Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thursday 13: Favorite books from childhood

There's been a rash of "favorite books" notes going around Facebook this week and I thought that might be a fun exercise. I decided to narrow it down to my childhood favorites--probably between the ages of 10 and 13, these were my go-tos.

Not in any particular order:

1. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Judy Blume. Classic.

2. Harriet the Spy, Louise Fitzhugh. I think every kid who's ever felt like an outsider at any time can relate to Harriet. That and making a big mistake that feels hard to come back from.

3. The Tower of Geburah, John White. This was my first fanstasy book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Good-evil tug of war. Many images from that book still stay with me, though I have this sense if I were to read it again, I'd be less enthralled. I might give it a go, though, and see. I noticed on Amazon that there are some sequels, which definitely weren't around when I was a kid.

4. Betsy and Tacy series, especially Heaven to Betsy or Betsy in Spite of Herself, Maude Hart Lovelace. Oh my, did I love these. They came home from the library with me MANY times. For some reason they were deemed not-quite-classic enough to purchase for home... probably because these were also my first "romance" books. Pretty chaste and sweet.

5. The Great Brain series, especially Me and My Little Brain, John Fitzgerald. I could totally relate to that younger brother. That's all I'm going to say about that.

6. Spotted Boy and the Commanches, Mabel Earp Cason. Loved this story of abduction by Indians, though I think it kept me up a couple of nights...

7. Starring Sally J. Friedman as Herself, Judy Blume, again. What a girl Sally was.

8. Anne of Green Gable's series, especially Rainbow Valley, Lucy Maude Montgomery. Now these ones I got to own! I just saw Rainbow Valley on my bookshelf and it makes me smile, still today. All of the Anne stories are so worthwhile and lovely, but you really have to read them at a certain point in your life... I know a few women who tried to initially read them as adults, and it just doesn't have that same magical quality as it does to adolescents. These would probably be at the very top of my list. Anything by Montgomery--I've read them ALL!

9. Jo's Boys, Louisa May Alcott. I preferred this book to Little Women--I think it was the tomboy in me. I fell in love with the name Nathaniel from this book, I remember. And does anyone else remember that great kitchen that Jo set up for her niece? I thought that sounded about perfect.

10. Island of Blue Dolphins, Scott O'Dell. Loved it.

11. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis. Another classic, this one obviously stands up to re-reading as an adult!

12. Heidi, Johanna Spyri. Early memories of yummy bread and cheese lunches for Heidi and Peter. The goat's milk, not so much.

13. The Little House on the Prairie series, especially By the Banks of Plum Creek and Farmer Boy, Laura Ingalls Wilder. Wonderful--the whole bunch of them. Loved loved loved. I still remember reading about Laura and Mary's new calico dresses, their dugout house with the dirt floor and of course, Almanzo. So sweet.

Maybe some time I'll share my 13 favorite books from more grown-up days, but even though I have many memorable reads, I don't think any of them evoke such fond memories as some of these titles. I think I'm off to order some Betsy-Tacy from Amazon! And crack open Rainbow Valley.

And I'd love to hear what your favorite books from childhood were, too!

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  1. Loved Heidi --i think I read all but 2 of those:)

  2. I love those books!
    Seems like anyone who has been a young girl has read Margaret.

  3. Oh, all these are great books. Good post.

  4. It's obvious we grew up in the same era. So many of these were my favorites too! Curious--have you been able to get Seth interested in any of these? I've had so-so luck with getting K&J to read the books I loved at their age.

  5. wonderful, delightful list! many of them i'm familiar with. some i'm not. i would have to add the Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew books. And Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

  6. My daughter got a Little House book for Christmas a few years ago, and has read it over and over again. She even asked for more of the series for her birthday, and loves them all.

  7. I loved a lot of those too. I think I read every Judy Blume book there is! I loved The Great Brain to I read most of those too. And The Lion, Witch & Wadrobe series. My sister recently read all those again and she's in her 40's.And I read all the Little House books too & still have the box set from when I was little.

    Great list! Thanks for bringing back some memories. Happy TT!

  8. OMG, I just got the package! Thank you SO much. I can't wait to use the stuff, especially the Goddess'book!

    And the children's books, I wish I could say I read these but when I was little I lived in a far away land with different children's books.

    Big hug and thanks again!

  9. Jen--Seth will do the Narnia series easy peasy. The girly stuff, not so much. I am thinking of getting the Tower of Geburah for me/him to read together... oh and the boy equivalent to the Are You There God, it's Me, Margaret... I think he's about ready for that one (I can see his eye roll now!).

    Anastasia--that UPS certainly took its sweet time! Glad you got, finally, and enjoy enjoy!

  10. I love this list. #10 is my favorite, the story has stuck with me all these years. Happy TT!

  11. I really like your post about you favorite books from childhood. I myself enjoyed most of them too. :)


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