Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
As I was strolling down memory lane prepping for this post, I couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear looking at all the books I had cherished as a young reader. I’ve been reading since I can remember, so choosing a mere ten was incredibly hard, but I tried to stick with books that really affected me as a reader – books that moved beyond enjoyable into the realm of inspiring, both as a reader and a writer.
1. Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss – This book taught me how to read. My dad and I would sit together in my bed every night reading this together for at least a year. One of the best memories I have with my father and the book that literally started it all.
2. The Pokey Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey – What makes the pokey puppy stand out was the edition I owned. Mine went far beyond the little golden book classic and into the land of puppetry! The pokey puppy came alive with a finger puppet, and yet again, my dad was an awesome narrator!
3. The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner – These books were my first chapter books. My mom was studying to become a teacher at the time and she loved letting me read several chapters a night to her. Great memories of sitting on the couch in our breakfast room, just me and her. The books I loved because the idea of children living on their own was so rebellious and fantastical!
4. The American Girl series by Valerie Tripp – Loved them passionately. My first heroines and I truly believe these stories acted as a precursor to my love of Austen. I especially loved Molly and Samantha – plus, the pages were so silky and smooth.
5. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks – Toys come to life and far better than the Toy Story movies. I loved books with fantasy elements as they allowed my imagination to take off. Probably read this book 10+ times.
6. The BFG by Roald Dahl – Really, I loved any Dahl novel, but The BFG stands out as a favorite. My fourth grade teacher read this novel aloud to the class which made the experience all the more magical. I immediately purchased any and all Dahl books from the book fairs and the scholastic order forms!
7. Sideways Stories From Wayside School by Louis Sachar – The first time I finished a book and immediately turned back to page one and started again. My copy was so worn down and battered. You never knew what was going to happen next at this crazy school and you honestly believed that the stories could change with every re-read.
8. Just As Long As We’re Together by Judy Blume – My favorite Judy Blume by far. Got me through the beginnings of puberty far better than anything else in my life. I felt so grown and adult as I turned the pages – kind of the pre-teen equivalent of dirty romance novels. I even hid it from my mother because I thought it was so salacious.
9. The Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin – I read every single one of these including the horror and super specials. Kristy was my favorite and I aspired to be just like her – I loved tomboy characters. I remember reading them so quickly that I won my fourth grade Book-It competitions repeatedly and won an award at the end of that year for most books read in my grade. I loved finding a new one at Wal-Mart.
10. The Fear Street novels by R.L. Stine – These books took the place of The Babysitter’s Club once I thought I was too old for such childish things. The horror aspect made me feel older and far more mature.
I feel sad for all the books I couldn’t list. I’d like to say that Beverly Cleary was also a favorite and it was with great regret that a Ramona book didn’t make the list. Maybe next time! Also, had the Harry Potter books been published before I was a teenager, they would have definitely been included.