I can count with one hand how many movies made me cry but I would have to use all my fingers, my toes and then some to count the number of books that made me cry.
But I remember the first book that did.
It was With You and Without You by Ann M. Martin (she also wrote the Babysitter's Club series!). It was about a girl whose father was dying from a terminal illness and how she dealt in the months before and after his death. I was about nine years old when I read that book. I remember sitting on the floor at a clothing store reading while my mom shopped. Suddenly my face was wet--I couldn't believe I was actually crying. My nine-year-old self was so shocked that a book moved her to tears that the memory of that day stayed with me all these years.
Before With You and Without You I was a pretty passive reader--I read because it was required for school or I read for because it made my parents happy and it was a "good girl" thing to do. But after that book I realized that words in a book could be that powerful and they can stir your emotions to the point of actually crying.
I wanted to read more books that will move me, that will cause me to feel such strong emotions--and I just don't mean tears-running-down-my-face emotional. Any book that can move me to sadness, laughter, anger, and fear or makes me empathize with a character is very powerful.
Recent books I've read that made me cry include Wonder (Palacio), The Fault in Our Stars (Green) and Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes (Crutcher).
Do you remember the first book that moved you to tears? Any books you've read recently that made you cry?