What I Read When I Was Young: Glenda Goertzen

Glenda Goertzen is the author of the Prairie Dogs Adventure series for children, and the YA fantasy novel, Lady Oak Abroad. A love of writing and television launched her into a career in multi-media production, which evolved into a career in libraries.

She now spends her days, at home and at work, surrounded by books in various stages of completion. Her signature style is a blend of humour and suspense set in environments where her love of hiking, biology and fascinating ecosystems plays a strong role.



What was your favourite picture book? What was special about it?

The first picture book I recall was Tweety Bird. It stands out in my memory because of the word “Kalamazoo” and because I insisted my mother read it to me every night until I could recite every word along with her. At that point I proudly announced that I had learned to read. After explaining the difference between memorizing and reading, she challenged me to pursue the latter.

As for picture books that gave me the “feels”, The Velveteen Rabbit goes to the top of the list.



What was the first chapter book you read?

Hard to say; there was a children’s book collection that I read all in one year. It included The Wizard of Oz, Heidi, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

What was your favourite chapter book? What was special about it?

My favourite chapter book was This Can’t Be Happening at Macdonald Hall! by Gordon Korman. Aside from being the funniest book I had ever read, I learned Scholastic had published it when the author was in high school. This provided the inspiration to become a teen novelist myself.

Did you ever reread your favourite chapter book once you became an adult? Did it stand the test of time?

I’ve read it several times and still found it funny. I think I would still enjoy it today, although I might raise a disapproving eyebrow at the panty raid.

Did you read comic books? Which was your favourite?

I read Mickey Mouse and Batman comics as a child. I’ve been reading Elfquest comics for 35 years.

Did you prefer fiction or non-fiction?



Did you like series? Which ones?

The Tom Sawyer series (not many people realize it included four books); Oz, the Chronicles of Prydain, Bruno and Boots, and every series written by Beverly Cleary, and any series featuring animals.


Did you have a local library? What do you remember about it?

I didn’t have access to a public library with a children’s collection until I was fourteen. I remember a friendly librarian and a peaceful corner where I spent my weekends reading every book in the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series.

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