As a Thankfully Reading participant, my first challenge is to write about a book that I am most thankful for from any time in my life. This should be an easy task, but there are so many books that I am thankful for that I am having quite a difficult time focusing in on just one.
I think back to the early books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar that helped me learn and practice my own early reading strategies. I remember books like those in the Ramona series that showed how my little sister was not the only pest in the world. I remember Are You There God it's Me Margaret that assured me that I was perfectly normal and that growing up was tricky for everyone. The Hobbit completely blew my mind and Gone With the Wind made my little heart break. Robin McKinley and Anne McCaffrey both managed to show me that women can be strong and intelligent despite what most literature displayed.
There have been so many wonderful books in my past, that narrowing it down to one that gets my thanks is just impossible. If I have to name the book that has shown up repeatedly in my life that I am thankful for, it would be Little Women. I first read a children's version of it in elementary school. I read it over and over again. Then, in middle school, I read the real deal. I have read it many, many times and always cry over Beth, am annoyed by Amy and Meg, cry with Jo and adore Marmee. The way the family cared for each other touched me in the midst of my difficult years. I really related to Beth, since I was painfully shy myself, and I longed to be more outspoken like Jo. We owned the book, so it was available to revisit and I lived with the Marches anytime I felt lonely. I am thankful that Louisa May Alcott wrote that and many other books that were childhood and teenage friends of mine. She brightened many a day for me and helped me in my quest to overcome my shyness and to deal with my temper (the one area of myself that was very much like Jo).