Thursday, May 29, 2008

Books That Taught Me to Love Reading

Half Magic by Edward EagerI noticed I wasn't the only one thinking about my favorite books from the past, Chris from Book-a-Rama had a few of her favorites and Mommysecrets is doing her own series of book lists, but I'm using this list to introduce the Week o' Books (what?) Yes, the Week o' Books--a highly sophisticated name for a highly sophisticated system where I have a stack of books I've been given to review but have been lazy about doing so. Instead, I'm going to mention one each day over the next week then give one away each day.

Simple, huh?

So here are the books that I wax nostalgic for from my childhood followed by the book I'm giving away. If you'd like a shot at winning please leave a comment on this post before the end of the day and I'll put your name in the pot. If you are posting anonymously or without an email address attached to your profile please either leave me your email so that I can contact you should you win or keep an eye on tomorrow's post because I'll announce each day's winner in the next day's post.

1. Half Magic by Edward Eager. This story of four siblings who find a coin that grants them half-wishes appealed to my love of fantasy but less well known are the others in the series--Magic by the Lake, Knight's Castle, Seven-Day Magic, The Time Garden, The Well-Wishers and Magic or Not?--which are also great reads and are good read-aloud novels. Before there was Harry there was Half-Magic.

The Great Brain by John D. FitzgeraldAlong the same genre is Time at the Top, an obscure story by Edward Ormondroyd about a little girl who finds a magical elevator, and The Swing in the Summerhouse, part one of a trilogy by Jane Langton. Funny thing, I actually had to write a letter to Ms. Langton for an elementary school assignment and she and I ended up corresponding for a short time. I believe she lived in Boston at the time. I had to go and Google her quick to see if she's still writing and sure enough she is and has her own site.

2. The Great Brain series by John D. Fitzgerald. Spencer just went through reading the series and it was fun to see him enjoy these as much as I once did. All about a smart-and-cocky kid who lives in early 20th century Salt Lake City and uses his genius to milk the neighborhood kids of allowance money--it has the feel of Tom Sawyer's famous painting the fence scene stretched into a series. He's the hero you love to hate. Highly recommended by both me and my 11 year-old son.

The Ten O'Clock Club by Carol Beach York3. The Ten o' Clock Club by Carol Beach York. If you missed this charming--and I mean charming--story of the girls at the Good Day Orphanage I only pray it's not too late to catch up and remedy the error. Unfortunately it's not in print any more and searching for the author's name at Amazon only pulls up Wanderlust: Erotic Travel Tales which I'm pretty sure isn't quite the same.

My mother bought me The Ten o' Clock Club and The Christmas Dolls (also by York) and I treasured both until the covers were tattered and torn. The Christmas Dolls tells the story of two misfit dolls that dream of being loved by a little girl and thanks to some Christmas magic they get their wish. The Ten o' Clock Club follows the same group of girls when they try their hand at fortune-telling.

Very sweet--you can borrow my copies if you'd like. So long as you promise to return them.

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander4. The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. This series includes The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The Black Cat, Taran Wanderer and The High King (if memory serves) and was my first taste of Tolkien-esque fantasy. My friends and I read and re-read this series up until junior high but do you remember where I said I had an elementary school writing assignment to write to an author? Well I also wrote to Mr. Alexander and he didn't answer. Not that I'm bitter. Sure, he sent me a pamphlet outlining the many books he'd written but that really isn't the same thing as a letter from an author you idolize is it? Oh well, I pulled through somehow.

Nancy Drew and the Password to Larkspur Lane by Carolyn Keene5. Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene. I've always loved mysteries and besides Nancy I'd have to add Trixie Belden (who was slightly cooler than Nancy based on the having-her-own-horse advantage--a horse is always better than a roadster when you're 13). I suppose it also helped that she had a real boyfriend rather than Ned who seemed to be more of a bellboy than a boyfriend but at any rate, I loved Nancy and Trixie and before that it was Encyclopedia Brown.

