Some people begin dreading Monday mornings sometime Sunday afternoon. Luckily, I am not one of them. Maybe, it’s because my “office” is my local library and when I need a break I stroll through the children and young adult sections to check out what’s popular and to see if my favorite books are still in circulation. They are!!!
Then, the other day I stumbled upon two quotes (see below) from C.S. Lewis about books and I knew this week’s blog was going to be about my favorite childhood books. Not an easy task, believe me.
“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond. “
“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.”
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for any age group:
Heidi by Johanna Spyri – I love this story of a young orphaned girl sent to live with her cantankerous grandfather in the Swiss Alps so much I re-read it every other summer. And every time I fall in love with the story. It just never gets old. I read it to my niece, a condensed children’s version, when she was just a few months old. I remember the day we finished it; she fell asleep and I cried. LOL. Hopefully, she’ll grow to love this book as much as I do.
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling – Forget the movies and the dancing bear (I know I love Baleo, too). In fact, I now have “Bare Necessities” running through my head…Anyway, The Jungle Book, as written by Kipling in 1894, is a collection of short stories about Mowgli, the human child who is adopted and reared in the Indian jungle by wolves. It’s followed by a collection of animal fables, featuring the well-known Riki-Tikki-Tavi, the mongoose. As with all good children’s stories there are lessons to be learned.
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne – Sometimes there are no words. This is one of those times. It’s Winnie the Pooh for goodness sake. What’s not to love?
I’ve been a fan of mysteries from the beginning. While my older sister was grabbing copies of Laura Ingalls Wilder books, I was reading The Bobbsey Twins. But it probably started even earlier with The Hardy Boys. My grandmother kept every Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew book my mom and her siblings read as children.
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton – From the moment I picked it up at a school book sale in the seventh grade, I was in love with this coming-of-age story. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read it but it was somewhere in the high 900s; not joking. Even after the movie came out, I read the book. I saw the movie a billion times, too. I mean…Rob Lowe, Matt Dillion AND Patrick Swayze. This book is the reason I fell in love with Robert Frost. His poem “Stay Gold” is on page 69 of the battered edition I kept in a kitchen draw until a few years ago. I still remember the poem - verbatim.
A Separate Peace by John Knowles – Another coming-of-age story. This time set during World War II. It’s a study in decency, nationalism and lost innocence.
If I don't stop here, for now, I'll be writing until the end of time. Thanks for taking this trip down memory lane with me. If you haven’t read some on my list, check them out. If your list is different, let me know so I can check out your favorite books.