Today I am thankful for books. Books have been a source of joy and inspiration, and have taught me more lessons than I can count. I truly believe that I owe much of who I am to the characters with whom I’ve journeyed over the years, and to the authors whose craft I so admire. I am truly grateful for the fact that I grew up in “reading” homes…I cannot think of a single person in my family who does not, or did not read. My mother and step-mother devour novels voraciously, my father has always been a newspaper and magazine reader, my grandfather was a connoisseur of westerns, my aunt and I often exchange books and book titles that fuel our reading lives, and my grandma never met a gossip magazine that she didn’t love. All of us, despite a wide variety of tastes, are readers. These readers kept books in my hands and instilled the value of a reading life in me from an early age. Without books, I would be lost. I hope that I can play a role in passing this love on to my students because my life has been truly enriched by the power of words. I want this, so much, for each of them.