I read every one of the books in these three series voraciously--which later lead me to Agatha Christie--and thanks to Nancy I've sworn that someday I will write my own mystery story. On the list of things to do.

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Edwards6. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Edwards. How many of you are familiar with this fantasy novel? Mrs. Tecca, my third grade teacher, read this to us and I loved every word from beginning to end (and I loved Mrs. Tecca too). It's written by--get this--Julie Andrews of Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music fame under her married name and it's just wonderful. It's been a few years but as I recall it's the story of the Potter children who go on a magical adventure with their friend the professor in search of the great and wise whangdoodle. Something like The Wizard of Oz only much, much better and without the freaky flying monkeys. Edwards also wrote Mandy which reminds me of The Secret Garden and which I loved nearly as much--another little orphaned girl with a secret house and garden that she fixes up all by herself--great stories.

7. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I might as well throw this on the list since I've just mentioned it but A Little Princess and Little Lord Fauntleroy are also gems and must-reads. How many times have these novels been made into movies? I don't know but I think I've seen every version that's ever come out. Where else will you see Ricky Schroeder in a Buster Brown suit?

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald8. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald. Again, Mrs. Tecca read this to us and I loved how she did funny voices for "The Cry Baby Cure" and brought the books alive. Did I mention Mrs. Tecca had been the school librarian before she was my third grade teacher? Every child should be so lucky as to have a teacher like that. Oh how I loved to hear her read to us.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is perfect for reading aloud for just that reason--the funny voices. Well, that and the chapters are perfectly contained stories so that if you stop at the end and don't pick up the book for a month you don't forget what's happened and can start back right in without skipping a beat. Good stuff.

9. The Ramona series by Beverly Cleary. I've mentioned this series before but they're funny and clever enough that they're worth repeating (though I won't subject you to hearing my story of meeting Beverly Cleary again). I think I've read most of Cleary's books except the "mushy" ones that were more romance than humor--I wanted Ramona, not kissing. I've read Henry Huggins' books to the boys and they loved them just as I did at their age.

The Letter the Witch and the Ring by John Bellairs10. The Letter, the Witch and the Ring by John Bellairs. This probably qualifies as the absolutely scariest book I ever read as a kid. I was telling David about it the other day to try and get him to read it and when I raved about how scary it was and how he'd never be able to take it (you know, challenging his bravery and manliness in a weak ploy of reverse psychology to get him to read it) he started into it but put it down saying it was too scary. I think he was lying and that he just didn't want to read it--it's very difficult for me to get my kids to read a recommendation of mine--apparently I'm just not cool enough to have a real opinion--but if Aunt Melissa or Uncle Luke recommends something they'll snatch it right up. Darn kids.

I should try reading it again to see if it really was that scary. I remember reading it at night and coming to a scene where the main character is riding in a car and glances in the rear view mirror and sees glowing eyes in the darkness of the back seat. I wigged out completely as only a ten year-old can wig out when she's not supposed to be up reading so late.

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg11. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. What kid doesn't love this story? I should ask, what kid doesn't think about running away from home (if just for a brief second) and this book tells the story of two kids brave and smart enough to pull it off by running away and secretly living in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Don't let that disturb you as a parent it's a great story with a fun mystery wrapped in for good measure. It was my first introduction to Michaelangelo as a child. My kids and I have tossed around other places that would be fun to hide out and agreed that Disneyland would be terribly disappointing--what fun would it be to hide there when all the rides were closed?

Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster12. Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster. I'd normally mention Anne of Green Gables but that's on EVERYONE'S favorite list so I'll give it a nod in passing (love it love it love it--it's so great it's beyond the worthiness of this little list) and mention this lesser-known work that is also wonderful. It has a similar feel to the Anne books and even has a sequel, Dear Enemy, which is also fabulous reading. It follows Jerusha Abbott as she works in an orphanage and corresponds with an unknown benefactor. I think it was even made into a movie long ago. Probably a Ginger Rogers movie--it has Ginger written all over it.

