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Tell us about the book that changed your life

Vision2Read_Logo_FINALVision2Read, a year-long campaign designed to help improve literacy throughout San Bernardino County by connecting people to literacy programs, is well underway.

On Sept. 19, Vision2Read launched at the Family Reading Rally held at Cal State San Bernardino where 5,000 books donated by the Molina Foundation were given to children who attended.

Vision2Read is a project of the Countywide Vision, which seeks to support the success of every child from cradle to career. Experts say a key milestone in achieving that success is reading at grade level by the end of third grade.

About 69 percent of San Bernardino County third graders do not meet new California English language arts/literacy standards on the 2015 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress tests, which is lower than their peers in neighboring counties.

I invite you to join the Vision2Read campaign – whether you can help someone learn to read or if you or someone you know needs help reading. Visit for resources and information.

Literacy changes lives and inspires people to do great things. Watch this video and tell us what book changed your life using #Vision2Read on Twitter or Instagram @SBCVision or Facebook at San Bernardino Countywide Vision.

Thank you,

Robert A. Lovingood, Vice Chairman of the Board of Supervisors

45 Responses to Tell us about the book that changed your life

  • The Purpose Driven Life – By Rick Warren
    This book put life into perspective for me. We were all born for a reason, a purpose no matter what the circumstances of your life may be.

  • The book that changed my life, is the book that I wrote for little children, which I gave (free) to First 5 San Bernardino, to distribute to children. I am a former President/member of the Status on the Commission for Women/San Bernardino, and donated 300 of my books – The book is” Grandma Seagull’s Nursery Rhymes”
    Perhaps the County of San Bernardino could buy the books this time from me and give them out to children in the county.

    contact me – Helen A. Seagull (909)519-8234

  • The Experience of Nothingness by Michael Novak. I read it just after returning from Vietnam as a combat drenched Marine. It provided much needed perspective on both culture and the existential pain of war.

  • Reading has always been a part of my life. My family would read in the evenings before going to sleep. Those were the days before TV! The Bible was a big focus in my reading world, at home and at church. As I grew up, I became interested in Zane Grey books my grandfather had around the house. I loved the scenic descriptions written there of the Southwest, never thinking I would ever see the area he mentioned. As an adult, I went through a period of turmoil and someone recommended reading the Gary Zukav books – “The Seat of the Soul” and “Soul Stories”, and also a book by Rhonda Byrne, “The Secret”. These were very inspiring, and I tend to revisit them from time to time. “The Beautiful Tree” by James Tooley was quite an eye-opener several years ago about how poor parents around the world are getting their children educated, without government money. The last few years I have been moving back to reading more – “Last of the Breed” by Louis L’Amour, “The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough, “Wind and Sand;Story of the Wright Brothers, told through their own words and photographs”, by Lynanne Wescott and Paula Degen, “Empress, a Novel” by Shan Sa, and then a book that was most remarkable “Escape From Camp 14”, by Blaine Harden.

  • The book that made me a reader, and thus changed my life, was “Ramona Quimby, Age 5.” My kindergarten teacher recommended it to my parents. I started with the Ramona books, moved on to Nancy Drew and my mom’s old Bobsey Twins books, and continued on from there.

  • Other than the “Holy Bible” I would have to say “Faith Hunt” by Gary Keesee. The Holy Spirit has helped me renew my mind on what God’s Word says about how much authority we who are made in God’s image have in this earth realm. Holy Spirit reveals secrets and mysteries so that we are more than conquerors.
    Another book that changed my life is “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer. WOW!!! This book is powerful!!! Anyone who is struggling with doubt, worry, confusion, depression, anger or condemnation this book will give you peace and stop the brain-storming of mental activity.

  • The book that comes to mind, maybe not a real life changer when compared to some of the other responses I read here, but certainly something that sticks out in my mind is “Be Nice to Spiders”. This was a book in my early childhood. The message is one of compassion and that all creatures big and small make a difference. It sticks out to me as a book that had meaning as a small child.

  • The book that most profoundly changed my life and perhaps even saved it is She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders by Jennifer Finney Boylan

  • So many books have had a profound impact on my life. But I would have to say that the book that led me to Eastern Religions and specifically Buddhism is :The Autobiography of a Yogi”, because it introduced me to the great insights of the Buddhist philosophy, Psychology and in some ways religion, although it is not classified as a religion. True enlightenment can be attained and there are steps that you can take to get you closer to achieving nirvana in our human lifetimes. It led me to many books about Buddhism and eventually to retreats and a fuller understanding of what it means to be an enlightened human being.

