Books I Grew up on: Kayla Hoffman

Books I Grew up on is a blog series featuring guest bloggers who discuss reading in their childhoods: the books they loved, the paths they found to developing a love for reading, and how reading helped them become who they are today! Today’s Books I Grew up on guest blogger is kimchi business owner and entrepreneur Kayla Hoffman. 

 

Where did you grow up? What was it like growing up there?

Morgan Hill, CA. It was fun. I lived thirty minutes away from the beach which was one of my favorite places. I was lucky to be able to do a lot of awesome activities with my family quite often such as camping, boating, snowboarding, going to the beach, going to Oakland A’s games, and hiking.

 

What role did books have in your childhood? 

Where the Red Fern Grows and Peppermints in the Parlor. Though the first sort of destroyed me as a child, I LOVED listening to my mom read to my sister and I. I remember when I started reading on my own I would hide a flash light in my bed and secretly read under my covers until I fell asleep. I caught on to reading really early so I was able to enjoy books my whole life. My mom was a huge part of getting me interested in books!

 

What was your favorite book as a child?

That is a tough one….As cliche as it is, I cannot imagine my life without having read the Harry Potter books. Those really were a huge part of my life and throughout different ages. I think there was something really inspiring about Harry, Ron, and Hermione. There were traits in each of them that I admired and their friendship was pure. I loved the magic and the storyline of overcoming evil.

What is your favorite children’s book now?

This book is mainly for babies but I LOVE King Baby. It is so funny and so simple. Everything in the book is true, even though it is outrageous. I laugh every time I read it.

 

What advice would you give to young readers?

Keep reading. Even when books are more boring, it is a skill and hobby that will make you smarter and happier. Movies are wonderful, but there is nothing like having an adventure of epic proportions within your own mind. It can really make you feel like anything is possible.

 

ABOUT KAYLA

Kayla owns a kimchi business called Yummchi and sells products at farmers markets in Salt Lake County, Utah. Yummchi was started last year and Kayla and her team are currently working on adding new, exciting products to their product line. She says the business has been fun and opened many doors for her and her family. To learn more about Yummchi, check out the Yummchi website.


Books I Grew up on with Travis Hancock

Books I Grew up on is a blog series featuring guest bloggers who discuss reading in their childhoods: the books they loved, the paths they found to developing a love for reading, and how reading helped them become who they are today! Today’s Books I Grew up on guest blogger is digital marketer, game maker, and entrepreneur Travis Hancock. 

20150712_175223Where did you grow up? What was it like growing up there?

I grew up in the southwest suburbs of Ohio. I loved it! Good schools, nice people, a beautiful autumn and all 4 seasons. I also liked that Ohio felt like it was in “the middle” of the country and so my family could easily take trips to just about anywhere.

What role did books have in your childhood? 

Books were a huge part of my life. My siblings and I seemed to always be leaning against the side-rests of our couch taking up 2 or 3 cushions while diving into a book. We looked forward to weekly trips to the library, and of course to free pizza and toys from the Book-It program or the latest library reading program. Reading was magical.

How did you first develop a love for reading?

Honestly, I don’t remember ever developing a love for reading. It just seemed to always be there, thanks to the culture my parents created in our house. Reading was simply something that we did and that we enjoyed. My mom made sure that the library box was always overflowing with options. She did a great job in making sure we always had a dozen new, exciting books within reach.

What was your favorite book as a child?

I know it’s cliche, but it’s pretty hard to say anything but Harry Potter as the favorite. Those books were just so magical and impossible to put down! I also really loved the Redwall series. Brian Jacques did an incredible job creating a whole universe full of legends and lore, language, food, culture, etc, similar to the way that Tolkein did for Lord of the Rings.
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What is your favorite children’s book now?

I always look back fondly on the Bailey School Kids series, and I still will read pages here and there when I come across one.

What advice would you give to young readers?

Young readers are so blessed to not be so picky or time-constrained when it comes to reading. It seems like adults just don’t prioritize reading like young readers do. So just keep at it! Keep reading as a priority now, and as you grow older. The benefits of reading can’t be overstated – it helps you learn, expand your mind, relate to others, and develop other innovative ideas.

ABOUT TRAVIS

One of the “other innovate ideas” that reading has led Travis to is the creation of board games! His company, Facade Games (facadegames.com) launched a game called “Salem” last year and it’s now played by thousands of people across the world. For all you book lovers out there, “Salem” is not only a fun game to play, but it comes in a beautiful box that looks like an antique book. Also look out for his next game, “Tortuga 1667”, in January 2017.

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Books I Grew up on with Michelle Christensen

Books I Grew up on is a blog series featuring guest bloggers who discuss reading in their childhoods: the books they loved, the paths they found to developing a love for reading, and how reading helped them become who they are today! Today’s Books I Grew up on guest blogger is illustrator and designer Michelle Christensen. 

 

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Where did you grow up?

