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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Reader (04/15/10)

TITLE: My Gift
By Dana McReynolds
04/20/10


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The overcast sky set the stage for a perfect afternoon. The streak of sunny days had made for a glorious start to spring, but it was time for a much needed rejuvenation. The lawn was thirsty and so was I. My relief would come in the form of a shiny hardcover. This was not just another library book. It was new and it was mine.

I found the package that had been tucked away for this very occasion. Remembering the surprise when the box was delivered, I read the enclosed note again. It was an unexpected gift that made my day.

My favorite chair was waiting. I cracked the window to hear the sound of the falling rain. A breeze cooled the room, giving me reason to pull out my cherished blanket. I was only missing one thing, an indulgent snack.

Armed with a glass of chocolate milk, I was ready to relax. I delighted in the crackling sound as I opened the book. Apparently I was the first to do so. The pages were crisp and clean and I could smell the freshness.

After reveling in the newness of the book, I dove in headfirst. At this point I heard the slightest muffle of a cry. I froze. There it was again, the sound of an awakening toddler. Nap time had been cut short in our house today.

My afternoon plans suddenly changed. I was still reading, but my book had been replaced by tales of brown bears, hungry caterpillars and a runaway bunny. These were books I knew by heart but I never tired of reading them. In turn, my daughter never tired of listening.

There will come a day when this will all change. She will no longer want, or need me to read to her. I want to take every opportunity to instill this passion into her life. Hopefully the love of reading will prevail when she discovers computers and video games. It is one of the greatest gifts I have to offer.

For now I will pack my book away for the next rainy day. Besides, I am not in any hurry; my book has no due date.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/24/10
Reading to kids is so important. I always felt so excited when my kids started to read. good job
Kate Oliver Webb04/24/10
Ah, this was so good. You really nailed the atmosphere and the anticipation of that wonderful afternoon of reading. The interruption of that was disappointing, yet your MC welcomed it because of the opportunity to share The Gift. Well done!
Joshua Janoski04/29/10
You reminded me of the excitement of cracking open a brand new book. You also reminded me of my desire to someday have children that I can read stories to.

Reading is such an important thing to get kids involved in especially with all of the video games and other media clogging kids minds nowadays. Thank you for sharing this sweet story with us! :)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/29/10
Congratulations in placing in the top 40 over-all and in the top 15 of your level. Good job!