RWC tutor Gricelda Cerpa gives a personal account of how she learned to love reading from a young age.
I was born in Mexico and immigrated at six years old to the United States. Living in a strange new world and not knowing English was a struggle. I remember coming home crying because I didn’t understand what my classmates were saying, and I didn’t know what the teacher was teaching. It took me about a year and a half to learn the English language, but once I learned it, a new world was open to me. I no longer felt left out by my classmates and no longer felt lonely. I had friends and they invited me over for sleepovers and to go to different places with them and their families. I saw how other families functioned.
I remember one time going to the public library with my friend and her mom where they helped me sign up for a library card. I walked around in amazement in the library, overwhelmed by all the books and possibilities. I picked up the book that caught my attention, Matilda by Roald Dahl. At that age, maybe, 8 or 9, I was still drawn to picture books and the drawings inside the book were different that I took it home with me. That day I read the first few chapters and I got hooked! I love that book so much that till this day I still recall the little drawings inside it. And each time I think about the book I can remember the smell of the library, of the pages, and the wonderful feeling that book brought my soul. The book opened a world to Roald Dahl’s mind that brought me happiness. I realized that I could open a book and it would take me places that I would never dream of going. I was inside that book with Matilda, I was in that restaurant with her parents, I was in school with her and Trunchbull (the villain) and I was there when she triumphed over her oppressors. In conclusion, Matilda was the book that made me fall in love with reading. It has allowed me to emerge myself in the book I am reading.