By Caroline Jones, CLiF’s Summer Intern
I know what you’re thinking: “Who is that budding reader and aspiring politician in the blue dress in the front row? Why is she in this group of small children holding books with pre-scream Governor Dean in this painfully ‘90’s photo?”
Fear not, faithful readers. ‘Tis I, Caroline, CLiF’s summer intern. Less importantly, that’s my brother in the first row on the right.
This was just one of the many wonderful CLiF events I got to attend growing up, courtesy of my mother (hi, Mom), who was a CLiF presenter and served on its various boards for the first decade or so of my life. Subsequently, CLiF, its amazing staff, and endless books were an incredibly formative part of my upbringing.
To say I took books for granted growing up would be an understatement. Being surrounded by BOB Books, Junie B. Jones, the Magic Tree House (to name a few) and by two parents who wanted nothing more than to read with me every night before bed was something I never thought twice about. But now, as a soon-to-be college freshman, I am much better equipped to appreciate the profound impact that learning to love reading has had on my life.
I blame my lingering obsession with the Tower of London completely on Elvira Woodruff’s The Ravenmaster’s Secret, and my (now less adamant) romanticizing of the past on Caroline B. Cooney’s Time Travel Quartet. Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s Peter and the Starcatchers reshaped my then-cynical opinion of fantasy books, and undoubtedly influenced my still-cynical sense of humor. My interest in different cultures, religions, and conflict was born of Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, to whom I should probably write a thank-you note, considering that I’m now planning on majoring in International Relations.
The characters in books became my peers and my teachers, from whom I learned about friendship, conflict, nature, and different ways of life. Learning to love reading allowed me to be confident and successful in school, but also to have the desire to explore worlds beyond my own.
I’m thrilled to be able to come back to CLiF this summer as an intern, rather than as a toddler not-so-sneakily stealing snacks from the conference table. I’ve grown up, guys – I bring my own snacks now.