Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Top Ten childhood/teen books I'd like to revisit.

Once upon a time I did a Top X list every Tuesday; I'm not bringing it back, but I am joining in on The Broke and Bookish's Top Ten Tuesdays meme. You can find out more about it HERE.

This week's topic is top ten books you read as a child or (younger) teen that you wish you could revisit. I'm changing it only slightly to my top ten childhood/(younger) teen books because I frequently revisit most of the books I read as a kid/(younger) teen. What can I say, I love re-reading!

As I began compiling this list in my brain, I realized that I skipped that awkward out-of-picture-books-but-not-quite-to-full-chapter-books stage. You know, the stage where you read The Boxcar Children, Goosebumps, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Judy Blume, Babysitter's Club, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. The only books like that that I ever read were... well, you'll find out. ;)

Warning: This post contains lots of pictures of books at weird angles. I was having a little too much fun playing with the camera I got for Christmas.

1. Picture books.

Including: Harry the Dirty Dog, Bread and Jam for Francis, Mike Mulligan's Steam Shovel, George the Terrible Eater, The Thingumajig Book of Manners, The Surprise Garden, Tuesday, and Peggy Rathman's books.
Did anyone else read these books with the strange-white-creature-waving-a-bowler-hat as a kid?

Or how about the Little Golden books?

2. Thomas the Tank Engine.

I found this complete collection of Reverend Awdry's stories at Half Price Books one day. I think it's the best book purchase I've ever made (other than the $1 Complete Works of Shakespeare I found at an estate sale once and the beautiful Hobbit book from Barnes and Noble).

3. Richard Scarry.

These are wonderful stories. The TV episodes were great, too.

4. The Magic Treehouse.

These were some of the first chapter books I ever read. I read them all up through about the tenth Merlin Mission.

5. Katie John.

My mom ordered these books from a catalog when she was a kid. They follow the adventures of tomboy Kaite John and her friends (and later her dog). There are two more books after these two, but I never read them.

6. American Girl books.

It's so hard to take pictures of American Girl books when your bookshelf is rainbow colored and some books are in the red sections, some in the blue, some in the orange, some in the purple...

American Girl books had a huge impact on my life. They taught me so much about history and about being a friend. Any and every young girl should read these books (but make sure to get the old versions with the illustrations and "A Look at the Past" sections, not the new versions which have neither).

7. I Am Lavina Cumming.

My mom and I got this book on tape out of the library so many times when I was little. We listened to it over and over and over again. When our library was bought by a rival library and they started getting rid of half of the books and replacing them with computers, we even bought the cassettes from the library to save them. Last year I finally bought an actual book edition and read it for the first time. It is just as delightful as I remember (though shorter. I suppose when you are little, everything seems longer than it is).
I Am Lavina Cumming is a story about a girl who leaves the ranch where she grew up with her father and brothers to live with a maiden aunt, widowed cousin, and terrible second-cousin (is that what the kid of a cousin is called?) in San Francisco, shortly before the San Francisco earthquake.

8. Sharon Creech.

Sharon Creech's books would be classified as "middle grade," I think. I've read nearly all her books, but these three are my favorites and have impacted me the most. I read Bloomability when I need a reminder that it's okay to go outside my comfort zone and try new things. I read Replay when I'm feeling alone and forgotten. I read Ruby Holler when I need a familiar story with a dash of adventure. Sharon Creech is my security author (like a security blanket, only cooler).

9. Tintin and Astrix and Obelix.

This is my Tintin shelf. Complete with Tintin books, books about Tintin, Tintin pencils, Tintin notebook, Tintin in Dutch, Tintin bag, Tintin figurine, and Tintin art project (the moon rocket).
Tintin has had just as big an impact on my life as American Girl. Like American Girl, I learn SO much about history from Tintin. I used to go running to my room to grab a Tintin book during history lessons... I still do that, in fact. In my AP World History class we learned about tensions between China and Japan in the early 1900s; there's a Tintin book for that. The Blue Lotus. 

Told ya I was having too much fun with my camera! 

10. Warriors.

I graduated from Magic Tree House to the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. This series is about cats who live in clans in the forest. For a good six years this series captured mine and my friend's imaginations. We came up with our own clans; hundreds of days worth of playing Warriors. I wrote my only fanfiction for this series. My very first books were set in the world of Warriors. I had several that I finished.
These books are wonderful, especially the first three series. The cats have their own laws, their own customs, their own naming system, their government system, and even their own religion. I'm thinking about re-reading the whole series (a monumental task, since there are about forty books spanning all five series, not including super editions, mangas, and extra books) this summer and doing a review on it.

Honorable mention:

This flabby, fat, lasagna-loving tabby has followed me through the years. I had a friend when I was growing up who introduced me to Garfield when I was about six or seven. I didn't start reading him right away... but when I did, I read every single book all the way up to #50 or so, plus a bunch of extra books. I even did a report on Jim David, the cartoonist!

What books from YOUR childhood and teenagehood (teenagerdom?) would you like to revisit?

Live long and prosper.


  1. I read those books with the funny white ghost thing... what is that???

    I actually haven't read many of the books on your list, except the picture books in #1. I kind of skipped straight to chapter books from picture books... and was reading things like "Jane Eyre" by the time I was 12. I'm starting to revisit a lot of my old favorites now that L is old enough to enjoy me reading longer stories with less pictures, it's fun! Let's see, some of my childhood favorites:
    1. Tales of the Kingdom by David and Karen Mains
    2. The Magic Bicycle Series by John Bibee
    3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
    4. The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald (and other various children's stories by him)
    5. Can't you Sleep Little Bear by Martin Waddell (not sure that's his first name.. but all the Little Bear books are wonderful)
    6. Whatamess by Frank Muir (need to find a copy of that...)
    7. The Mandie Books
    8. American Girl books (yep, me too, I didn't read very many of them as a kid, but I'm having fun going through all of them now!)
    9. The Boxcar Children
    10. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

    I could go on... but these are the ones I am planning on reading to L in the near future.

    1. Cool! That's a good list! My dad read me the first Magic Bicycle book a long time ago. I always meant to finish the series when I was older, but I never did. I'd forgotten about it until you mentioned it!
      And I have absolutely no clue what the little ghost-thing is! And why does he have a hat?? And a moustache? He's kind of creepy...

  2. The Swallow and Amazon series by Arthur Ransome all the way!!! Also, a little series of books from my early elementary years called the Twins of ... Belgium, Holland, China etc. by someone with the name Lucy somewhere in her full name. I'm sure they would be very politically incorrect now, but they fueled my love of different cultures.

    1. I've heard of The Swallow and the Amazon, but I don't think I've ever checked it out! I'll look it up. It's cool how books we read as kids can shape our passions of later years.
      By the way, I'm reading 1984 and I think I can see now why you don't like it. Haha, I'm not enjoying it very much.

  3. There is totally no such thing as "too much fun" with a camera. xD CAMERAS ARE AWESOME I LOVE YOUR PICS. I particularly love the Tintin ones. :') Ahhh, such fond memories! I was absolutely addicted to Tintin and used to read ALL the comics every school holidays. I wish I owned them. My brother and I were always at the library. OH. I loved American Girls too! Even though I am, in fact, Australian. Pfft. I still read so many of those books and Addy and Felicity were my favourites.
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. Cameras rock! So does Tintin. His stories are timeless, I think (though not, I suppose, according to the Canadian library who took out "Tintin in America" for racial stereotypes). Felicity and Kit (and Samantha, too) were my favorites. I haven't read Addy in awhile.