I was six and Jenny was five. It was our first year in different schools, and I hated being apart from her every day. So we spent our weekends together. One night, she informed me she had met a ghost. His name was Herb, and he lived in my house. Herb communicated with us via the First McGuffey Reader. Yes, that McGuffey Reader. My mother had scads of old books, and Jenny and I were precocious.
I’ll never forget the hard brown cover or the black ink picture of children sitting under a leafy bower. Paging through the text, we would recognize words that felt out of kilter and interpret Herb’s instructions to us.… Read the rest