I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember. I’m not kidding, I started Kindergarten at 4 and I was already a big Doctor Suess fan prior. I was the type of child that would read just about anything I could get my hands on, I was a big fan of the “classics” as well as a few popular series. Some of these books have been forgotten in time, but these 7 childhood favorites have stayed with me and probably always will. I recommend them for both adults and children, although I always encourage parents to check out books beforehand to make sure they’re right for their kiddos.
7 Childhood Favorites I Still Love Today
1.) The Harry Potter series – I know, I know… It’s almost a cliché at this point. However, I feel like books that have touched so many lives and given people a love of reading should never stop being raved about. I read these books by J.K. Rowling at seven and eight years old and remember fondly waiting for the final book in Kroger until midnight a couple years later the night before we went on vacation. I stayed up ALL night reading and was practically useless on the car ride – but it was so worth it to me.
2.) The Spiderwick Chronicles – I think I’ve talked before about my love of all things Holly Black, but this amazing series penned by her and the equally amazing Tony DiTerlizzi was a favorite of mine in early Elementary school. I loved reading about all the fantastic faeries and the crazy adventures Mallory, Jared and Simon found themselves wrapped up in. There was also a spin-off series!
3.) The Secret Garden – I read the abridged version of this classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett sooo many times at six that I broke the spine(*shiver*), and so then I got the full length novel and liked it even more. I loved the curious main character, Mary, and reading all about her adventures once she discovers The Secret Garden. You see so much character growth in her throughout the book, Mary at first being rude and shallow and then really growing up and becoming a character you grow to love. I think books like this really give you a bigger understanding of the world around you at a young age, and I love looking back now and seeing how they’ve shaped me.
4.) Little Women – Every little girl at one point or another wants to read with Beth, become best friends with Jo, get into trouble with Amy and have a big sister like Meg(or, you know, they should – raise your daughters right, people!) This book by Louisa May Alcott is the first I can remember reading where that confusing little thing happens that occurs quite often in good novels – I loved the book wholeheartedly and yet things didn’t go exactly how I’d like them to. The other books in the series are just as fab and don’t get near the attention they deserve, so check them out too!
5.) The Little House on the Prairie series – I absolutely loved this account of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life growing up in a time so different from our own. They were clean, wholesome stories that often had me wishing I could live as part of those simpler times. I finding myself rereading them often now, and wish that we’d been able to have more books.
6.) The Dear America Books – These books really shaped my love of historical fiction, I would spend my summers with a ton of these stockpiled for out under a tree in my grandmother’s yard. The Dear America Books I 100% recommend for young readers mid-Elementary on up! Scholastic originally began publishing these in 1996 and though the series was cancelled in 2004, a reboot occurred in 2010(yay – I still need to read the new ones!). As the title suggests, these books are written in diary form that truly reads like a firsthand account from young girls who are currently living in various historical time periods and events such as the Gold Rush, the Civil War, the sinking of the Titantic, the Vietnam War, the Pilgrims’ journey, the fight for women’s suffrage, living in a coal mining town, slavery, living at a school for the blind in the 1930’s and the Salem Witch Trials. Though these ARE fictional, as an adult I can now say that they really are pretty historically accurate. Stay tuned for a full post outlining all the books in the series still in print(coming soon), but for now here’s a link to an Amazon search where you can find a few to choose from.
7.) Bridge to Terabithia – Words cannot explain how much I loved this book when I first read it! The summer between my second and third grade school year my gifted and talented teacher, who knew how much I loved reading, sent me home with a ton of her favorites and classics. This was one of them and I absolutely devoured it. Such a good book, I recall smiling from ear to ear while reading it – then absolutely bawling my eyes out at the end.
So there you have it, 7 of my childhood favorites – Stay tuned for 7 more next week!