The other day I was thinking of some of my favorite books when I was growing up. This is a fun part of having children because I get to re-live all of the fun I had as a child by watching them enjoy some of my favorites. The photo above is at the grave of Mary Goose (author of the “Mother Goose stories”)
I LOVED the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary when I was growing up. I think I could relate to Ramona so I thought it was hilarious. My oldest daughter did not get into the books, but my youngest (who also is a lot like Ramona) LOVED them like I did. I remember the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, the Bernstein Bears and I read everything written by Judy Blume.
I am ashamed to admit this, but in middle school I read all the Sweet Valley High books….. and then went to the classics, such as A Wrinkle in Time. I have enjoyed watching my girls devour the Harry Potter series and move on to many other books.
I believe if we find the right books for our children (at the right level for them and something that interests them) then we begin at a very early age to cultivate the love of reading. My girls have learned I am a sucker – if they ask me for a book I cannot say no.
What were your favorite books growing up?
Today, 265 days ’til 40, I am so thankful for the children’s authors who help shape our lives and the lives of our children.
June 1, 2012 at 00:22
Great post! Love it, I read sweet valley high as well and even collect them now (can’t help it)…I also read a lot of Enid Blyton books and collect them now. I let my twin girls choose their own books at the library or store and then just add a few more. I love books!!! Thanks for sharing this :).
June 1, 2012 at 11:40
You are welcome! I also am known to collect children’s books – now we are collecting them on our Kindles, though! 🙂
June 1, 2012 at 00:39
My book was – Nils Holgerson’s wonderful journey, by Selma Lagerlöf – about a boy that fly over Sweden on the back of tam goose together wild gooses. Have done a post about the book.
Nils have adventures along his journey, from the South of Sweden to the North. A wonderful children book. http://wp.me/p293Pw-1O8
June 1, 2012 at 11:40
I love hearing about children’s books from other countries! – My girls LOVED Pippi!!!
June 1, 2012 at 12:11
Everybody loves Pippi !!!!!
June 1, 2012 at 00:44
June 1, 2012 at 11:37
My girls LOVED it!!!!
June 1, 2012 at 00:46
I too loved all the Nancy Drew books when I was growing up, as well as anything by Judy Blume. The Reader’s Digest also published all sorts of great stories in their magazine, which my parents subscribed to regularly. My most favorite book of all, which I still have, is “What Color is Love” by Joan Walsh Anglund c1966.
June 1, 2012 at 11:39
What great books! I remember reading my grandmother’s Reader’s Digest!!! 🙂
June 1, 2012 at 00:52
Oo – I read the Sweet Valley High books too. 🙂 Nothing to be ashamed about: there are plenty of us around. 😉 As for favorite books, I’m not sure. I read plenty. Loved Winni the Pooh when I was a kid and still do. I also liked books by Norwegian authors and Swedish ones. for instance Pippi Longstocking.
June 1, 2012 at 11:38
My girls loved Pippi Longstocking!
June 1, 2012 at 01:33
Some of my favorite books as a kid were Caps for Sale, The Family Under the Bridge, and the Freddy the Pig series by Walter R. Brooks. My kids loved them, too. And if I’d never been a parent I would never have discovered the Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel and many other books that I was too old to have read when they were published. They’re sixteen now and reading Hesse and Vonnegut.
June 1, 2012 at 11:30
I LOVED the Frog and Toad books.
June 1, 2012 at 01:35
you just took me down memory lane! i read a bunch of the ones you mentioned and two other series came to mind…the Narnia series and Little House on the Prairie. 🙂
June 1, 2012 at 11:29
I loved both of those series and my girls read Little House on the Prarie – they are just about ready for the Chronicles of Narnia. 🙂
June 1, 2012 at 01:59
I loved R.L. Stine Fear Street series when I was young
June 1, 2012 at 11:29
What a great series.
June 1, 2012 at 02:48
I’ve been an avid reader since I was about 8 or 9. I loved Jack London (just got Call of the Wild and White Fang on my Kindle,so I can read them again!), and I read every book I could find about dogs, wolves and other wild animals. Also read every sports related book I could get my hands on.
June 1, 2012 at 11:28
My oldest daughter LOVED the Call of the Wild!!!!
