One year - fourth or fifth grade - I stumbled across "The Golden Impala." Boys' adventure fiction, nothing especially good or bad about it. By sheerest chance, it was also the first book I checked out the next school year - I grabbed it without remembering it, until I went to sign it out - and there was my name from the year before, on the slip of paper in the back.
So of course it had to become a tradition. "The Golden Impala" was the first book I checked out every year until I graduated eight grade.
The other dusty hardback I read frequently was "Vulpes, the Red Fox." I just now learned that the author was also responsible for "Julie of the Wolves," which I think we read in seventh grade and I instantly loved. What can I say: I had a real thing for survivalist fantasies as a kid. ("Island of the Blue Dolphin"? Still rocks. Still have the copy I bought in grade school.) I think London's "To Light a Fire" killed the romance for me, though, freshman year of high school.
Anyway, on a lark I decided to see if these two old books were still around.
This is the exact edition of "The Golden Impala" that I kept checking out.
Vulpes has been re-released.
It's an amazing world, you know?