The other day my sister and I were talking on the phone (a common occurrence) and because of my previous post about books that stay with you, we got into remembering the first books we ever read. I'm not talking like picture books here, I'm talking novels and full length books, books of over 100 pages that weren't about the illustrations, but about the words. Lots and lots and lots of words.
I was six and a half maybe seven years old when I read my first novel. It must have taken me forever, it must have been a challenge, as it was a novel Erva had read and she was like ten. But I clearly remember how proud I was when I finished it. The novel was called Treasure in the Little Trunk, by Helen Fuller Orton. It was the story of a pioneer family and a precious family heirloom, a necklace of gold beads. There were small ink drawings, but if I recall most of them decorated the beginning of each chapter.
The Angel in the Hayloft, by Katherine Niles was another book I read. It was much slimmer than Treasure in the Little Trunk, and had illustrations. Erva reminded me about it. It's the story of an angel, who hides in a hayloft while playing hide-and-seek with other angels. But she isn't found by her play-mates, she found by a boy. The story has some humorous moments like when the boy's mother decides they better hide the angle's wings and she cuts holes in a pillowcase and slips it over the angel's head. But then the angel looks like she has hump on her back, which sets up another whole series of problems.
The third book wasn't a novel, it was a biography of Mozart. Neither Erva or I can remember the name or the author of it. But we remember the little ink drawings with their water-color washes. We remember the little Amadeus sitting at his harpsichord in his little wig and his feet not touching the floor.
These were all read before I turned eight. Do you remember the first novel, or full length book, you ever read?