June 1, 2012 at 04:41
I enjoyed some of your favorites as well. I remember Mr. Popper’s Penguins (my 2nd grade teacher had a love for penguins)… I didn’t get into Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys, but I did like the Trixie Beldon series. My oldest daughter is a very advanced reader and her comprehension is just as advanced…she had read Charlotte’s Web & Stuart Little by first grade. So last summer (before she entered 2nd Grade), we read the entire Chronicles of Narnia together! I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did, but we really got into them. And more importantly, we had that special time together. This year, she has read a lot of Dahl books (James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, George’s Marvelous Medicine, etc). I’m a sucker and buy them books whenever possible, too! How can you not? lol
June 1, 2012 at 11:28
Ah yes, my girls have read all the Dahl books (and Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little!) It is fun reading with your children because you get to enjoy the books through their eyes. I am the same way as you – I just cannot say no to books – ever…. and my girls know that and take advantage of it! My oldest is also an advanced reader and she just started reading The No 1 Ladies Detective Series (really written for HS or adult). It is fun to watch!
June 1, 2012 at 22:13
It’s hard to find books that are the right reading level, while still having an appropriate content for a 7 year old! If you have any suggestions, feel free to pass them along. My little one, on the other hand, is more into anything that sparkles or is pink/purple or about princesses and ballerinas! lol. The Pinkalicious books are more up her alley!
June 1, 2012 at 22:58
Yes, it is always a challenge! It really depends on the child, though, because of that balance you mention (content that is okay with challenging book). All the Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume books are good bets.
June 1, 2012 at 10:32
I loved the ‘Orlando the Marmalade Cat’ series. I loved them as a child and again when my daughter was growing up. Now they are gathering dust and I can’t throw them out. Not yet.
June 1, 2012 at 11:26
Oh yes, I also struggle to get rid of books. I know I would have more shelf space, but it is so hard!!!
June 1, 2012 at 13:11
It’s always good to hear about kids who enjoy reading, at least for me it is in this world that increasingly saddens me on an intellectual level. And I’m not even anywhere near the smartest folks on the planet right now. 😛
As a kid I think my favourites were the Hardy Boys (I had so many!) and the Enid Blyton books – largely Famous Five and Secret Seven. I also read all the classics like Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court (used to love the idea even as a wee little one, should have seen my love of the odd then mom and dad! :D), Treasure Island, Kidnapped (love Stevenson), Robinson Crusoe, Gullivers Travels… actually used to read a lot of Calvin and Hobbes and a bit of Peanuts too. There were of course Archie comics (but they were mostly toilet-reading) and I was a big fan of the (for us at least) hard to find and expensive Commando comics.
June 1, 2012 at 23:07
Wow, you read a lot of the classics! My girls have so many Archie comic books – they adore them… and I LOVED to read Calvin and Hobbes! 🙂
June 2, 2012 at 09:56
I’d say if you can find them (don’t know if they’re still around) but try and find some Archie series’ like “Jugheads Time Police” or “Hot Dog” (yes it was about his dog but not what you think) and the mid-late 90s Jughead solo stuff, they were totally out there and some of the most creative and intelligent Archie comics I’d ever read.
And yeah, I have read a lot of classics and such. To be honest I used to read books by the week and then some but life’s gotten so hectic I barely read a fraction of what I used to and it bugs me.
Note to self: READ MORE!
June 2, 2012 at 21:22
I will have to look for those older Archie comics…. maybe they are available on Kindle??? And you, yes you should read more!!! It is good for you!
June 4, 2012 at 09:25
(heavy sigh)… believe me, I know… trying! 🙂
The Quiet Borderline
June 1, 2012 at 17:15
Lemony Snicket – A Series of Unfortunate Events! Still enjoy reading it to this day!
June 1, 2012 at 23:04
Betsy Andrews Etchart
June 1, 2012 at 18:36
I loved Ramona, too! Also Trumpet of the Swan (anythng by EB White) and A Wrinkle in Time (anything by Madeleine L’Engle)…I could go on and on. Now that I have a 2 and a 3 year-old, I finally get a chance to reread the great picture books–check out my post of “Twelve Over Forty”–favorite picture books over forty years old (like me :> ) :http://superherounderpants.com/2011/10/30/the-literary-superheros-list-of-olde-reads/
June 1, 2012 at 23:03
Ah yes, EB White’s books are wonderful! and I LOVED A Wrinkle in Time!!! 🙂
June 1, 2012 at 19:17
Encyclopedia brown, Nancy Drew, The black Stallion series. Loved them all.
