Lucky 13

1 Feb

Today, Miss Fiona turns 13.

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As I lay in bed last night, on the verge of sleep, I got to thinking about myself as a 13-year-old. I turned 13 in December 1977. I was in grade eight,I’m Mr Ziegler’s class. He is one of my all time favorite teachers. I’ve written before about what a good fit he was for me, because he wasn’t a traditional teacher. He read aloud to us in 8th grade and let us do open-ended book projects. That got me thinking about what I read around that time. I remember a few things.

First, as one of my self-selected books for reading, I chose, The Wooden Horse by Eric Williams.

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Even back in 1977, I loved reading about WWII. It tells the story of prisoners in Stalag Luft III who devise a daring escape plan by digging tunnels  in the open air beneath a wooden vaulting horse.

I also went on an Agatha Christie binge, starting with The ABC Murders, which I ordered through Scholastic. To be honest, I don;t think this was in the regular book order. I must have been reading Agatha Christie already because Mr. Ziegler told me it was in the teacher order form.

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In our reading text, the only story that I recall is The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell. It stands out because it is not a very nice story. It is the tale of a  big-game hunter who falls off a yacht and swims to an isolated island  where he is hunted by a Cossack aristocrat. That makes me remember that I think I might also have read The Island of Doctor Moreau by H G Wells, which I might also have purchased through Scholastic.

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I probably also read  Mrs. Mike  by Benedict and Nancy Freedman.

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I loved this book and would check it out a couple of times a year for many years. It  is a realistic account of the joys and hardships of life in northern Alberta in the early 1900s.Katherine Mary O’Fallon is sent from Boston to Alberta to recover from pleurisy. She meets and falls in love with RCMP Sergeant Mike Flannigan and together they live in remote parts of Canada. Such compelling characters, happiness and heartbreak.

Do you remember what you read when you were 13?

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One Response to “Lucky 13”

  1. Marianne Greenley February 1, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    I loved thinking of what I was reading at 13 … I turned 13 in 1970 .. and we only had one book in common. I remember Mrs. Mike fondly also – but you remember the plot more clearly than I. I don’t think I read Sherlock Holmes until high school. In junior high I was obsessed with Janet Lambert and Rosamond Du Jardin. Yes. Lightweight romance. from the 1950s. One title I re read several times was set after the Chicago Fire and a teenage girl who didn’t know who her parents were. I don’t remember the title. I also remember fondly a seventh grade teacher who read to us. It was a WWII story of two young children -that had been published in a magazine like Good Housekeeping. You now know more than you wanted about my taste in reading as a young teenager 😀 Love your blog Adrienne!

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