“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.”
-E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web
When I first read this quote, I had to agree that it is very difficult to be a great friend and a good writer. But in Charlotte’s Web, Charlotte (the spider) was both of these because she followed her heart. And I’ve been trying to do the same thing in my life, and it’s shaped me to be the person I am.
From the time I could talk, I was a reader. I had a knack for reading almost anything that was put before me. When I was three, I loved The Lorax so much that I made my parents read it to me over and over. Even though I didn’t know how to actually read the words, I memorized each page so I could pretend I was reading it. When my grandparents used to pick me up from school or the babysitter, I would beg for my Grandpa to tell me stories. He would say, “Yes, but only if you tell me one afterward.” So after I enjoyed his story, I would tell him one. If I hadn’t started reading at such a young age, I would never have been able to make up my tales.
When I actually learned to read, I would take books just about everywhere with me: in the car; to sporting events; on the school bus; everywhere. Books became my freedom from the world, my best friend, and they still are to this day. Picking up a book allowed me to create stories, travel to imaginary places or places around the globe without moving from my warm, comfy spot on the couch.
Because reading was so special to me (and in order to read a book, you have to learn to write), I decided I wanted to become an author at the age of five. When it was Career Day at my school, and I got to dress up like what I wanted to be when I grew up; I was different than most kids. On the morning of Career Day, I dressed up a little nicer than usual and went to school with a sketch notebook and a pencil in hand. When I arrived, people were dressed like police officers and firefighters and doctors and athletes, but mine was more confusing. People asked what I was, and I simply said, “an author.”
I’ve been following my passion since I was three, and now I’m now the creator and author of a book blog called Read N’ Rate. I knew creating it would give me the chance to encourage other kids to get interested in reading and to share ideas about good books. What better person to take on this task than a kid herself? Plus, I knew most blogging websites out there were written by adults, and many don’t get the feelings or the understandings of a teenager or a kid. Writing my blog has also given me a neat experience of reading comments from readers, teachers, and principals from different states and even foreign countries! I’ve even received a few book suggestions from fellow readers. I don’t need to wander the book shelves anymore in the library, because I have a long list of book suggestions to keep me busy.
Now, I don’t just have reading as my only hobby. I also enjoy baking, playing tennis and playing basketball. It’s OK to have more than one hobby you love doing. With many different passions, you can be happy in many different ways. Many middle and high school kids cave into peer pressure because they probably don’t know what their passion is. They will do what everyone else is doing because they have nothing else better to do. I’ll say this for all the kids out there who feel peer pressure: Never cave in. Follow your heart. And if you don’t have a passion yet, then try exploring different things. Find “your” passion instead of doing things that other people like. A passion is like a best friend....once you find it, you’ll never do anything or go anywhere without it. It could also guide you to what you want to do in the future.
Following your heart. That’s what Charlotte did. That’s what authors do. That’s what famous people do.
And that’s what I’m doing.
The author of Read N’ Rate is an area middle schooler who enjoys playing sports, spending time with her family, watching sweet treat competitions on the Food Network and, of course, reading. Because she started her book blog as a way to connect with other readers her age and share her honest reviews on must-reads (and others that may fall into her “maybe-read” category), she welcomes feedback, book recommendations and general hellos via her site http://readnrate.weebly.com/.