Dear Dr. Seuss,
I have recently revisited one of your most famous pieces, Oh the Places You’ll Go!. This book was a huge part of my childhood, it was the book I most often chose off the shelf. But what I remembered is not what I found. I remember it being a book filled with beautiful pictures and a sweet story about a boy going on a journey. By the time I became a strong reader, I had moved on from this book and on to different books, I didn’t want to read “kids books” anymore.
Yes, your book does have amazing artwork, but coming back to the book as a 15 year old, something just seems very different. This book seems much more relatable now than it ever did then. Little did I know this book teaches so many important lessons that teenagers have to remind themselves of every day.
The first part I found that I could relate to was the part where he appears standing at an intersection, and he needed to choose a road to go down, but none of those roads are the one he wants to go down, so he decides to just head out of town. I find that this connects to decisions in a teenager’s mind. These days in high school there are lots of pressures, coming mostly from social media, and from peers to be a certain image of a person. Some think they need to dress or act a certain way, or even do things they shouldn’t be doing just to fit in. Others try to hide their personality and be someone that they’re not. The things that people will do to get some attention are beyond what I ever thought. But there are other kinds of students who simply do what they feel comfortable doing, and don’t worry about what others think. This is what the book is trying to show. I appreciate that it shows me not to be scared to be different if I wanted to, not to be afraid of being judged for making a good decision. I think that the book is trying to tell us that even if there are roads that are already paved and land you in a certain place, it is ok to choose none, and to pave your own road, that goes where you want to go. Thank you for this lesson.
The other lesson that was hidden beneath the simple words of this story was the part where it says sometimes you will be able to fly the highest and top everyone else, but sometimes you just don’t, and after that happens it will be hard to recover, but you will move on anyway. As a teenager I have figured this lesson out on my own. I’ve failed a test, or embarrassed myself, or experienced any variety of bad things. After those things there is a certain healing period depending on what happens, and then life just goes on. The book explains how the rest of your group might go on without you, and that is ok.
Your book goes over many more lessons about flexibility, and more about mistakes and choices. Maybe there was a time that I don’t remember where I was having this book read to me and I actually understood the messages. At least, I hope I did. But in the end, I figured them out on my own, which shows that they are a crucial part of life. I do want to share one really good memory that I do have of reading this book. Every time that my mom read me your book, when we got to the page where it says in big letters, “Oh! The Places You’ll Go!”, my mom would yell it in a fun and comforting way, that had a certain tune to it. This quote used to make me think about all of my future vacations and adventures, but now I see that it is the places within myself. To me it now makes me think of who I’m going to be in the future, and not where I will go.
Thank you for showing me the way.
Spanish part: La semana pasada releí el libro de Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” y descubrí que es un libro con muchos partes de aprender. El libro me enseñó que es bueno ir en una dirección diferente que otros. También me enseñó que cuando una persona comete un error ellos pueden siempre vuelven. Yo agradezco al autor por enseñarme unas lecciones importantes.