We asked participating speakers “what book was transformational for you?” Here are the answers.
Scott Beal, poet: It’s hard to pick just one, but I’ll say Small Congregations by Thylias Moss (1993).
Bonnie Jo Campbell, author: The Ballad of the Sad Café, Carson McCullers (1951).
Kayla Coughlin, librarian: My transformational book would be The Giver (1993) by Lois Lowry. I read it for the first time in fourth grade and many times afterward. The idea that an entire world could be an illusion wowed me. It also gave rise to several questions that had never previously occurred to me: What would the world look like without color and how would it feel to see it for the first time? What would it be like to never see or speak to your family again? Is it possible to completely suppress one’s feelings and emotions in favor of a job or duty? I recently read it again and it still amazed me.