"'The Jungle Book' by Rudyard Kipling. I thought I was Mowgli, or I wanted to be Mowgli and have talking critters as friends. Absolutely, I wanted to escape the ghetto. I wanted to get out of poverty and live in some place magical. It seemed to me that if you wanted to be raised by wolves and have Akela be your pal, the world of "The Jungle Book" would be it."
-- Luis Alberto Urrea, Naperville
"My favorite book as a child was 'Charlotte's Web' by E.B. White. As a girl, I loved the characters. I also remember loving the moral of the story and how all the characters always treated each other with respect."
-- Cathie Sekendur, Chicago
"I liked anything by Doris Lessing. I think her work spoke to me as a girl and a woman."
-- Linda Martin, Winnetka
"It has to be 'The Giver' by Lois Lowry. I remember that being the first book I read that blew my mind. It was the first time I realized a book can really transform you."
-- Lisa Kaplan, Lincolnshire
"I really liked 'Heidi' by Johanna Spyri. It's the story of a poor child who turned out to have a wonderful life and I liked that. I enjoyed the book's message."
-- Carol Sonnenschein, Chicago
"'Northwest Passage' by Kenneth Lewis Roberts. It was the first book that I just happened to pick up and couldn't down."
-- Daniel Ventura, Chicago
"I think it was 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' by L. Frank Baum. There is a sense of wonder in that book and movie that is timeless and translates well even today. It is a story that has good lessons and a great message."
-- Katherine Betts, East Lakeview
"'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I just was enchanted by the words. It made me feel like I was taken there."
-- Holly Kerr, Highland Park
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