The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth13. The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth. Another unknown that any kid who likes dinosaurs would love. It's about a little boy who finds an egg--you guessed it, it's enormous--and hatches it only to find that it's a dinosaur egg. The media finds out and the issues grow as fast as the little dinosaur. Probably the precursor to Jurassic Park from a kinder, gentler time--without the blood and carnage of dinosaurs making h'ors d'oeuvres out of the humans. I also liked The Shy Stegosaurus of Crooked Creek by Laurie Lawlor about some children that find a stegosaurus hiding out near their home.

Others not even mentioned: The short books about witches by Ruth Chew, Lizard Music by Daniel Pinkwater, She Was Nice to Mice by Alexandra Elizabeth Sheedy (yes, Ally Sheedy the actress, when she was 13) and The Witch of Blackbird Pond. All wonderful books too. You'll notice I refrained from raving about Charlotte's Web which I consider a monument to the English language--it's so obvious I figured I'd let someone mention it in the comments.

***

Your Toddler Month by Month by Tanya ByronTo start off this Week o' Books here's Your Toddler Month by Month: Your Essential Guide to the First Four Years by Dr. Tanya Byron. Published by DK Publishing (they tend to be a name you can trust) it's just what it claims to be--a comprehensive guide to those formative years when you often look at the child you've produced and say, "Oh my gosh--how could this human being have come from me?"

Physical, mental, emotional development--it appears to be covered and my impression is that it's a nice guidebook for some of those questions you might have such as: "Is it normal for my child to strip off their clothes in public?" The answer is, of course, yes. That's why it's advisable to dress your little exhibitionist in at least seventeen layers of clothes each day so that at least you've got a fighting chance of catching them before they get down to Buck Naked in the middle of Walmart. (That part is my own expert advice--not Dr. Byron's. Though she can use it in the next edition if she wants to--free of charge).

Forgive me if I'm a little cynical when I see chapter headings like, "Communicating with Your Toddler" and "Managing Behavior." I vaguely remember those years with toddlers and the days where I'd swear there wasn't any way the both of us were going to make it through alive and sane. I could have really used a book like this.

What My Toddler Ate Today: A 90-day Food Diary by Jaqui HermannI'm also throwing in What My Toddler Ate Today: A 90-day Food Diary by Jaqui Hermann where parents can chart their child's meals to improve eating habits and nutrition--not a bad idea is it?

But if you'd like a chance to read Dr. Byron's pearls of wisdom for yourself and count your kids' Doritos intake, leave a comment and you've got a fighting chance at winning something fun this week.

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84 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh good, I'm so glad you listed books that impacted you as a child - we were needing to shore up our summer reading for my kids (ages 12, 10 and 8). THANKS!!

nellbe said...

What a wonderful list and I myself have read many on this list. Thank you for sharing. I would also like to add some of Judy Blumes books, I think she is essential to read.

illahee said...

oh wow, i've only read one (or a few) of those books on your list, "the book of three". although, i probably read the one by john bellairs because i *loved* "the house with a clock in its walls" and i know i read several others in the series.

i really connected with the dragonsinger books by anne mccaffery when i was in junior high.

Robin said...

Narnia! You left out Narnia! I'll forgive you though because you did include A Little Princess (one of my all-time faves - is it any wonder why I fantasize about sudden riches now that I'm grown?), The Mixed Up Files (of...) and the Nancy Drew books. And Trixie Belden. Wow, I haven't even thought of her in decades...

I'm just commenting for fun though, don't add me to the giveaway list. We're already past the toddler years here :-).

Lori said...