  • What on earth am I here for? By Rick Warren

    Reading the simple yet profound truth about God’s purpose in creating each one of us and how He created us with a specific purpose. It was not a random choice that you are here and none of us were an accident. Though our parents may not have planned us – God did. Read it and you will find out how important your are to the Creator of all you see…..

  • “Not In His Image” by John Lash is a refreshing interpretation of the ancient Gnostic texts discovered in 1947 in a clay jar near the village of Nag Hamadi. It tells a history that has been long and wrongly suppressed tracing the historic paths from the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria to the present day. It changed my life insofar that it completely altered my view of the Father God the Redeemer religions which now dominate the planet.

  • Besides the Bible, which continually creates change in my life. The book “Women who Runs with the Wolve” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I found it to be both insightful and empowering. I learned to embrace and trust my instincts, which allows me to engage on a deeper level with people I encounter each day.

  • When I was 18, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” opened my eyes wide to a world beyond my cocoon of Orange County. Malcolm’s pilgrimage to Mecca changed his world view. His courage to follow a new path as a leader in spite of the threat to his own well-being, affected me deeply. Answers were no longer black and white.

  • “Stranger In A Strange Land” by Robert Heinlein, was a high school assignment for me. The book itself is less science-fiction and more social commentary. It opened my eyes to some of the ridiculousness of many “institutions” of modern society, and has honed my critical thinking whenever approached by a new idea, or examining a time honored truth. It took my young and shapeable mind, and forced it to be exercised and expanded. It, in many ways, it shaped how I think of both the world, and my place in it. Many thanks to my high school English teacher, Susan Becker, for opening my eyes to it nearly 40 years ago.

  • As a teacher, one book that transformed my Read Aloud program with students was the book entitled “Read-Aloud Handbook” by the author Jim Trelease. It was full of incredible lists of books that engage students in literacy and every one of the titles worked like magic!

  • Wow, these are all wonderful books. We are so excited that you shared your memories. Hopefully this campaign helps children and adults in our County have the same opportunities to learn.

  • I was a fortunate kid. I began watching and listening to my mother, father and brothers read when I was very young. By the time I reached three (3) years of age I was actually reading Zane Grey, Mark Twain and a lot of other books. I actually read the dictionary and an encyclopedia before Kindergarten.
    That was before TV and the library was a nearby weekly visit.
    I have read so many books that I cannot make a choice of any that have changed my life more than the daily newspaper and magazines today.
    Reading is so full of interesting things to read and recall that just about every book has value. When I was a young teenager I read the Bible from cover to cover several times and perhaps if any, this was the most impressive reading I have encountered.

  • “What A Son needs from his Mom” by Cheri Fuller
    Amazing book! It’s a must have for all moms who are raising boys on their own or have a spouse who has little or no influence for his boys. It will give you a different perspective on what you thought our boys needed to what they actually need. Us moms are our sons greatest encourager and supporter. *A Must Have. A Great gift for any mom*

  • During my long tours at sea, my nine years in the Navy, I began, and essentially finished the historical tomes of Will and Ariel Durant. Though the books seemed less than impartial, there were many and frequent gems of historical/political philosophy that I feel irrevocably changed my perception of the world, and the concept of my place in that world.

  • “In the Meantime” by Ivyanla VanSant – helped me live my life, not keep waiting for something in order to move forward with what I wanted. Wonderful book.

  • The Book of Mormon… is another book that testifies that Jesus is the Christ. It, along with the Bible, tells us of God’s plan for us as we live here on this earth. It’s teachings are pure and simple and it is a wonderful history of this land and the people who lived here.

  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel DeFoe – I first read this book when I was 8 and loved the adventure. I re-read it at the age of 14 when my father died and the terrible personal shock I suffered. Robinson Crusoe gave me the sense of never giving up, surviving any problem through ingenuity, always striving to achieve your dreams no matter what or who stands in your way and being intensely persistent. I have succeeded in my dream of becoming a surgeon and research scientist. This book has also become my children’s favorite book and I have re-read this book many, many times.