I grew up overseas, in Beijing, Hong Kong, South Africa, and Taiwan.

 

What was it like growing up there?

It was very different from a typical American childhood. I moved every 2-4 years all over the world. I always knew it was different, and an experience, and I never took it for granted. I knew it would be a huge influence to my life as an adult. I felt incredibly inspired by Asia. Beijing is so different now than it was in the 90s when we lived there. It was more third world, much more controlled and communist. It was kind of romantic to be there during a time when it was less of the norm to see a foreigner around. I have such distinct memories of the coal dust in the air, and the sweet potatoes in the winter time, and the constant grey skies. The hum of a language I didn’t understand around me at all times.

 

What role did books have in your childhood?

My father read to me all growing up. Classics like The Borrowers, The Boxcar Children, E. Nesbitt books, Anne of Green Gables, My Father’s Dragon, clever, niche books that I just latched onto because of the quirky details of them. People don’t write that simply, or fantastically, anymore! My dad began telling me and my brother’s the Lord of the Rings stories before he read them to us (We were too young at the time), so when he finally did, we were so entranced by them.

 

lalaHow did you first develop a love for reading?

My parents – my dad. We always read growing up because we didn’t really have TV. And we didn’t have iPhones to distract us either!

 

What was your favorite book as a child? Why?

I had so many. I loved historical novels, books about strong women, independent women, or coming of age books like Walk Two Moons. I loved intricate fairy tale books like George MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin. I loved children’s books by Steven Kellogg and Anita Lobel. Mostly I was attracted to books that were layered, detailed, and had good story-lines and personalities, and of course, good illustrations. I also loved scary stories, there was a part of me that was always a little attracted to darkness, but I never delved too deeply into it. I knew I was too sensitive for some of those stories.

 

507a0543What is your favorite children’s book now? Why?

I love Princess Furball illustrated by Anita Lobel.  It is absolutely fantastic. It has wonderful characters, illustrations, and a beautiful classic story.

 

 

What advice would you give to young readers?

I would say– get away from your electronics for a few hours a day and read. Be creative. Go outside. Play. Write stories. You have no idea how those habits will mold your future. We have so much creative potential as human beings. It is so often wasted.

 

 

ABOUT MICHELLE

Michelle just finished illustrating a story earlier this year for the book Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, which is a compilation of 100 stories of women who made a difference in the world by “rebelling” and standing for what they believed in. It comes out in December and she is very excited about it. Michelle also has a few books also in the works – one about biracial adoption, which will be coming out this next year. And another personal project about living in London. Check on Michelle’s website and blog for updates!
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Books I Grew up on with Bailey Gumm – Miss Nevada

Books I Grew up on is a blog series featuring guest bloggers who discuss reading in their childhoods: the books they loved, the paths they found to developing a love for reading, and how reading helped them become who they are today! Today’s Books I Grew up on guest is Miss Nevada 2016, Bailey Gumm. 


img_1604Where did you grow up? What was it like growing up there?

I was born and raised in Minden, Nevada. Minden is a small town known as the heart of the Carson Valley which is located in northern Nevada. Minden had a huge influence in my upbringing. Being from a town of about 3,000 people creates a close knit community.

What role did books have in your childhood?

Both of my parents are teachers and from an early age they instilled in me the importance of reading. Not only did they encourage me to read because it is a valuable skill, but they encouraged me to find joy in reading by reading books that were of interest to me. My grandparents would take me to the library to pick out books and attend read alongs, every night my dad and I would read part of the Harry Potter book series together, and when the book fair came to school my mom would walk me around and let me pick out the new Junie B. Jones book (that was one of my favorite series).

img_1605How did you first develop a love for reading?

My grandma would read to me when I was a baby. Between my parents and grandparents I learned to love reading really quick. I had my favorite books that I would read over and over again, or ask my parents to read to me.

What was your favorite book as a child?

  • Goodnight Moon
  • Those Terrible Town Breakers
  • Amelia Bedelia books
  • Magic Tree House series
  • Junie B. Jones series
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events series
  • Harry Potter series

 

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What is your favorite book now?

Any Robert Munsch book.  We Share Everything is one of my all-time favorite books for children!

What advice would you give to young readers?

  1. Be involved in the book choosing process. Pick out books that look interesting to you.
  2. Reread your favorite books while mixing in new ones.
  3. Never lose the joy of reading.

ABOUT BAILEY

My community service platform is ‘Autism through a different Lens’ promoting autism acceptance. I am working with state and national organizations to being acceptance to the autistic community through sibling advocacy. Currently I am traveling the state of Nevada attending fundraising events, speaking to schools, promoting my platform, and encouraging young women to get involved in competing in our Miss Nevada Scholarship Organization.