I'm drooling over this book list. I so hope my daughter shares my love of reading. The Toddler books look like interesting reading.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I second Narnia. And The Little Princess was, I thought, even better than The Secret Garden. Don't forget the wonderful Little House series of books, of course. My daughter loved the Edward Eager books - somehow I missed those when I was growing up.

Are there really parents who bother to chart what their toddler eats? Wow.

Erica Douglas said...

I always liked stories that were set around farms when I was younger...I wonder what a pshycoanalyst would make of that... I enjoyed Judy Blumes books when I was a bit older too.

lmilla said...

Wow - I devoured books as a child/teenager, and I'm pleasantly surprised that the only ones I knew were the Ramona series, The Secret Garden, and Nancy Drew. I'm excited to check the others out!

"The Boxcar Children" and "Where the Red Fern Grows" were two of my absolute favorites. I read them over and over...

Joanna said...

I thought I was the only one who knew of & loved the Julie (Andrews) Edwards books! I didn't (and don't) re-read many books, but Mandy was my favorite, and I went through it a few times. I loved Last Of The Really Great Whangdoodles, too.

And, of course, I was a Nancy Drew & Encyclopedia Brown fan (and throw Hardy Boys in there, too) I tried reading a few Ramona books, and could never get into the whole series even though they were popular.

I devoured books as a child.

Chris said...

Thanks for mentioning me! I loved the Ramona books. Ramona is such a character.

nik said...

I remember reading The Ten o' Clock Club! But the Romona books were my Ulimate favorite!

So much so, about 8 months ago, I went and tracked one down and settled myself on the couch for a few hours to read it and found myself sitting there, with a silly grin on my face as I read from cover to back and flashes of memory of all the other stories I remembered of that little girl! It was great haha

Jennifer said...

Another great T13 list... as for your giveaway, I think I am looking forward more to the diary book. :)

Jeni said...

I could definitely use those books about toddlers - my girlie is 20 months, and we need all the help we can get! :-)

Fuji Mama said...

I love seeing so many of my own favorites books from my childhood! I remember getting both of the Julie Edwards books one year for Christmas. I read those books cover to cover multiple times. In addition to many of the books on your list, I loved anything written by Zilpha Keatley Snyder and Elizabeth Enright.

Beck said...

John Bellairs books WERE SCARY! I have a bunch of them and reread them last summer and they STILL WERE SPOOKY! "The House With A CLock In Its Walls" is a lovely, creepy place to start, and a great summer read for 9-12 year olds.

Terina said...

i LOVE daddy long legs. i had no idea there was a sequel!! must find it and buy it!! after my buying fast of course.

Blessed said...

You've mentioned a lot of the books that were my favorites too and some I need to look up because I've never read them!

I'm the auntie that gives books along with the toys or clothes or whatever else for every birthday and at Christmas so I'm always looking for good books!

Lauri said...

Great book list! Many of my childhood favorites are the same. Your teacher sounds fabulous - you should write her a letter!

Wild Squirrel said...

Always a treat to get a good book suggestion for the kids! Thanks! No need to enter me in the giveaway--frankly, I don't want any more advice right now on how to raise my kids! :)

Pencil Writer said...

My son--probably when he was in third grade--turned me on to Lloyd Alexander's books. We read the whole Prydain series back then--more than a decade ago. Seems like we heard something about him knowing Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. I don't remember where we heard that. Maybe not. Love all those authors books anyway! We know Tolkien and Lewis were buddies.

April said...

Put me in the pot. ;)

I read and re-read Daddy Long Legs growing up. Found it in a thrift store pile and have never heard of it elsewhere. Nice to know others like it, too!

Blazing Goddess said...

Just a bit of trivia: Daddy Long Legs was made into a film in 1955. It starred Leslie Caron and Fred Astaire.
(No toddlers for me!Thanks!)

karen said...

Thanks for a great summer reading list! Many of your favorites are also mine and I can't wait to share them with my kids.

If my name comes up in the drawing, please pick again! My kids are now 9 & 7 - I'd rather the books go to someone who needs them.