  • The bible is the only book I have loved for years that has literally changed my life for the better. As I read and apply the principles to my life the better off I am as person. I still have more to grow and mature and its a book that has 66 books that apply to everyday life for everyone. Its the oldest book on the planet. I enjoy reading it.

  • The Retail Food Construction Guide by San Bernardino County changed my life. It cost me a ton of time and money, but in the end really didn’t change things much. But I did learn that trying to fit a square peg in a round hole just doesn’t make sense.

  • Where The Sidewalk Ends, (Shel Silverstein) given to me in third grade by my grandmother, is one that I have now shared with my own granddaughter. It taught me early to look for and appreciate humor in life. Beloved and quirky poems that endure the test of time. Today all five generations of women in our family have read it and …. we are all equipped to look at life a bit whimsical thanks to this beloved book of humerous poems presented to us at a young age.

  • “Brave New World” This book opened my eyes when I was in 8th grade. Made me know that there is a world past my limited field of knowledge. Also the poetry of Langston Hughes. Favorite poem is “Dream Dust.”

  • A book that changed my life is adventures in God by John Lake. The things that I only imagined were possible I read the testimony of in this book. It showed me that the dreams that I have, God placed in my heart and they can be a reality if I’m willing to be completely dependent on Him. God Bless

  • I really enjoyed reading Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With The Wind” in high school and then going to see it at the movie theater. The book gave me such a background into each person’s mind and really added to the enjoyment of the movie. 40 years later I can still remember many scenes in the movie thanks to the movie.

  • The book which has had a life-long impact on my life is titled “Kaffir Boy” by Mark Mathabane. It is an autobiography about overcoming the poverty and racism in apartied South Africa. It taught me that no matter how dire and hopeless your future appears to be, with heart, determination and hard work one can rise above it all and soar with pride and dignity.

  • A book that changed my life is “Eisenhower In War & Peace.” This book is still very relevant in that it demonstrates through Eisenhower, how to manage and deal with difficult personalities which seems to be the new norm. Difficult personalities.

  • Dealing with People you Can’t Stand – taught me that to deal with someone else’s bad behavior I had to change myself.
    Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office – taught me how to communicate in the mans business world.
    Rich Dad Poor Dad – Taught me how to be successful and that the risks were worth the reward

  • In high school it was a reading requirement to read the book To Kill a Mockingbird. It had a profound impact on me as to the social injustice of prejudiceness. As a young adult I read, Kahlil Gibran’s, The Profit. Another book that made me think about other people in this world.

  • The Law of Success In Sixteen Lessons by Napoleon Hill.

  • Stephen R, Covey The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

    This is book about values; communication; family; relationships at home – the workplace – and the world It will help anyone stay on track personally and professionally.

  • I read “The African Genius” by Basil Davidson and it deepened my perspective on society.

  • To Kill a Mockingbird changed my life. Tolerance was one of the key issues.

  • The Profit by Kahlil Gibran. I read it first as a teenager and it moved me to think of the world around me, also myself as a separate entity.

  • Anything by John Steinbeck his novels are about the people of California and the many trials and tribulations that come with age from ” the grapes of wrath ” to ” of mice and men ” Cannery Row tortilla flat, Sweet Thurday, so many and most of them take place in California many depicting the migrant farm worker whether he was from the south or the Oklahoma dust bowl real. Characters stories about the hard life and the struggles to keep a family together

  • Rain of gold by Victor Villesenor an incredible book about the Latin migration north to America it follows a family and the many hardships they face coming north into San Bernardino and riverside counties

  • God’s Holy Word has made and is continuing to be the Book of Books that has made by far the greatest impact on my life. NO Question!!

  • I read all of Herman Hesse’s books. They were fabulous and gave me an awesome insight into people, spirituality and politics.

  • Black Boy By Eric Wright

  • The Bible changed my life! After that, I was greatly impacted by the readings of my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Coonrod, who read every day to us from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House on the Prairie”. This was in Chino Elementary. I will always remember how much I enjoyed sitting at her feet with my classmates to hear her read to us. Circa 1832 (1958)

  • The book that changed my life is the Bible. It is the handbook for LIFE. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. If you read this one book, the Holy Bible and believe what is written and apply these principals to your life you will be blessed. The secret to eternal life is revealed in this timeless book. Do not delay, start reading it today. Jesus Christ is Lord.

  • The Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer

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