Mrs. Jefferson was crying! None of us in my third grade class could believe it.
This happened a lot of years ago, but it’s something I’ll never forget.
I was lucky enough to go to a grade school where the teachers all read aloud to their classes, and I’ve remembered (and reread) these books all my life. My fifth grade teacher read us The Hobbit. (And I instantly went on to read The Lord of the Rings.) My fourth grade teacher read us Beverly Cleary’s Henry Huggins books. (In my favorite, Henry raised guppies – and I made my mom get me guppies, too.)
And, in third grade, Mrs. Jefferson read us Charlotte’s Web, and, when she reached the really sad part at the end, tears started running down her face.
I was agog. This was some book! Charlotte might be fiction, but these tears were real.
And I think I knew right then that I wanted to write fiction, too. To make people cry, or laugh, or maybe even both. Thank you, Mrs. Jefferson, for being such a softy.