One of my all-time favorite books is The Trumpet of the Swan. It’s not the best-known E. B. White book, but it’s the one I can’t seem to forget. I haven’t read it in about 35 years, but I still remember learning the word “watercress” from a description of a sandwich the swan was eating in a hotel. I remember the swan as clever, persistent, and heroic. I remember feeling sorry for him at the beginning of the book because he couldn’t make noise, but he never let that stop him!
The descriptions of Jess’s home in Bridge to Terabithia remind me of my family’s house when I was a kid. The author describes the floorboards as creaky and the house as very old and drafty, which was also true of the house in which my family lived. I kept picturing my own house when Jess was at home. It made me feel weird; it was unsettling to imagine those characters walking through my house!
Alek is one of the two main characters in Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan. I realized a few chapters in that I really didn’t like Alek. Every time he did something I thought of him as a spoiled brat. I started skimming over his dialogue and not paying close attention.
It turns out it was because he was extremely rich and everybody at the beginning of his book was his servant. I had a negative reaction to that.
It’s not long before all of that changes for Alek. Then I realized that Alek wasn’t the privileged brat I imagined him to be, but a pretty interesting character. Since then I’ve loved reading about Alek.