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broodings from the burrow

July 2, 2019

top ten eleven favorite books as a kid
posted by soe 1:34 am

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic at That Artsy Reader Girl asks for ten of our favorite childhood books, which I took to mean books I read up through elementary school:

Childhood Favorites

  1. Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss (While I love the message of this book and credit it for being a cornerstone of my beliefs in empathy and using your voice and collective action, I also acknowledge that Seuss has a problematic relationship with race in some of his books.)
  2. Be Nice to Spiders by Margaret Bloy Graham (My approach to insects indoors dates to this book. I can vaguely recall a time where I’d screech for my parents to come kill any spider I came across as a little kid, so I’m guessing that may be where this book’s arrival in my life came from. Since reading it, though, I tolerate many types of insects living in the corners of my apartment — there’s a spider in the bathroom as we speak — although I admit it’s an unequal system that’s biased against mosquitoes, wool moths, ants, flies, and cockroaches, in part because of their ability to wreak havoc and in part because of their tendency to show up in spring-break in Florida quantities if allowed to stay.)
  3. Richard Scarry’s Please and Thank You Book (Honestly, I have no idea why. I have never given this book as a baby shower gift, although it is still in print.)
  4. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (I have mentioned before that when my town was building a new, modern library, they sent a librarian around to my school to encourage us to get a library card when they opened. She came a couple of times, reading us a chapter of this book at a time. It worked. I got a library card — and copies of the first three books in the series for Christmas.)
  5. Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parrish (Yet another book I was introduced to in school, this time by our second-grade teachers who would pull both classes into one room — this literally meant sharing desk chairs — and read one of the books in this series aloud to us periodically. If you don’t know it, it features a very literal-minded housekeeper and her upper-crust employers who are prone to ask her to draw the drapes or dress the chicken while they’re out only to return to artwork or their dinner still raw but suited up. This is a silly children’s series for people who love the power of words.)
  6. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (My maternal grandmother took this out of the library to preview whether it was suitable for me and I found it and started reading it. She quickly returned it to the library, so she could buy me a copy for my birthday, and took out A Little Princess instead in an attempt to derail my interest, but I was hooked and grabbed my library’s copy to finish it. Not to worry, I’ve read this copy many times since then.
  7. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Also, Eight Cousins. I read both dozens of times. None of the other four books in the Alcott collection I have (one of my favorite gifts ever from my paternal grandparents) come anywhere close. Maybe it’s time for a reread.)
  8. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (This is the book that made me a book buyer. I received this copy as a gift for Christmas. (We got book plates that same year and I clearly recognized how nice a book this was, because I convinced my brother to trade me one of his color bookplates for one of my black-and-sepia ones just to use in it.) But I bought the rest of the series, and some of her other titles one at a time at Walden Books in the mall.)
  9. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (I loved Meg and Calvin and Charles Wallace and Mrs Who, Mrs Which, and Mrs Whatsit. And then I loved Vicky and Poly and Canon Tallis.)
  10. Nancy Drew and the Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene (This is the first of the Nancy Drew books and while it’s probably not my favorite (I preferred the George and Bess books, rather than the Helen ones), it’s the one that made me a mystery reader. I think my mother gave me the first five books for Christmas one year (the 1960s edits, rather than the 1930s originals) and then I took off from there. I read them quickly and then tore through every copy I could get my hands on from our library. I even read some of contemporary The Nancy Drew Files series that came out when I was in middle school.)
  11. Trixie Belden and the Secret of the Mansion by Julie Campbell (I’m guessing this was another gift from my folks, because I owned a bunch of them, and I don’t know that I would have bought any of them myself without having read the first one, and this wasn’t a series my library carried. While I liked Nancy Drew, I related to Trixie, who had siblings, chores, and a more realistic life.)

Oops. I ended up with 11, but with a lifetime of book love, that seems a reasonable number

Category: books. There is/are 6 Comments.

The Secret Garden was such a good read.


Comment by Lydia 07.02.19 @ 6:12 am

Excellent reads, but can you believe that I have never read A Wrinkle in Time? I need to correct that soon!

Comment by Kat 07.02.19 @ 7:24 am

Great list! Nancy Drew and Anne of Green Gables made my list too. I also love The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and Little Women. I read The Secret Garden a long time ago, but remember really liking it. I’ll have to get it out again. Amelia Bedelia was so much fun! I just recently introduced my kids to her. Here is my Top Ten Tuesday.

Comment by Poinsettia 07.02.19 @ 8:27 am

Little Women is one of my favorite books of all time

my ttt

Comment by Renee Lake 07.02.19 @ 11:19 am

I haven’t read 2, 3, 5, or 11. I don’t think I read Horton until you gave it to my kids, but I read it many times after (it’s a great book for reading out loud in silly voices). Livia has no interest in Nancy Drew, which makes me sad. I loved those books so much when I was a kid!

Comment by Karen 07.02.19 @ 12:29 pm

I was a huge fan of Narnia

Comment by Louise @ Foxes and Fairy Tales 07.02.19 @ 3:02 pm