Get to Know my #atozchallenge Bookish Friends. Introducing MJ!

M. J. Joachim in the Library

Well, you know PammyPam likes to make new friends and also to learn about new books! I’ve invited my friends from the Blogging from A to Z Challenge to come over and chat about a book they love.  My first victim is the sweet MJ Joachim of M.J. Joachim’s Writing Tips.

Thank you, Pam for inviting me to share one of my favorite children’s stories and talk about my love of libraries with your audience today.

giving tree

One of my favorite children’s books is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. No matter how old I get, I will never outgrow the beautiful message shared in this book. I’m sure fond memories of reading this story to library children during Story Hour, students I taught over the years and my own children have made it all the more sentimental for me.

My first job was as a page in a library. It was my responsibility to sort and shelve the books. Oh, how I loved working in the Children’s Library, sifting through hundreds of picture books and entertaining stories, helping a child find just the right book for a book report or research project, and reading stories to all the little ones who would come to enjoy Story Hour. Sometimes they would ask me to read to them when no story time was scheduled. I always did what I could to oblige, often asking the Children’s Librarian on duty to claim me as needed extra help during those times. One particular librarian never even needed to be asked. She loved it when we worked together in the children’s section.

Libraries have always been one of my favorite places to hang out. As a child, I’d hike the mile walk down the bike trail, past the stream and across the highway, to eventually emerge at our local library, where I would lose myself in the stacks. I’d spend hours looking at books, choosing at least four or five to take home at once. One time, I lost track of time. The early hours of the morning turned to late hours in the afternoon. Mom was furious, as I strolled in, humped over and breathing hard with my heavy pack full of books on my back. I just looked at her and smiled. She sent me to my room, where I quickly immersed myself in my reading material, too tired to wander out at dinnertime.

Summer Read-a-thons were treasured by my own kids, especially when the heat reached well past 110 degrees Fahrenheit. We’d head on over to the library early when my kids were young, take our time finding most of the books on the list, check out a few movies before we left, and stay inside where it was cool, reading our books and watching movies well into the evening hours, when the sun went down and it was easier to play outside.

I still enjoy going to the library these days, though now it’s more to get ideas and do research for articles I’m writing. It seems every time I go, there are fewer and fewer books, more computers and conference areas and less staff to help find where they put things; our local library is almost always rearranged every time I go. Most of the books are online and checkout for the ones that aren’t is done at the self-service kiosk.

The library has changed a lot over the years, but the children and the stories we read to them never will. They’ll still climb into our laps or sit at our feet, begging to see the pictures and eager to see the words. Personal experience tells me, The Giving Tree is one of their favorites, and you already know it’s one of mine.

Thanks again for having me, Pam.

110 degrees F or 0 degrees F, The Giving Tree is ALWAYS the perfect book!


By Pam

My passion is advocating for diversity in children's and YA literature.

8 replies on “Get to Know my #atozchallenge Bookish Friends. Introducing MJ!”

Love the idea of Read-a-Thons…especially in the Summer when active learning and interests in reading tend to slow among school children (and adults). Hooray for libraries! The Giving Tree sounds vaguely familiar; can’t say I’ve read it though. I hope that the library sticks around for long because it’s such a great resource for those who are interested in broadening their horizons and improving their literacy skills. Literacy is so important; building on it during childhood sets a great foundation to utilize it and improve upon it once we reach adulthood.

My kids had a few Shel Silverstein books when they were growing up, but I don’t remember ever buying The Giving Tree for them.

When I was in college the library was one of my favorite places to hang out. I’d spend hours there just getting lost in all the books, magazines, and music they had there.

This was a fun post to write, because it took me down Memory Lane.

@Alex – Libraries of the future…a scene for your next book perhaps 🙂
@Nicole – I hope libraries stick around for a long time too. Online is nice, but there’s so much more to life still.
@Lee – You’ll just have to pick up a copy for your grandkids then. It really is a great book. Bookstores and libraries – I can get lost for hours and hours in them.

Thanks for all your comments, everyone 🙂

MJ, A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Writing Tips
Effectively Human
Lots of Crochet Stitches

Comments are closed.