Beth Revis is running an amazing giveaway. The prize is tons of books, and the entries are so inspiring! I know I'm supposed to write a post about the book I'm most thankful for, but I am thankful for three, so this is going to be a long entry :D
1. I am thankful for Over Sea Under Stone by Susan Cooper
My fourth grade teacher assigned this book in our English class, and my nine-year-old self was totally changed. It was a book I actually liked reading. I read ahead of the class. I re-read it. I couldn't put it down. I went on to read the rest of the series on my own. I learned to use the school library and checked out books for recreation. It started my life-long joy of reading, and I will always be thankful that it was assigned.
2. I am thankful for A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
In the second semester of fifth grade we got assigned this book. It was my first Sci-Fi ever. I was totally floored to find that people could have scientific adventures, not just magical ones! Not only that, but it wasn't boys having all the fun, but there was a girl, and she was a girl like me with glasses and bad hair and a geeky brain that did math and not popular stuff! I think this is the first book that I totally identified with, and I think that was very important for me loving the genre as a whole.
3. I am thankful for Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce
If I had to pick just one book to be thankful for this would be it. In Elementary school I devoured my school's library, but I hadn't figured out genre much (and I had a very limited selection) so I read a lot of contemporary fiction and classic literature meant for children. In seventh grade, however, I moved not only to middle school but to an entirely different school in an entirely different state. They had this book and reading it changed my life. I didn't have a lot of friends in my new school, but I had books. I also had a role model. Daine was a fighter, she endured a lot of hardship and overcame problems and she was a girl! It didn't take me long to discover other girl-lead books like Pierce's Alanna and Sherwood Smith. I made a new friend over a joint love of this book, and we are best friends to this day (and still share books both good and bad). I also learned the agony of waiting for a series to come out because for the first time I had started a series that hadn't been completed by the author. I am now a lifetime fan of Tamora Pierce and her books have inspired me to endure my military career, push on through college, and entertained me when I needed a pick-me-up. I have multiple copies of all of her books because I can't stand the thought of not loaning them out to people who haven't read them, but it frightens me that I would not have them to read myself if I loaned them out (and now, thanks to a few great con visits I have the autographed set that WILL NOT BE TOUCHED because dude, books personalized to me by Tamora Pierce!). I don't think I would be the costuming, sci-fi movie watching, con organizing fandom girl I am today if it wasn't for this book. (No that's not me crying on my keyboard, it must be raining inside).