My teacher in fifth grade was named Mrs. Wolfe. It was Mrs. Castrejon the year before who nurtured my love of writing, but it was Mrs. Wolfe who nurtured my love of storytelling. I loved Mrs. Wolfe, idolized her, really, and to this day she remains one of my favorite teachers. I think of her every now and then, usually when I read a book that makes me cry, and I realize that sounds INSANE but hold your horses, I'll explain.
Every day, after lunch and recess, Mrs. Wolfe would pull out an old stool and place it smack dab in the front of our desks. She'd then pull out a book and read to us. I don't remember how long she used to read, sometimes it seemed longer than others, but I always wanted it to last longer, especially if we were in the middle of a good book. At the time, I couldn't understand how some people could just STOP reading in the middle of a book. I couldn't think of much else when I was reading a good book and so would race to finish it so my brain could rest. Not much has changed since then.
I always knew we were in for it if Mrs. Wolfe put a box of tissues near her. She'd cry through the sad parts, even though she'd read most of these books to all of her many classes in years past. And I'd sit in my chair, struggling not to cry with her, because what if no one else was crying OMG SRSLY. This is why I still read books I think might make me cry in the privacy of my own home, which is why when I read the end of The Dealthy Hallows, I found myself alone in bed, working my way through a box of tissues and putting the book down every few minutes because I COULDN'T SEE THE WORDS THROUGH MY TEARS. But I digress.
I don't remember the names of all the books she read over the course of the year, but I do remember the saddest moment in all of those books. For the life of me, I cannot remember the name of the book, and for once, Google was of absolutely no help. But I have faith that one of you might have read the same book as a kid and, who knows, maybe it stuck in your mind as well.
WARNING: this is like the saddest thing ever. What I'm saying is, Heather Anne, you might not want to read this.
OK. So. There's this boy, I think he's 12, and he wants to join a big dog sledding race in Alaska. I think he needs to win money or something to keep the family home or farm or igloo or whatever. So he joins this sledding race with his trusty pet dog who is the best and smartest and bravest dog ever and all the other people in the race are these grown ass men with their grown ass sledding dogs and they all make fun of the little boy because they are all big meanie poopheads.
The race is really hard and the boy and his dog have many adventures and problems but they make it to the end of the race. It's them against this other guy who wins like ALL the races and the boy and his dog are in the lead! They're going to win! AND THEN THE DOG FUCKING DIES RIGHT BEFORE THE FINISH LINE.
It is the MEANEST! STORY! EVER! you guys. What the shit is that? So of course, in class, we're all crying because THE DOG DIED and stories where the dog dies are the saddest stories of all. But it gets worse. The man who was about to come in second to the boy and the dog before THE DOG DIED, the man who wins all the races all the time, stops his sled, picks up the dead dog and carries him over the finish line and then I DROWN IN MY OWN TEARS.
I hope I didn't just traumatize you. I think I traumatized myself all over again. Anyway, does anyone know what that book was? Because I want to write a mean letter to the author.