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December 29, 2014

Sheila Roberts on the Wonder of Books

Posted by emily

Sheila Roberts is the bestselling author of 13 books. THE LODGE ON HOLLY ROAD --- the sixth installment in her fan-favorite Life in Icicle Falls series --- is about a recent widower and a single mom who get dragged to Olivia Wallace’s lodge on Holly Road, where unexpected romance is around every corner. Sheila’s granddaughters may still be too young to enjoy her fiction, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t already voracious readers! Here, Sheila talks about her little “book bugs” and the joy reading has brought to her life and theirs.

Books are one of the great wonders of the world. I think when you give someone a book, you give that person so many things: adventure, escape, mental stimulation, a larger vocabulary and a chance to see the world in a whole new way. So, needless to say, I was thrilled when my granddaughter became a little book bug. Of course, wonderful child that she was, she often and proudly announced that she wanted to grow up to be a writer, just like her nana. Although I suspect she really wanted to become a writer like her nana’s friend, Suzanne Selfors, creator of magical children’s books.

I remember when Suzanne had a new novel out, TO CATCH A MERMAID. A book-signing party was scheduled, and this was an event Nana and Katie Bear couldn’t miss.

Sadly, as often happens to all characters worth their salt, events conspired against us, and my granddaughter was unable to attend. Needless to say, she was disappointed. So I decided to make it up to her at Christmas and give her a signed copy of the novel.

Christmas Day arrived and, along with it, the time to open presents. I will never forget the gasp of amazement when Katie opened that box and saw her literary treasure lying there, nestled in red tissue paper. This was accompanied by a look of wonder. It was as if the child had received the Holy Grail. Maybe she had --- the kid version.

I’ve never seen a child react like that to a present. It said so much about the power of the written word.

My Katie Bear is still devouring books and has since graduated to novels such as DIVERGENT and THE HUNGER GAMES. My other darling granddaughter has found her own favorite authors now and is becoming an avid reader, too. Who knows? Maybe, in a few years, the girls will open one of my novels with the same delight they give to their current favorites. I certainly hope so.

Meanwhile, thank you, Suzanne Selfors and all those other wonderful children’s book writers who bring magic and joy into children’s lives and get them hooked on a habit that will serve them well all their lives.