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The Book That Made Me: A Collection of 32 Personal Essays

Review

The Book That Made Me: A Collection of 32 Personal Essays

THE BOOK THAT MADE ME is a book of personal essays from a wide range of authors such as Ambelin Kwaymullina, Mal Peet, Shaun Tan and Markus Zusak. There are 32 personal essays contained in the book, which means you have probably read at least one book written by the authors contained in THE BOOK THAT MADE ME. Judith Ridge is the person who made this entire collection happen, and she is considered to be one of Australia’s leading experts on children’s literature and young adult literature. Not only was Ridge a judge for New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, she also has worked as a teacher, a writer, a critic AND an editor. In my opinion, that makes Judith Ridge the perfect person to bring together these authors for the book of books.
 
"THE BOOK THAT MADE ME worked so well because while I might not have related to every personal story, I enjoyed each story immensely. Some stories were hilarious; some were touching and sad, but all were amazing and inspiring."
 
THE BOOK THAT MADE ME is an anthology of personal stories about how each author fell in love with reading and/or writing. A person might think that when having a bunch of personal essays might be too similar and become boring. However, that is a misconception! Each essay is a creative story that brings you stories of jungles to Hong Kong. The authors talk about many books from classics like ANNE OF GREEN GABLES by L.M. Montgomery to books that you might have never heard of like DISPLACED PERSON by Lee Harding. I certainly never heard of DISPLACED PERSON and now I can’t wait to get my hands on it. 
 
Also, the authors are as diverse as the books they choose. Almost every perspective can be seen in THE BOOK THAT MADE ME. Ursula Dubosarksy, Queenie Chan, Ted Dawe, Will Kostakis and so much more give their own tales and stories about books, and there is a guarantee that at least one essay will be relatable. And if this book will give you anything, it is an abundance of book suggestions either given by the authors or an author’s book.
 
I know I say this a lot, but I loved this book. THE BOOK THAT MADE ME worked so well because while I might not have related to every personal story, I enjoyed each story immensely. Some stories were hilarious; some were touching and sad, but all were amazing and inspiring. Another thing about THE BOOK THAT MADE ME is you do not have to read every story. I did, but it isn’t necessary, nor do you have to go in order. I also loved the pictures of the authors at the beginning of the personal stories and the little drawings at the end of each personal story. I’m not sure what the little drawings were for, but they were enjoyable nonetheless. 
 
This book is for anyone who loves reading and writing. As the book says, “It’s a book for book lovers!” Also, if you are going through a book hangover or if you have not read in a long time, THE BOOK THAT MADE ME is a good book for reminding you why you love reading and could be considered a gateway book for many other books. However, this book should not be limited to just readers! If you are looking to begin reading or have never read, this book is an excellent book to start with because it shows a wide range of genres and authors and shows how many people love reading! THE BOOK THAT MADE ME can be a book that makes YOU! Get it?   

Reviewed by Rebecca D., Teen Board Member on March 31, 2017

The Book That Made Me: A Collection of 32 Personal Essays
by Judith Ridge

  • Publication Date: March 14, 2017
  • Genres: Biography, Essays, Nonfiction
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick
  • ISBN-10: 0763695491
  • ISBN-13: 9780763695491