Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Magic Ring

I am not a famous writer. Often I meet librarians who apologize to me, "I'm sorry, but I don't know your books." Or at a book signing, someone will ask me kindly, "Is this your first book?" when it's my 42nd.

But years ago, some other writer remarked that many of us - most of us - had our lives changed by some book that nobody else ever heard of. My favorite book as a child, or one of them at least, was a book nobody else has ever heard of. It was called The Magic Ring. The author wsa Neta Lohnes Frazier (who?), and I read it over and over and over again, I loved it so much. The girl in the story gets a ring she believes to be magic, and the wishes she makes on it all come true, but it's never clear in the story if they come true because the ring is really magic, or by coincidence. I loved the book because for me it represented all the scope for magic even in our ordinary lives.

Then yesterday my Google blog alert directed me to this blog: Just North of Dundee, by Blair Emsick. In it, Blair writes, "It wasn't until the fifth grade that I really wrote my first poem. I remember reading the book Lizzie At Last by Claudia Mills. The main character Lizzie is this out of the ordinary girl who writes poetry all the time, I wanted to be just like her and so I began writing poetry. From that point on I was constantly writing in my diary, constantly just writing. Writing made me feel important, it made me feel like I had something really important to say, and that even if people wouldn't listen the page would." She goes on to say, "Writing I hope will continue to be such a huge part of me and my life. Writing is my muse, my therapy, my life, me."

I guess I was her "Magic Ring." Maybe every book is the magic ring for some reader, somewhere.


  1. My book was Beat the Turtle Drum by Constance Greene. I read it to myself and to my sister multiple times. It was the first book that made me aware of death in a very real way. And the sisters in the book were just like my sister and me. This book made me realize children's books didn't have to be all sweetness and light.

  2. Well, you already know my book was Lizzy At Last. I squealed out loud when I read this; congratulations!

  3. Walter Farley's Black Stallion books got me past a childhood fear of reading "big books" with small type. And although I've been writing most of my life, Jerry Spinelli's Maniac Magee jolted me into a realization that I wanted to write for children.

  4. I love hearing which books were the "magic ring" for others - and Glenna, you know how thrilled I am by our connection!