Joyful Days said...

Fabulous list! We have some and then there are some that we've not seen. I will be adding them to the never-ending reading list. Thanks!

Pieces said...

How did I get through my childhood without reading those books?! You reminded me of some I had forgotten too--great for summer reading with Girlkiddo. Thanks for the list.

Darla said...

Oh, I loved so many of these! The Great Brain, Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Ramona, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Daddy Long-Legs...

I do have to recommend Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos as a recent book with the feel of From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler--only it's a museum of antiquities rather than art, and Theo's the only one who can see the ancient Egyptian curses on some of the artifacts. Fun story.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh, the memories I have of my mom tutoring at our library in the summer and I'd find a corner to read all day. Nancy Drew, Ramona, Secret Garden were all my faves. The very first "big" book I read was Charlotte's Web and I'll never forget sitting in our big wooden rocking chair turning page after page...

Steph

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

Oh thanks for the book giveaways! :)

And I love several of the books/series on your list too - especially the Prydain books (one of my childhood favorites). And I never knew that Julie (Andrews) Edwards wrote anything other than Mandy - it's one of my favorite books, so I'll definitely have to check this other one out!

I've been thinking that I need to pull out my Ramona books (among many others) for Abby now that she's reading. I'll probably have to wait until her Junie B. Jones obsession wanes a bit though. :)

Anonymous said...

Your list sounds really intersting and I've only read a couple of your picks. So here I am once again, hoping beyond hope, to be drawn!
~Melanie


msolis4@yahoo.com

Cagey said...

Loved, LOVED Nancy and Trixie. I have completed my Trixie collection (although they have RE-RELEASED the series, so now i must own that as well!), am working on Nancy now. Of course, now you have reminded me about Encyclopedia Brown, darn you.

Also, loved the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Ramona, and the Secret Garden. Good calls!

Would have to add the Katie John series, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Wrinkle in Time, and Little Women.

Great post, Michelle. Will be adding your list to my Palm for future reference.

Melissa said...

Oh thank you so much for the list. There are several old favorites I would love to read again. "The Mixed up Files.." and "Daddy Long Legs" among them. I need to start requesting books from the library to pick up for my self, but these ones I could actually pick up while I supervise in the children's section.

Jordan (MamaBlogga) said...

Even more trivial bit of trivia: Daddy Long Legs was first made into a movie in 1919 starring Mary Pickford.

Love your choices, and many of the ones mentioned above. A book I'd probably add would be The Phantom Tollbooth; read it in 4th or 5th grade and really liked it.

Jordan (MamaBlogga) said...

Oh, and PS: I nearly cried when I read "I vaguely remember those years with toddlers and the days where I'd swear there wasn't any way the both of us were going to make it through alive and sane." I was pretty well convinced of that earlier this week; glad to know you all survived.

Mrs. Organic said...

Whenever I was sick, my mom bought me a Nancy Drew book to read (I ate them up). I'm favoriting this list - I'm going to have to get some of these for my kids' summer reading.

I also loved A Wrinkle in Time.

Stacy said...

Great list. I'm going to have to see if they library has some of them, I know my daughter would love them.

Scribbit said...

Let's see--Judy Blume? Yes, I liked the Superfudge series and Frecklejuice. Funny stuff.

I hate to admit this but I've never read the Narnia series or the Little House series. I'm not sure why, I just never did. That will probably completely destroy my credibility but there it is.

Liked A Wrinkle in Time though as a kid I kind of thought it was one of those books that started out great but had a harder time keeping my attention till the end.

Haven't read The Red Fern or the Boxcar children but David really liked that series.

And thanks for the Theodosia recommendation Darla, sounds fun!

And Jordan, hang in there--Hayden and you will both make it through. :) We're all pulling for you!

Flea said...

some of those were my favorites too. :) And anything by Roald Dahl!

Flea said...

