Growing up I had your typical suburban childhood. Comparatively there was nothing more exciting to me than my father’s adolescence, which was spent on a dairy farm near Burlington, Illinois. Each night I was put to bed with stories of runaway tractors, baby animals, and pranks involving the neighbor’s bull. These were my fairytales, and it was my love for them that inspired my father to give me a copy of Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder for Christmas one year.
I already knew how to read by that time, but this book is what turned me into a reader. I devoured the novel as eagerly as I had my father’s stories, and when I was finished I went back for more. I became a voracious bookworm. Farmer Boy was no longer just a book – it became my gateway into thousands of literary worlds. And I will always be thankful for that.