There are so many really, each of them full of their own wisdom. First, I must fill her full of fairy tales for they are the foundation of any good reader. She will know the grim originals as well as the various retellings. They will teach her that there is more to this world than what we can see and that the unseen is often more powerful, more beautiful.
Of course, she cannot go through her life without reading The Hobbit (and, if I had my way, the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy--but I will settle for its prequel). This will be a joint effort between me, her father, and my mother--the devout hobbit lovers in her daily life. This story will teach her the value of bravery and adventuring and a well-tended hobbit hole. She will discover that true heroes are often the people we least expect them to be.
And let us not forget the power of the Witchcraft Mysteries so that she may understand that she creates her own magic, that no matter what comes her way in this wild and wonderful world, she is more than capable of handling it--with style and zest, no less. The lessons found within the pages of this series will reinforce those found in the Nancy Drew books her mother and I will read to her.
Ah, the Nancy Drew series, it is like a young woman's guidebook for negotiating the world. They will teach her to be quick on her feet and sharp of mind, always thinking critically and thoughtfully about what she sees. She will learn to be independent and strong--and well dressed in the vintage inspired fashion of Miss Drew. She will learn to love penny loafers and Peter Pan collared dresses. She will discover the importance of curiosity and caring for others, of relishing the mysteries of life.
Sure, there are other books, other stories I want her to read--no childhood is complete with Dr. Seuss nor Gaiman's Coraline, no woman's education finished without the Brontes or Austen. Then there are the stories she will find all on her own and want to share with her family, with me. Like her mother, she will be a woman of words; her stories tattooed on her heart and body.
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