Every so often, you come across something you haven't seen or thought about in ages, and a wave of nostalgia floods over you. You remember a specific moment, a place, a smell. It reminds you of something your gray matter has decided to set aside in place of other information - long division, or the original cast of Charles in Charge for example.
Recently, three books I've re-discovered have had that effect on me. Wandering the shelves of Barnes and Noble, in the children's section, I found a few gems I had forgotten about.
Night of the Twisters by Ivy Ruckman:
Growing up in the Midwest, tornadoes are a common fear. I've seen firsthand their destruction, traversing fields of farmland in search of twisted pieces of metal that were once secured to my grandparents' farm. Yet there's something alluring about stormy weather, too, something about lightning and dark skies and listening to the radio as sirens wail their warning and rain pelts the hot asphalt. Night was the first book I read that I immediately identified with. It didn't matter that the action took place in Nebraska. The town in the book was my hometown of Eagle Lake. The main character, roughly my age, was me. I was the hero of the story.
Bunnicula by James and Deborah Howe:
In second grade, I had a student teacher. Her name escapes me now (replaced, most likely, by the lyrics to Ice Ice Baby). But one thing I distinctly recall was her enthusiastic reading of Bunnicula to the class. It was one of the first times I discovered the relationship between horror and humor. And come on, a bunny that sucks carrots dry? Genius!
The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop:
This is the purest example of what I mentioned above. I don't remember too much about the book itself (tiny knights defending a toy castle in a young boy's attic), but it reminds me fondly of my old bed growing up. I had a raised bed, with two drawers built into the frame. One day, I discovered that by sliding out the bottom drawer, I could slither under the bed. By replacing the drawer after me, my location was hidden from everyone. There was enough space under there for me to sit and read, and a strategically placed outlet provided the perfect spot for a life-saving (or eyesight-saving) night light. Castle was one of the many books I read in my Fortress of Solitude. And I had forgotten about it completely under I saw the cover on the book store shelf.
So that's my trip down memory lane. My posts have been sporadic (life, and impending fatherhood, are getting in the way). I'm trying mightily to post, and there are things to share. So check back!