I wish that I could tell that to some girls in my second grade class that gathered during recess to tell fairy tales to each other. Over and over we retold the familiar “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” “The Three Little Pigs,” and “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.”
One day I regaled the group with a new story: “The Necklace of Truth.” My audience listened attentively as I told about a girl our age who had developed a habit of telling lies. Her parents took her to a wise man, and he confidently administered the cure in the form of a beautiful necklace. The girl proudly wore the necklace everywhere. She quickly learned that whenever she stretched the truth, the necklace lengthened to the floor; when she told an outright lie, the necklace choked her. The girl learned to always tell the truth, and she returned the necklace to the wise man so that another girl could wear it.
The response to my story offering startled me. “You made that story up,” one girl insisted. Another said, “You are not telling the truth, just like the girl in the story.” I protested that the story could be found in their Grandma’s Bookcase. “You must ask your mother’s permission to read the books, and be very careful with them,” I explained. The girls insisted that no such books existed, and the story group dissolved that day.
Forty-five years later, I still want to share the library stored in Grandma’s Bookcase. I have cataloged a dozen or so of the books into LibraryThing, beginning with the 1880s readers that I loved in elementary school, and still love to read today. Go to the bottom of the sidebar on the right, and click on “Grandma’s Bookcase” to see what has been entered so far.