I can honestly say I remember learning to read in the first grade. Mainly because I had five older siblings, yet none would take the time to read to me. That’s okay. I don’t hold a grudge. They know they’re jerks sometimes. It motivated me to REALLY want to learn to read. My mother knew of my interest and bought me books (Ramona Quimby, Age 8; read it when I was 7. Yes, a child prodigy.)
Somewhere along the way, like the cover of that Beverly Cleary book, the passion for books faded. At the start of my year in sixth grade, my eighteen-year-old sister, oldest of the seven children, ran away. When I say that, I mean literally. Left notes for us saying she was done with the family. It hit hard for everyone. I dealt as probably any sixth grader would, by completely shutting down. Became introverted. Closed off. And had few friends.
Just kidding, I wouldn’t leave you on such a sour note.
Then came my science teacher, who had a knack for avoiding science discussions at all, which irritated me as a science lover, but as they say in The South “bless his heart.” He recommended a book he was reading, Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, to the class. I saw it while shopping with my mom, and told her about my teacher’s recommendation. She bought it for me. “Soon to be a major motion picture” blazened the cover. I still have it, as you can see by my pic.
I sat on the floor of my bedroom, leaned up against the bottom bunk that used to be my sister’s. And I read. I kept reading. I loved it. I transported to this realistic other world that was so believable, and fun, and science-y (that’s the technical term, I believe). I lost myself in it. And I wanted more.
That initiated my insatiable appetite for Crichton’s books. I read them all. I watched all the movies, which started my obsessions with Steven Spielberg and John Williams, but I’ll save that for another time. Soon I learned of other students reading Crichton, and it became easier to talk to them and make friends. Losing myself in his fiction helped me find my new self. I know, you’ll take some fries and bacon with that cheesiness I just gave you.
But it’s true. The least I could do was dedicate my first book to him. MC will forever hold a place in my history and heart.
2 thoughts on “Jurassic Park changed my life–or my homage to Michael Crichton”
I read this as I watch that awe-inspiring motion picture that is “Jurassic Park.” It also began my total obsession with all things Spielberg and Williams! To this day it’s still my all time favorite movie, of course the book is better! : )
Yay! The book is better, and the movie does stray a bit, but they’re both so good!