Thursday, May 03, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Children's Books That Stayed With Me

Thirteen Books I Loved as Kid
1. The Horse and His Boy - CS Lewis - This is one of the books in the Chronicles of Narnia. For some reason, this one stood out from the rest of the books, even better than The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, which I thought was also very good.

2. Nancy Drew Mysteries- Carolyn Keene - In sixth grade, my teacher had a sizable collection of these mysteries in his classroom library. I ate them up. Mystery of the Glowing Eye had a scary illustration on the front that I remember I had to put face down when I wasn't reading it. Sometimes, I STILL have to do that if the covers are too creepy looking.

3. The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster - My 11-year-old son just finished reading this. His comment was "It was weird." I agree, but I really loved it anyway. As a child, and a native Southern Californian at that, I had no idea what a tollbooth was until that book, since I'd never experienced one in the real world. They made an animated movie from this book, but it wasn't very good.

4. Harriet the Spy - Louise Fitzhugh - I loved Harriet because she was an outsider and odd. I wanted to be like her, and in fact, I think I even adopted some of her habits, but I couldn't get behind her tomato sandwiches. Sounds like a recipe for soggy bread.

5. Are You There, God? It's Me Margaret - Judy Blume - The quintessential teenage girl book.

6. The Album of Horses - Marguerite Henry - I cannot believe this book is still in print, with its original illustrations! I went through a very intense horse phase and daily cursed my parents for not having enough money for us to own equines. I spent hours and hours drawing horses out of this book.

7. The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein - This is a wonderful, timeless book about love.

8. Go Dog Go - P.D. Eastman - I read this over and over. I still remember many of the illustrations.
9. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl - I ADORED this book when my fifth grade teacher read it to us. I begged my father to buy it for me. I couldn't believe Charlie's family was so poor they had to eat lettuce soup for dinner.

10. Charlotte's Web - E.B. White - Tearfest waiting to happen. To this day, I will cry if I read the part where the spider kicks the bucket. Was the Dakota Fanning flick any good? My kids refused to go see it with me.

11. Happy Birthday to You! - Dr. Seuss - I also read this book over and over, mesmerized by the fanciful world Dr. Seuss created.

12. Rusty - This was a story about a cocker spaniel who gets separated from his family and how he finds his way back to them.

13. The Blue Sword - Robin McKinley - I loved this book so much, I wrote my very first fan letter to the author. It's a bit like Clan of the Cave Bear (in that I remember a distinct training phase in the book that reminded me of when Ayla "trains" with the horse) and romance and fantasy all rolled into one. McKinley always does an excellent job of depicting deep love, but keeping it chaste enough for teens to read. Beauty, A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast, also by her, was also beyond excellent.

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Blogger Rhian / Crowwoman said...

Nancy Drew - Yes! Charlotte's Web - Yes! I also liked the Trixie Beldan books - remember those?

3:38 PM  
Blogger shelley said...

I love Nancy Drew. I'm sure that's why I like to kill off characters in my books now. I also used to like Enid Blyton's Secret Seven and Famous Five series.

6:13 PM  
Blogger Anna J. Evans said...

My 12 year old stepdaughter is obsessed with horses and draws them constantly. I bet she was a bit like you as a kid, shy on the outside, spunky on the inside ;). Am I right?

Charlotte's Web was pretty good. Dakota Fanning is such a great kid actor, but I did sniff a bit at the spider butt-kicking part even though Julia Roberts was the voice and I just don't like her for some reason.

Great list!


6:23 AM  
Blogger Robin L. Rotham said...

I was crazy about Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Loved Shel Silverstein, too. My favorite books, though, were Little Women and Black Beauty -- read them over and over.

8:59 PM  

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