I know you only count my name once, but I had to thank you for the link to the site for Jane Langton. I'm a Thurber fan and am excited about her new comic novel. What FUN!

Magi said...

I was an avid reader as a child, too. I loved The Enormous Egg and read it over and over. I had long forgotten the name and author, so thank you for bringing them back for me.

Carinne said...

As your sister, I read much of what you passed on. BUt, there were a few that I read that you never did. I loved the LIttle House books and read them all. I also read most of the Narnia books, although some of the later series got a little dull. I also LOVED Lousia May Alcott's books. I read all of hers I think. It's a crime she wasn't mentioned. It still makes me teary when Beth dies. Another one of my favorites that is completely unknown - that I loved is The Trouble WIth Jenny's Ear. It's about a girl who's ear suddenly allows her to hear people's thoughts.

Ethan is the same with me. He doesn't really believe me when I say that he'd love a book. We tried to get him to read THe Great Brain for years. What I've discovered is that if I really want him to read something that he won't take my advice, then I start reading it out loud to him. He loves me to read him books. He learns to love the book and then takes off reading it himself. After reading THe Great Brain in the care on our vacation in March, he's now burning through the series and laughing every minute. THis has happen many times. RIght now we're reading the Redwall series and he's really liking it.

ames said...

I just *love* the Edward Eager books, they're my favorites from childhood! So wonderfully lighthearted and magical. My mom read them to us before bed every night, along with Paleface Redskins and Nancy and Plum. I haven't read some of the others on your list, time to go to the library!

Motherhood for Dummies said...

I might need to get that toddlers one. And I totally forgot about Mis.. Piggle Wiggle!

patjrsmom said...

What a great list! I second everything you said about Nancy, Trixie, Encyclopedia and, eventually, Agatha, too!

God Bless,
Jane

I'm Toni said...

I was, and am, an avid reader, and so is my son, now 22. I second the Narnia series!

When my son was little, our "expert" was T. Berry Brazelton. I checked, and he's still writing! He had the best descriptions of what to expect with each developmental stage. Helpful for us new moms who didn't have a clue!

Julie Q. said...

I feel like you're a true kindred spirit; you've picked some of my very favorite books from childhood. Half Magic is my all-time favorite (Time Garden comes in a close second). I also adored Whangdoodles and Mandy. There's just something about the books of our formative years...they never lose their magic.

Cynthia said...

Great list! I'm definitely going to look for that Julie Edwards book...sounds like one my son (and I) would really like!

Sue said...

Oh, I LOVED these suggestions. All of them I've read, some of them I'd forgotten about. We love reading Mrs. PiggleWiggle books aloud.

We went to the library this morning armed with your list and my daughter is sitting on the couch right now, engrossed in Half Magic. THANK YOU!

Steve, ToVah, Avery, and Z said...

Yeah, new choices for the library. Thanks

Richelle said...

That's a great list. I remember reading some of those!

Christina said...

Trixie is so much cooler than Nancy it's ridiculous. I'm glad you gave her props, though I think she should have been the headliner!

Heffalump said...

Jane Langton actually has eight books in that series now. The first one was The Diamond in the Window, and Swing in the Summerhouse was the sequel. I love those books!
I loved the Prydain Series as well. My fourth grade teacher read The Book of Three out loud to us and that is what got me hooked on reading fantasy as a child. Before that I was all about The Black Stallion.
My sister bought The Letter, the Witch and the Ring for my oldest recently. There was another book by the same author with it. They ARE pretty scary, but still wonderful to read...

Gray Matters said...

When I taught fourth grade I loved reading Beverly Cleary - I'll have to dig back in your archives to see how you met.

JackieD said...

Wow, that was a trip down memory lane! Those were the days ^_^

And now that I'm thinking about it, more titles keep popping up! The Baby Sitter's Club was right up there with Nany Drew for a long time, and if your kids liked the Pyridian Chronicles I'd also recommend The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper.