June 1, 2012 at 22:59
Ah, I LOVED Encyclopedia Brown! I forgot about those books! I am going to have to look them up for my daughters – maybe they are on Kindle…..
June 2, 2012 at 03:44
Thanks for the interesting blog. I love reading books since young too. I started with Enid Blyton’s books when I was a child, then when I reached teenage years, I read Judy Blume’s books and Jean M Auel’s books. I also like wildlife/animal novels filled with engaging anecdotes by Gerald Durrell and James Herriot. Peace and blessings.
June 2, 2012 at 21:25
I will need to look up the wildlife novels for my oldest, I think she would enjoy them – thank you!
June 2, 2012 at 07:59
Jean Craighead George “My Side of the Mountain”. An incredible tale of self awareness and learning to stand on your own two feet…loved it and took it out not long ago to see if it could still affect me…yup…it can 🙂
June 2, 2012 at 21:24
I have not heard of it – I will have to look it up, thank you!
June 3, 2012 at 00:41
A book that gave me something precious when I was 11 and going through some tough times. An American author and a story of a boy who runs away from home and uses his survival skills in the mountains to live. Fantastic story of learning to adapt and adjust to what life throws at you and just what I needed at that moment in time.
June 3, 2012 at 11:14
Wow, it sounds like it was just what you needed… and it is so amazing how books can speak to us during tough times – I have had that too!
June 2, 2012 at 07:59
By the way…R.I.P. Mother Goose…
June 2, 2012 at 20:12
Bottersnikes and Gumbles (now out of print), Winnie The Pooh, a Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (tween), Ant and Bee, any comic annuals like Whizzer and Chips/Beano/Dandy. Anything with Marmalade Atkins in it! And I remember liking Garfields, Peanuts and Conrad’s War.
June 2, 2012 at 21:20
Ah yes, I remember many of those! Garfield was always a favorite in our home!!!
June 2, 2012 at 21:59
Mary Goose, God bless her. My favourite was and is The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.
June 3, 2012 at 11:15
🙂 Yes, Mary Goose was amazing.
June 3, 2012 at 20:18
I have visited this grave many times . . . when I lived in Boston. Paul Revere too. . . poems from childhood are what I remember most and Raggedy Ann and Andy books; Bread and Jam for Francis. . .and my son, now 31, loved Madeline (I can still recite from memory) and Mike Mulligan The Steam Shovel, Make Way for Ducklings and The Giving Tree.
June 4, 2012 at 07:35
Boston is such a pretty town. I LOVED Bread and Jam for Francis! Also, Madeline (my girls read those books) = and as an adult I still have a copy of the Giving Tree that I cannot part with. I also used to regularly carry around, “Where the Sidewalk Ends.”
June 10, 2012 at 16:10
Marguerite Henry’s books about the ponies of Chincoteague were my childhood favourites. So was First to Ride, by Pers Crowell. Anything with or about horses.
June 10, 2012 at 16:13
I had a friend growing up who LOVED any book on horses!!! 🙂
June 16, 2012 at 12:08
I’d heard of Mother Goose, but most of these I suspect are American and I’d never heard of them because at that time children’s stories were very culture-specific. At a very early age I loved the Thomas the Tank Engine books. Then I devoured Arthur Ransome’s “Swallows and Amazons” and the Chronicles of Narnia. I quite quickly became a voracious devourer of anything I could read, even the preface, publisher’s mark or whatever, and remember reading a collection of short stories with one of those lists of attributions or thanks – “We are grateful to Mr J.B. Priestley for permission to include his story…” – and in the list was thanks to “the executors of Robert Louis Stevenson”. I’d seen Stevenson’s birth and death dates somewhere and noticed he wasn’t very old when he died. Now I knew the reason. He’d been executed.
June 17, 2012 at 01:08
Yes, you are correct – most of these are American…… but I love some of the books you mention! My youngest daughter LOVED Thomas and my oldest is reading Chronicles of Narnia now!