From Scalzi's Weekend Assignment: share your favorite book from when you were a child, say, when you were eight or ten years old.
The Dollhouse Murders, by Betty Ren Wright, changed my life. It's just a silly kiddie-horror book about a dollhouse that helps solve an old murder (or something like that...), but it's the book that forever made me a reader.
I picked up this book from the library cart in third grade*. Before that, I'd get the picture book about horses or the the thinnest book I could find on another topic. Reading just wasn't my bag, baby!
About 2/3 of the way through the book, I vividly remember running into the kitchen and grabbing my mom's hand and making her feel my heart - it was pounding out of my chest! Who knew reading could be like this??? From that moment on, I tore through all varieties of "kid lit" - Sweet Valley High, R.L. Stine, and so on. I had become a reader. And I still am to this day.
So while I can't say this was the best book I've ever read, it will always be a childhood favorite.
*the school was under construction and there was no library. Instead, the librarian came around with a cart, much like prison.