Books I enjoyed as a youngster

20 Sep

Today at work I was creating a read aloud guide for the book Friends by Helme Heine and it made me remember how much I adored this book growing up.  For several reasons, the biggest being that my mother pronounced Helme’s last name as “heiney”, which of course always cracked me up! It also featured three very different sized friends going on lots of awesome adventures together on their bicycle. The watercolor illustrations were very engaging and I’m happy to say it’s still a hit with young people today.

The entire Little House on the Prairie series was also a favorite.  When I was younger I often thought I was born into the wrong era and thought it would be fun to live during a time when things were so unknown and there was so much to explore.  Days were filled with manual labor and nights filled with eating maple syrup covered snow balls and singing around the fire.  Sometimes I still dream of a life like that. Plus, Laura was so darn spunky and she didn’t adhere to the “rules”. A girl after my own heart. My parents read these aloud to us.

I would be remiss not to mention the George MacDonald books, which I couldn’t put down as a youngster.   I loved fairy tales and I believe these stories fueled my desire to be a fairy when I “grew up”.  If I am remembering correctly (it has been a long time since I read these) the main princess was a lot more realistic and courageous than other wimpy princesses that I read about.  I’ll have to re-read to see if I’m right! MacDonald wrote a whole bunch of books about princesses and I think I read them all.

Some other favorites included: Blueberries for Sal, Miss Rumphius, The Chronicles of Narnia, Children of the Forest, The Tomtom and the Fox, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, The Borrowers, Harriet the Spy, Judy Blume Books (especially Deenie), Island of the Blue Dolphin, any Roald Dahl book,  Lois Lowry Books, The Sweet Valley High Books (oh man, they were so bad they were good!), The Fear Street Series by R.L. Stine,  and Christopher Pike books.  Of course there were many more, but these are the ones that stick out in my memory.  What are some of your childhood favorites?


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