Reading is an experience that every individual grows from differently. Whether it be a smooth transition or even a positive one depends entirely on the individual. Gerald Graff, Richard Rodriguez, and Eudora Welty all show their growth through literacy narratives. Each one of their experiences although different all relate to my own journey into literacy. My own transition from Dr. Seuss books, to being thoroughly interested in novels such as Kiss the Girls by James Patterson is a novel all on its own.
At the very young age of eleven months old I had meningitis. As a result of this I had to wear leg braces, and a hearing aid. I stuck out like a black sheep in a heard of white. Not being athletically inclined I turned to the classroom. I enjoyed almost all subjects except one in particular, reading. When I would read words it was like they were in a different language. I could not read and intake words at the same time. In the first grade there was a significant turning point in my interest with reading. My teacher every Friday would read Dr. Seuss books out loud. The clever word play and lack of a story line became really appealing to me. Once a story was read to me my comprehension towards it grew enormously. In listening Eudora Welty said “Ever since I was first read to, then started reading to myself, there has never been a line read that I didn’t hear” (Welty, pg. 368). This line to me means that once she was read to reading became more enjoyable for her. For me this started to not to be the case as time surpassed. As time went on and books became more advanced my comprehension slowly plummeted again. I remember being in fifth grade and all my friends would excel at books I found to be over the top difficult. After years of struggling, and realizing my difficulties with reading I went to see a doctor. After brain scans and many doctor appointments they came to the conclusion I had brain damage. This all being from meningitis and as a result I have attention deficit disorder. Once I was put on medicine I was finally able to comprehend reading.
As I transitioned into my adolescence years I found myself not being very fond of reading. You would think the one thing I craved to be able to do I would enjoy, sadly that was not the case. In my high school English class we would read books such as of Mice and Men. I would notice many of my classmates sparking an interest in group conversations. Discussing themes, plots, characters emotions, and there I was trying to make sense of it all. I would think to myself “Why is everyone so worked up over something that didn’t actually happen?” I found this to continuously be a theme in my opinion on reading. I thought as time progressed there would just be no hope for me to become an active reader. Surprisingly most of my family are active readers. My mother being someone who has more books then what she knows to with them. The summer of my sophomore year I was home alone and decided to take a look at my mother’s book shelf. One name kept popping up repetitively, James Patterson. I went through numerous books reading the descriptions and found one that sparked my interest. This book was Kiss the Girls. As soon as I picked up this book it was like reality did not exist. I spent every moment of free time I had indulging in the words. In Graff’s literary narrative he stated “as I had not been able to do earlier; but to put myself in the text-to read with a sense of personal engagement that I had not felt before” (Graff, pg. 25). He and I both shared this experience. Going from being completely uninterested, to having this turning point in our literary journey. The fact that a book could make me think, debate, and really actively engage was such a new experience for me. After this experience I slowly started becoming a more active reader. Anything relating to crime and mystery automatically appealed to me. I finally thought I found my passion to become an active reader. Not...
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