Finalist #3: What’s the Book That First Made You Believe in Magic?

Cassandra Neace

Staff Writer

Cassandra Neace is a high school English teacher in Houston. When she's not in the classroom, she reads books and writes about them. She prides herself on her ability to recommend a book for most any occasion. She can be found on Instagram @read_write_make

monstrous beauty and crewel

Long after we grow out of the ability to believe in mermaids and fantastic creatures, books offer us the opportunity to suspend reality and believe in magic, if even for just a few hours.

In this giveaway sponsored by Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama and Crewel by Gennifer Albin, we want to celebrate the books and stories that first ignited our imaginations. We asked you to tell us about the book that first made you believe in magic.  

You can get a preview of each of the five finalists here. Check out each entry, and then vote for your favorite before 11:59 pm on Wednesday, November 13.

Check out this entry from our third finalist, Emily:

When I was growing up, my dad would pull out a beautiful green hardcover book, set me on his lap, and start to read The Giving Tree. The experience alone was magical– his voice, the feel of the pages, and the color of the pictures all made my skin tingle. But, The Giving Tree made me see the trees, and the world, much differently than I was taught. Now that I am a little bit older, I keep seeing its beauty over and over, and see how The Giving Tree has affected other writers and humans today.

The thing that made The Giving Tree magical was this: trees are wise. I was used to talking objects and animals — Disney was heavily in my life– but these things or animals didn’t have the same impact on me.  The Giving Tree was wise like the Lorax (my dad skipped that until I was older). I learned that trees have feelings, trees are our friends, and trees deserve to be respected. As odd as this may seem, I started to talk to trees and sit under them with a feeling of safety. The worlds literally merged. By the time Disney’s Pocahontas talked to Grandmother Willow, I had been doing that for years. I started collecting Box Tops and recycling; how could I not stand up for the trees? I literally thought (and still kind of think) that the ents can see me and will appreciate the effort.

The Giving Tree also made me see the story in The Book Thief as magical — one person can plant a seed that changes a forest. We don’t get the ending of The Giving Tree — it is up to us to take it in. It was magical that a book made me want to change the world by giving, receiving, and paying attention. This may not seem magical in the “fantastic” sort of way, but The Giving Tree permanently blurred the lines of real and imaginary for me and allowed me to fall into other worlds so easily. 


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