I stood in front of the desk, as Mrs. Finley, my fifth grade teacher, who sat where the librarian usually sat, slid the check-out card in my direction.
“Did you write that, Tommy?”
Before I even read it, I knew something was wrong. Just a few minutes earlier Miss Watts, the school librarian, had come to our classroom door, and she and Mrs. Finley had whispered animatedly about something. Then Mrs. Finley, a usually warm, kind teacher, came up to my desk and in an icy tone asked that I come with her. I followed her down the hallway and around the corner to the school library, which was eerily empty, Miss Watts nowhere in sight.
The library had always been my refuge at Donaldson Elementary, the one place at school I felt at home, spending endless hours combing the biography section or sitting at a table reading about Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Betsy Ross, Jim Bowie, Daniel Boone, Eli Whitney, George Washington Carver, Clara Barton, Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell. I loved losing myself in the company of these great men and women.~ read more ~