This Tuesday is a Rewind. That means bloggers can choose any of the past Top Ten Topics for today! There were a lot of topics I could have chosen, but I realized picking my Top Ten Childhood Favorites would be appropriate since I read and review so much children’s literature (in addition to YA). It’s hard to keep it to ten, but here is my attempt. You will also see that I’m cheating a little by including series, but what can I say?!?
Anne Shirley is undoubtedly one of my favorite heroines, and her antics and adventures living with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert in Avonlea were the cause of many re-readings of this early 20th century classic by L.M. Montgomery. I can never read the Anne books too many times!
My father introduced me to the rabbits of Watership Down such as Hazel and Fiver with a cream-colored hardback by Richard Adams. I loved this book and now have two more paperback editions of it. Who can resist reading about the journey of these rabbits to find a place to settle in the English countryside?
I ate up all of the Narnia Chronicles, but I especially fell in love with the story that started it all. I was fascinated by what happened when Polly and Digory touched those rings, and were transported to another world. My mother, who studied in her 20s in England, had all the British paperback editions of these books, but she happened to own a hardback of The Magician’s Nephew. I can distinctly remember lying on the couch reading this book, and imagining what it would be like to travel to Narnia!
I read about Mary Lennox’s journey to Misselthwaite Manor multiple times, and every time I was in awe anew at the way she discovers the “secret garden.” I never get tired of reading about Dickon and Colin and the way the beauty of the natural world transformed the characters in the story.
It’s funny how children are drawn to certain books over and over again. This is how it was for me with this book. I was fascinated that Frances asked her parents to only serve her bread and jam, but eventually she just wanted something other than bread and jam! Lillian Hoban’s illustrations are wonderful, and how pleased I was by the end when Frances could eat all the good food she had been missing!
I loved my dolls as a girl, and this classic about a doll who is over one hundred and tells the readers all about her adventures was a winner. I adored reading about Hitty’s many travels and tribulations. I even created my own “doll movie” with my dolls, based on the story of Hitty. I just found a newer adaptation of this story with illustrations, and I may just have to get a copy.
The Wizard of Oz
by L. Frank Baum
As a child, I owned many of the Oz books, and after reading and watching the film of The Wizard of Oz, I wanted to know about other characters Baum had written books about. However, the one we know the most is the story I was always drawn back to—and I even staged my own performance of The Wizard of Oz with my dolls. I think the videotape is lying around somewhere.
So, here is one of my cheats and my confession that I read series books right alongside the classics. I loved The Babysitter’s Club! I ate those books right up, one after another, and whenever a new book came out in a Scholastic Book Order, you can be sure I ordered it. The girls in the club knew how to run a successful business and I was endlessly interested in their lives, even following their adventures in the Super Special editions!
Who wouldn’t want to follow Nancy Drew as she solves mysteries, whether it be with the secret of the old clock or the hidden staircase? As I read those books, I knew I was being trained for all the mysteries I would encounter when I was Nancy’s age.
I have to admit, I still enjoy reading these books as an adult! Who wouldn’t enjoy the chance to read a book and choose which way the story might go? Sure, sometimes you die, and sometimes things don’t work out the way you want them to, but you can always start over! The fact that there were so many different books in the series was fantastic.