strongly against nuclear weapons, because that book showed me what a horrific impact they have on innocent people.

Submitted by Courtney Elizabeth

21. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

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I loved it so much that I did a class presentation on it without even being asked to do one.

Submitted by rosiep4ef92c924

22. 1984 by George Orwell

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It was amazing, and it opened my eyes to how the world really works.

Submitted by M2087O

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23. Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

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It made me appreciate people and their unseen sides more, helped me develop empathy for the underdog, and made me love words and how beautiful they could be.

Submitted by Liz

24. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Ronja Nilsson CC / Via Flickr: ronjanilsson

After reading it, I understood why people read for pleasure, because it was an escape to a different place and time.

Submitted by Rebecca Cook, Facebook

25. The Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis

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I really felt like I was part of the adventure. Now, I'm always on the hunt for books that'll take me out of the monotony to somewhere strange and exciting for a few hours.

Submitted by rachels4872f9fab

27. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Dallas Epperson CC BY-SA / Via Flickr: dallas-epperson

As a child, I felt like I never belonged. When I read the books, I figured that if a scrawny nobody can have loyal friends and wild adventures, why couldn't I, too?

Submitted by sophiaj4bd4ab6a7

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