I like this piece by Jon Pitts in the Baltimore Sun
That prospect harks back to her Texas childhood. Having listened in on Little Women – and sobbed with her mother when the character Beth died – the future first lady went on to discover other Louisa May Alcott works, including Jo’s Boys and Little Men. She identified with Laura Ingalls Wilder of Little House on the Prairie – “we had the same name, and we both had brown hair,” she said – and felt she grew up with that character.
As a Texas schoolteacher, she read to rapt fourth-grade classes from Charlotte’s Web, Old Yeller and other American classics. “I read aloud in the period after lunch,” said Bush, who believes that activity promotes emotional bonding and builds children’s self-esteem. “It was the students’ favorite time. Sometimes it seemed as if Charlotte and the other characters were right there in the room with us.”
What a gift she was! And do you know, I read all those books to my children. And now they are grown, sometimes I read them again, just for myself, because they as wonderful today as they were the first time I heard them, read by Miss McNeil.