One genre I'm surprised no-one's mentioned are the 'survival stories'. I loved My Side of the Mountain, Hatchet, and Island of the Blue Dolphins (although the authors escape me)

Dolfindancer said...

I'll have to keep this list for future reference! I have a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old, and one on the way. So right our library consists of Dr. Seuss, Winnie the Pooh, and the Little Golden books.

MaryAnn said...

Hi, I've been a faithful reader of your blog for a long time now. I love how you have different posts for different days and love all your recommendations. I wish I could write like that :) One of my favorite books growing up was The Misfit Apprentice by Robert Levy. And I've read a few of your recommendations, I love children's and young adult fiction. Anyway I just wanted to say that your blog is great, though I'm sure you already know that!

Chas said...

One of my favorite books was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'engle. I also totally loved 8 Cousins by Louisa May Alcott as well as all the books by Judy Blume. I can't wait until I can read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing to my oldest son.

Erin said...

Thank you for tipping a hat to Children's Literature. Wonderful selections!

An Ordinary Mom said...

Many of these books bring back great childhood memories for me! I also loved Where The Red Fern Grows.

And I could definitely use those toddler books you are giving away!

Daisy said...

My favorite was Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. I was going to grow up to be Jo March! If Jo lived now, she'd have a blog.

Inkling said...

So far, our little one is named Grasshopper, mainly because he/she is still gestating, and we haven't met. I'm reminded of his/her presence often in the form of nausea and other fun symptoms, and keep telling myself that meeting my little one will be worth all of this. But one day Grasshopper will be a toddler, and I'll be wondering where my wisdom from teaching and nannying went. A book would be a good thing.

As for the list of kids' books, you've got me inspired to get a few from the library that I somehow missed out on as a kiddo.

KJ said...

I could really use that Toddler book...my little one is 20 months old and every day becomes more of a mystery, delightful though he is! BTW: LOVED Nancy Drews (had nearly all of them) and Trixie Belden (only had 3!) with her beautiful neighbor named Honey? i may have to go find them...

Janet said...

Nancy Drew (and Hardy Boys), Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Anne of Green Gables series, Little House on the Prairie series, Chronicles of Narnia, A Wrinkle in Time, What the Witch Left, and much older books like Biddy Christmas and the Betsy-Tacy books. Also the Secret Garden and a Little Princess, as you mentioned. Hubby read the Great Brain series - I missed those. ANd pretty much everything else I could get my mitts on.

Phyllis Sommer said...

i loved this post. these are almost all on my list of favorites too (except half magic, i didn't discover that one til last year when i read it to my own kid!) i wore out my copy of daddy-long-legs (and of course, anne....have you read "before green gables"? it just came out, and i thought it was not lucy maud but still enjoyable.) and i really love the mixed up files, it makes me want to go out and read them all again right now!

Joyce said...

We love some of the same authors. :) Lloyd Alexander, Edward Ormondroyd, John D. Fitzgerald, Frances Hodgson Burnett and E. L. Konigsburg.

Very nice Thursday 13.

Fawn said...

I'm so excited to see some of my slightly lesser-known favourites (like The Great Brain series) ont his list! The fact that you clearly have such fabulous taste in children's books (which are *still* my favourites to read!) make me want to run out and get all the ones on your list that I *haven't* read.

I'm new 'round here, so I don't know if you still like to read children's books. In more recent times, I've discovered that I love "The Folk Keeper" by Franny Billingsley, "Ella Enchanted" by Gail Carson Levine (which I hear is now a movie - wonder what it's like), "Just Ella" by Margaret Peterson Haddix (I bought those two at the same time), and "Airborn" and "Skybreaker" by Kenneth Oppel (his Silverwing series is good, too). Whew!

Sorry for the novel...

Tim Sternberg said...

What a wonderful list.

Fawn said...

...despite which I have to add that as a younger child I loved "The Borrowers" and series.

