Contributed by Elizabeth Drake
Dear Roald Dahl,
I grew up in a time before computers, before ebooks, and before Amazon delivery.
The nearest bookstore was a four hour drive away. I didn’t have much money and I didn’t have many friends. What I did have was a tiny school library and what that library had was a collection of your novels.
At Halloween, I read The Witches.
At Easter, I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
When I was sad, I read Matilda.
When I needed to laugh, I read The BGF.
When people were mean to me, I read The Twits.
Your books taught me that there are magical worlds in which being intelligent, kind, and brave could change everything. They took a lonely little girl and helped her see that even though there were mean people in the world, there were also good people, like Ms. Honey and Grandpa Joe. And there were kids who were seen as just as strange and weird as I was. And that they were the most wonderful people because everything that was strange and weird about them also made them special.
In a time before I belonged, I had your characters, and they belonged to me.
Elizabeth Drake is a junior high Science and English teacher (she knows, scary teenagers!) and the mother to two active little boys. She is a sucker for Paranormal Fiction and Magical Realism with a few YA Fantasy or Horror novels thrown in for good measure. When Elizabeth's not hanging out on YABC, she can be found over at Reading Between Classes.