By Bianca Smith • January 10, 2018
It's magical when a book speaks to us, inspires us. It's those stories that may reach us just when we need to hear them. Or the stories that convince us to change the world, or ourselves. These are the words on pages that change our lives.
We did a shout-out on Facebook to discover which books changed your lives the most. It's intentionally open to interpretation when we ask these questions on our Facebook page. We're readers, just like you, and we're curious to discover new stories. What inspires or changes other readers? And the responses did inspire us.
Many readers found the Bible life-changing, others found books life-changing for different reasons. A lot of people chose the books that turned them into bookworms—not all were children's books; there are some late reading bloomers. Others offered the stories that helped them through tough times.
Thank you to all who shared your life-changing books with us. We've chosen a few to highlight here.
A poor starving boy becomes the owner of the world's most fantastic chocolate factory and goes on unbelievable adventures. We can see how you find Charlie and the Chocolate Factory inspiring, and even life-changing. A much-beloved movie adaptation (and then another) doesn't hurt either. We're assuming Charlie Bucket and Willy Wonka inspired children to read more. And we hope the more includes Vermicious Knids.
We're surprised there was only one Goosebumps book nominated. R.L. Stine changed an entire generation of reluctant readers with his tween horror stories. Another reason why we love Say Cheese and Die making the list is that it proves that stories needn't be classics or high literature to be life-changing. The Harry Potter series is being grouped here because it inspires the same age group of reluctant readers. Of course, Dumbledore's wisdom, Harry's bravery, Hermione's bookish smarts, and Luna's love and acceptance also help. Sometimes kids just need to find the stories that speak to them.
We chose to highlight A Child Called "It" because it didn't inspire children to read. It's the memoirs of Dave Pelzer. Dave was starved and beaten by his mother. She no longer considered him her son, but an "it." Surviving that is inspiring us to be more grateful and to be better people. Hopefully, our suffering will never come close to what Dave endured. Dave's story proves we can take whatever comes at us.
Death and loss are never easy. Missing May is the story of Summer and her uncle Ob dealing with and finally accepting the loss of Aunt May. Sometimes fiction is what we need to inspire us through a difficult situation. Thank you to Cynthia and other authors who tackle the tough topics and help us change our lives for the better.
Mystery, adventure, and a touch of drama. The sometimes messy Sherlock and perfect teen Nancy are sleuths that taught us to look carefully, then make changes and do what's right. Even if that's in a rather roundabout way for Sherlock. Both characters inspire curiosity and a love of mystery in all ages. They're definitely deserving of making the most life-changing books list.
What was your most life-changing book? If you're comfortable with it, we'd love to hear why.