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High School Entry Winner

Julia Castore



            I wish I were able to brag about being a super kid who learned to read at two and read the dictionary at six.  But Iím afraid that is not my story.  I give total credit to my parents and my flashlight for my learning to read.  Every night, my mother and father would read to me, many of the same books over and over.  Iím sure if you ask them the words to Goodnight Moon, they would still be able to tell you.


            Soon I made my own books stapled together with crayon drawings.  Those I would read myself to anyone who would listen.


            I suppose I really learned to read in school.  They would give us five-page books with little black and white drawings.  I would keep them all by my bed and re-read them constantly, and thatís where my flashlight would come in handy.  Reading was enjoyable in school, which made me want to read more.


            Soon after, my mother enrolled me in the summer reading program at the library.  She couldnít just give me the summer off.  But it wasnít as bad as I thought.  I got to pick out as many books as I wanted and got prizes for reading them.  Not bad, huh?


            I didnít always like this though.  Iím not sure exactly when I stopped.  Got busier, no time, it wasnít ďcoolĒ, none of my friends read.  Iím sure all of those things played a role.  Now looking back on it, I stopped reading for a while. I remember clearly when I started again though.  I met a very good friend who carried a book around with her at all times.  She didnít care about what other people thought and she liked reading.  We ended up exchanging titles of books we liked, and with that simple action, my reading began again.  With high school starting, the stress began to kick in, and reading gave me that escape where I could focus on something other than what was happening around me.


            Now, Iíd rather read than watch TV.  I go through a book about every two days.  But, if you ask me my favorite, I couldnít tell you.  Reading is my comfort and my outlet.  So what does reading to mean to me?  I must say, quite a bit.



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