I think it was in a ninth or tenth grade English class that I learned about the power of an opening line. The example my teacher used was the famous first sentence in Herman Melville’s novel, Moby-Dick—“Call me Ishmael.” Though I knew who Ishmael was; he was Abraham’s first son, but not the son of his wife, I didn’t know how the author was using his name. My teacher showed us how knowing the story of Ishmael of the Bible told us something about the Ishmael of the novel. Fortunately, we weren’t being asked to read Moby Dick—and I confess that I have never finished reading it. Our teacher was teaching us something about how to read—how to think.