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Books I Grew up on with Steve Guscott

Books I Grew up on is a blog series featuring guest bloggers who discuss reading in their childhoods: the books they loved, the paths they found to developing a love for reading, and how reading helped them become who they are today! Today’s Books I Grew up on guest blogger is UK-based science fiction and fantasy writer, Steven Guscott. 

Author picHi! My name is Steven. I’m thankful to Thunderstone Books for inviting me to write a little bit about the books that I loved when I was younger.

There are a few stories/series that came to my mind straight away when thinking about my childhood and what books had an impact on me. They are The Puddle Lane series, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and The Horrible History series. I do remember some story-tape books (younger people, you might have to internet search what ‘story-tapes’ were) to do with classical music, and there’s also one series of books I think is for younger teens and younger children called The Edge Chronicles.

I don’t remember much about the Puddle Lane series except it had a wizard and a cat, and perhaps a dragon in it. What I do remember is that I loved having them read to me. I have little doubt that the reason I enjoyed these books was because they were weird and magical. Anything like that captures my imagination and in time my love for stories that are unique and magical would grow and grow.

I also remember being at my lower school, aged about six/seven, and when we had reading time I would find a bean bag in the painted castle part of the library and often choose a Horrible History book by Terry Deary. My favourite was Dark Knights and Dingy Castles; I certainly had an affinity for knights and castles.

In my young teens I read the first of the edge chronicles, Beyond the Deepwoods, by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell. This story really captured my love of the unique and creative. I then went on to read a few others of the series before my reading tastes moved on to the likes of Sabriel by Garth Nix, The Black Magician Trilogy by Trudi Canavan, and The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien.

Those are all the main stories I actually remember from my early childhood, but in truth I did spend more time making things or playing football. It wasn’t until my mid teens I really came to appreciate a good story.

P.S. I wish I had had the Gruffalo as a child, now that is an incredible children’s story.

 

ABOUT STEVEN

As Steven has said, he loves unique stories and favours fantasy and science fiction. He especially loves stories that have characters he can learn things from or relate to. The first time he really found the value of such characters was in his last year at High School when his English Class studied Shakespeare’s, Hamlet.

Steven also likes to spend time with his family and friends, draw, and keep fit when he can. Under the name of Steven J. Guscott, he also writes stories. He has published two books with Kristell Ink:  The Book of Prophecy and The Diary of Frankenstein. Check out Steven’s website to learn more!

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Books I Grew up on with Megan Gneiting

Books I Grew up on is a blog series featuring guest bloggers who discuss reading in their childhoods: the books they loved, the paths they found to developing a love for reading, and how reading helped them become who they are today! To start off the Books I Grew up on series is Las Vegas photographer, Megan Gneiting. 

IMG_9731 (2) copyWhere did you grow up? What was it like growing up there?
Having been born and raised in Las Vegas, I can honestly say that I love this city! When I was a child, my parents were always questioned as to how they could effectively raise children in a place known for its many vices. Their answer is the same as mine, seeing as now I am a mother in Las Vegas: everything is black and white here and there isn’t much gray area. The good and the bad are very obvious. I think because I was exposed to both extremes, I was inspired from a young age to seek out the good things in the world. Come to find out there is a lot of good to be found in Las Vegas communities!

How did you first develop a love for reading?
My grandma lived right around the corner from my family, and she taught us how to read at a local elementary school. She had a huge collection and especially loved “pop-up” books of which she had many. I used to love going to her house and seeing what books she would read to me that day. When I began Kindergarten and started reading, my grandma really helped me learn to read. She taught me quickly and really pushed me to develop my reading abilities. I attribute my love of reading to her, and I am so grateful to have inherited a small portion of her book collection to read to my daughter.

What role did books have in your childhood?
Reading was always a hobby my parents encouraged. I remember one year for Christmas my parents gave me the entire Nancy Drew collection. Throughout the year my dad would read to me every night before bed. Before next Christmas came, we had finished the entire series. Being able to say I had read an entire series instilled a lot of confidence in me and and inspired me to read other book series!

What was your favorite book as a child?
My favorite book as a child was The Doll People by Ann M. Martin. The book is all about toys that come alive at night and have crazy adventures all over the house. It stretched my imagination and was completely magical to me. I read it several times and I can’t wait to read it to my daughter.

What is your favorite book now?
My daughter is almost 1 so our reading is very light, but I especially enjoy the Sandra Boynton books.

What advice would you give to young readers?
Find your local library and join their reading programs! They can help you set goals and recommend different kinds of books you may not choose on your own. It’s a good way to motivate yourself to read and you never know what you might discover. Also, they might have some fun prizes!

ABOUT MEGAN

Megan Gneiting is a photographer based in Las Vegas. She takes professional photos for all occasions – family pictures, engagement photos, wedding pictures, senior pictures, and more – but her latest project is in photographing “Home Life Sessions”. Home Life Sessions allow for un-posed pictures of your family life to capture all those little moments, from reading books to to playing together, that make your family special. Check out Megan’s blog to learn more about it!

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