Posted by: Trisha Leigh | February 4, 2011

The Best Gift I’ve Gotten

I don’t have any children of my own, but my cousins have plenty. I adore each and every one of them (my cousins and their children). They’re all special in their own way, and it’s been fun to watch them grow from adorable toddlers into intelligent (sometimes gross) teenagers. I’m so excited to know them as adults.

My cousin Christian, who’s 15, has been one of the more entertaining of the bunch. Always with a smile, a laugh, or a quick apology when he knows he’s in the wrong, the boy challenges the people around him to look at the world from a different angle, to think. About anything. About everything.

Christian (who is probably smarter than me), has never enjoyed reading. I’ve watched his parents struggle to get him to sit down and read 30 minutes a day. It made me a little sad, but at that age, especially for boys, I understand it’s not a rare issue.

I bought Christian, his brother Jordan (18), and his sister Sophia (13) the Hunger Games trilogy for Christmas. I figured (honestly) that Soph would read and love them, and maybe Jordan would pick them up and get interested too. I knew Christian would LOVE the books if he read them, but that I was gambling on a big “if.”

A few days after Christmas, Christian posted the following message on my Facebook wall:

“Okay. I freaking love the books you gave me. I absolutely hated reading, but I heard these books are good so I started reading them and I can’t stop. Thank you so much. Love you!”

Seriously the greatest message I’ve ever received, and those books are now the best gift I’ve ever given. I told this story on Twitter, but wanted to post it again because I think the message worth sharing. That anyone can love reading, as long as we don’t give up trying to find the right book(s).

I suppose I can’t take all the credit here. Score (another) one for Suzanne Collins.

What I’m watching right this second: Bones



  1. Wow! That IS the best gift ever. I love it when a book I give to someone gets that kind of a reaction. 🙂

    I finally read The Hunger Games myself over the holidays (a friend sent it to my Kindle, so I had to). Loved it! Gave it to my hubs to read, and he not only loved it, too, but tore through the rest of the trilogy in just a few days. Fun!

    • I’m learning just how rare it is to find a book that’s not just good, or great, but something else. It’s so fun to be part of the groundswell when it happens.

  2. Those books are all the rage in the sixth grade class I work in. Because I’m such a reader, I never say no when either of my sons asks for a book in Barnes and Noble. My older son reads more than my younger one, but both have favorite authors and series.

    What a great story. Did you send the author an email? She’d be thrilled.

    • I should. It’s great when there are books that apply to girls AND boys.

  3. Yay! You’re also good at selling them to random men in Ybor.

    • Hahaha, I forgot about that. I think I talk too much when I’m drinking. Or all the time.

  4. The Hunger Games are compulsively readable. The perfect blend of short chapters with cliff hanger endings, violent drama, dystopia and reality tv critique. If you’re immune to the appeal of The Hunger Games, than you’re immune to great story telling. Congrats on getting your cousin hooked!

    • I agree about their inherent readability, though I have had a few friends not really get into them. I suspect something is wrong with those readers 😉

  5. Pretty damn awesome!

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