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Alaina's Letter to J.K. Rowling
By Alaina Alderson
Genre: Non-fiction Level: Elementary 4-6
Year: 2001 Category: Letters About Literature

Dear J.K. Rowling,

This is how your character Hermione has influenced me:

"Chewing my fingernails," I answered rudely. "Well, stop and do something worthwhile like reading," my grandma yelled peevishly. "Reading", I said to myself quietly, "Why would I want to do that?" The truth was, I didn't like reading. I was especially afraid to read out loud in class. I even stuttered a little. I was an F student, hated school, and was bored all the time. I had blanked out. To me, weekends were a sanctuary because I didn't have to face real life. I watched TV. Sunday evening was the most horrible time of the weekend. I didn't want to go back to school. Kids called me names because they thought I was stupid. In school, I just sat pretending I was someplace else. I didn't do any work. After awhile, my teachers got frustrated with me. When my grandma asked why, I couldn't answer. I didn't care about anything anymore, including myself. Life was just a big hole. I failed 4th grade.

Grandmother changed my school, but still, I didn't like to read. One day, my grandma dropped a book on my bed and said knowingly, "Read a few pages." I read more than a few pages. I read more like four chapters. With great difficulty, I stopped reading to look at the title, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. As I read on for a few days, I found a character known as Hermione Granger. When I thought about it, I knew I wanted to be like her. I knew the grades that I wanted were like Hermione's marks. So I thought, "Hermione, I shall be." Wow! I loved reading. I couldn't stop! My life had suddenly changed. From F's and D's to A's and B's, I really felt successful. I enjoyed learning new things. I had nice friends. I no longer dreaded Monday morning. I loved school, but most of all, I loved to read!

Grandma says, "Goodnight," and turns off the light. But snug under my covers, I turn on the flashlight and start reading. As for my fingernails, they're much longer now -- just like magic!

THANKS, J.K. Rowling and THANKS, Hermione.

Alaina Alderson

Alaina Alderson
5th Grade
Birchwood ABC
Teacher: Ms. Martens

About the Author: 5th Grade
Birchwood ABC
Teacher: Ms. Martens

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