For some old-fashioned, wholesome British children's adventures (that are entirely believable) I highly recommend the Swallows & Amazons series by Arthur Ransome.

Gah! I could go on and on!

Erin said...

I didn't discover The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles until I was in college and it is now one of my favorite books ever! I also loved Ramona and a few of the others on your list, though my absolute favorite books while I was growing up were the Baby-Sitter's Club series. I still have them--all of them :)

Incidentally, you should try Sharon Creech and Andrew Clements. They are both fantastic authors of books for kids!

laura said...

I haven't read any of your books (I have some shopping to do!). Although, truth be told, I only developed into a reader as an adult. Sadly, my mom used to try to bribe me with money to read books, which still didn't work. She didn't realize the price of giving up cartoons was too steep for her wallet.

I have better hopes for my children. And I love books now, so we're always looking for more great ones. Thank you!

Melanie said...

That list brings back memories. The Great Brain, the Lloyd Alexander series and From the Mixed up Files were some of my favorites.

My list would include Little Women and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. There's just something about them, I've read each several time.

I can't wait until my son gets a little older so we can share some of those same titles with him.
(I'm not entering BTW, my son is 5)

Coleen & Kelly said...

i loved this list. many of my childhood favorites were there, & it reminded me of some that i had forgotten!

Hazel said...

The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge is the book that fueled my interest in books. Mrs Gorringe, the headmistress of the little school I went to when small, read a chapter a day at lunchtime for us. Wonderful. Goudge wrote a number of adult books too which I enjoy but nothing has quite the magic of her children's books. Do you get them in your part of the world or is she essentially British?

ShutterNinja said...

I love your list... and to be honest I have never talked to anyone who had even heard of "The Great Brain"
I hope my girls grow up reading as much as I did!

dpenguin said...

A few more:

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (DO NOT judge this by the movie - the book is MUCH BETTER)

Anything by E. Nesbit, but especially Five Children and It (again, NOT to be judged by the movie)

I second "The House With a Clock in its Walls"

I definitely agree with C.S. Lewis and Madeleine L'Engle.

I liked the Great Brain books, too (and Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, AND the Three Investigators).

LiLi said...

I love your list of must-read books. I grew up reading other books, in another language, but I'll have to catch up and read the ones in your list.
I'd like to be added to the drawing. I'm expecting my first child and I'm clueless about all this raising children deal ;)
Thanks!

Annie said...

You listed some of my faves, especially Trixie Belden, which I saved for my kids and none have been read yet, and The Great Brain series! The best book by John D. Fitzgerald is "Papa Married a Mormon", which I read first. LOVE IT!

The books I've read the most often were the Little House series, though.

Great list, Michelle!

oh amanda said...

Love this list! I had forgotten about Half Magic. And I LOVE Daddy Long Legs. I randomly bought both of those at a used bookstore and fell in love with them.

Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace taught me to love to read!

Magpie said...

#11 - i still want to run away to the Met. i think of it everytime i go there.

Askew To You said...

As I started this list, I wondered if you'd include From the Mixed Up Files......... That was a favorite of mine! Also, the Larkspur Lane cover is the one I always associate with Nancy Drew. And the Ramona books..... Really a list of some of the great ones. :D

Jacqui Herrmann said...

Thank you Michelle for featuring my book "What my toddler ate today: a 90-day food diary"! And the other featured books took me way back:-)

Beth Ann said...

They sound fantastic! I cant wait to start looking for them all and giving them as presents to all my nieces and nephews~ Thanks!

Stephanie said...

You have some good titles listed here. I loved the Ramona series too. Did you ever see the corresponding TV series? Very fun.

Beth said...

The Great Brain! I loved that series of books! Loved, loved, loved, loved them.

I am anxiously awaiting the time my son and daughter can read them as well...perhaps I'll have an excuse to re-read them!

Hairx said...

That's great list i like it so much.