3.18.2007

Sibling Assignment #15: A Book From Childhood I Remember


Reading books was a favorite pastime in childhood. It encompassed hours of my time. One book that always sticks in my mind is The Velvet Room by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. At school our teacher always handed out Arrow Book order fliers once a month. I waited in anticipation to view the new, exciting books in that monthly order. We didn't have a bookstore in Kellogg, so this was one way of getting new paperback books. I filled out the little order checklist at the back of the flier and returned it to the teacher with counted out money at the end of the month. I waited and waited for the books to arrive. In fifth grade I received the book The Velvet Room in an order from Arrow. That book has stayed with me ever since. Robin, the main character was a middle child in a family that moved around to work farms in California during the Depression. They were migrant workers that picked apricots At that time I didn’t understand what that meant. I don’t think I really understood the Depression either. It didn’t matter. What I did understand was the main character Robin and the Velvet Room. When she was done working with her family each day she explored around an old mansion close to where her family was staying. She discovered a library full of books. This room was also equipped with a window seat and velvet curtains. It was a place any girl that was in fifth grade in 1965 would like to find. I loved the words mansion, velvet, and window seat. It was a safe place. It was full of books. It was an escape from daily life. Robin was away from her siblings and the struggles of her family. When I read one review of this book another reader quoted,” This book calmed me. It provided a place I could go in my mind while reading the book.” An unforgettable book does this. It transports you to another place, another time. The Velvet Room transported me. I tried to locate the book this last week. No luck at my mother’s house. I ordered it tonight and will wait in anticiapation again for that book to come in the mail. I hope to be transported once again to The Velvet Room. Will it calm me and make me feel safe again? I hope so!

3 comments :

  1. I loved reading your story of this beloved book, and can understand why the story stuck in your memory. A cozy, secret place has much appeal, especially to a child around the age you were at the time. I've written down the name to perhaps give to my grandchildren when they're a little older.
    Reading was a favorite passtime of mine when I was growing up too (and still is, of course).
    Thanks for visiting! Glad you enjoyed the wildflowers.
    How lovely to see your nieces doing such great work! :)

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  2. I looked everywhere for my copy or any copy of the book, but ended up ordering it. I will see if I enjoy it as much the second time around. Yes, the proud auntie day was amazing!

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  3. Thanks for the book recommendation! I am adding it to my list (it's quite a list already--Katie and I should never run out of things to read!)

    Enjoy reading it again!

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