Friday, August 24, 2001

Testimony: A Legacy For The Future

by David Jin (Aug. 24, 2001)
(Originally published at the compleatbellairs.com)

It is in the remarkable ways that we tend to perceive things in life. We sometimes, as normal human beings take things for granted. I could start out this testimony stating how great the Bellairs books are and how great of a writer Mr. Brad Strickland is in continuing the work but I believe that all of us already know that is true.

Isn't it amazing how a children's book can change so many lives. It gives a new perception to the smallest of human characters. It brings a sense of dignity and honor to those born without as many gifts as others. Imagine... a young boy, slightly overweight, waits at a bus stop for the school bus with a few of his fellow classmates. He is standing alone by himself as he just looks down and twiddles his thumbs. It is in the magical moment of getting home and escaping to another dimension that this boy finds comfort and acceptance. He runs home and opens a new book that his mother has given as a gift. One can glance at the cover of this book and see a gothic aspect and the words at the top giving away the name "John Bellairs". He hurriedly opens the book and disappears into another world. One where nobody matters how he looks or what he does. He puts himself into the characters represented in the books.

This paradigm represents how many American school children live today. I know many of us have looked to Bellairs books and characters for a hideaway or a portal to another world, our world. Where we can get away from all our worries and hardships and just settle down for an adventure that brings joy and happiness into our hearts. I remember opening my first book by John Bellairs. It was The Curse of the Blue Figurine. I settled down and read this remarkable book that brought me into my own world. I have to say that this series gave me my gift of enjoying reading. I have now advanced my reading but I always take time out of escaping my stress to go back. I also eagerly await the new books released by Brad Strickland. It used to be that I had to wait forever... but its sad now as the time between each of his books flies by like a bird flying south for the winter. This shows how fast life is going by and gives you the emotion of wanting to rewind your life back to easier times of no worries.

My advice to all those young readers out there is to cherish the times of your youth and make good of the chances that you come by. Spread the joy of reading to all those around you and don't keep reading as a hobby or requirement but as a part of your everyday life. I am a rising junior in High school and have high hopes of preparing for college. I continue to read books to further my knowledge. One of my regrets is not reading enough. There is never enough reading.

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