As we get ready for another school year, it has me thinking back to my elementary school days. One of my best memories is of my fourth grade teacher, who would pile all his students into his blue 1970s hatchback Gremlin (remember those cars?) once every few weeks and haul us to the county library. Can you imagine that happening nowadays?!!

The Kanawha County Library in Charleston, WV was amazing for a kid. It’s a huge, imposing building with one entire floor dedicated to children’s books. It was during one of those visits I found Strega Nona and I never forgot her. Her magic pot of pasta, (a term I’d never heard of before and had to go straight home to confirm with my mom that pasta was indeed spaghetti) which overflowed into the village was a dream for a spaghetti-loving kid. What could be better than an entire town of people digging in with forks to streets of pasta?

My husband bought me a copy of Strega Nona last Christmas and it is one of the first books I read for the WV Reads 150 program this year. So, here’s to another school year, books, libraries, and, of course, mounds and mounds of pasta.