Thursday, October 1, 2009

Books I Loved

Happy October, everyone! I wasn't planning on posting today, but I see that Steph in the City has a fun little group blog topic: What book(s) did you love growing up? Here's what I've got to say about that . . .

I remember at age 4 begging—begging—my mother to teach me how to read. She waved me off with an unconcerned, You'll learn to read in school. Back in those days, sometime around the Great Flood, children weren't taught to read until first grade, so I had to wait TWO MORE YEARS before I could start reading. And once I did, watch out! I actually don't recall what I read during first or second grade, except for the Dick and Jane series, but third grade was a milestone for me because . . . I got myself a library card.

When I was a kid, long ago and years before the wheel was invented, ankle biters didn't need a picture ID or a parent's permission or a pint of blood to check out books. The nice librarian hooked me up with a library card, talked me through the process of checking out and returning materials, then set me loose in the children's section.

I clearly remember the very first book I checked out: The Wizard of Oz. Oh, yeah, baby. After I finished that piece of heaven, I read every single title in the series. Then I moved on to Nancy Drew. Then the Hardy Boys. Then a fantastic series about Irish Setters. Then I discovered Agatha Christie—LOVED her, although she ruined my ability to sit through any kind of a mystery movie because I now can almost always figure out whodunnit. Except for Presumed Innocent. I never saw that one coming.

Here in no particular order are a few books that I really loved as a kid—back when woolly mammoths roamed the Alaskan tundra—books that I read more than once. Except for the Diary of Anne Frank. Can you believe that I read that when I was only 9 years old? I had no idea about the Holocaust or what it meant for Anne, until the end of her diary. I turned the final page and . . . nothing. Just a short epilogue, which stated when and where she was last seen. I've never read the book again. I don't need to, because I carry her story with me in my heart. God bless that precious little girl.

Here are the five books from my youth (can you tell I'm a girl?) that first came to my mind when I read Stephanie's question, What books did you love growing up?

Diary of Anne Frank
Little Women
Anne of Green Gables
The Secret Garden
A Little Princess

Dinner last night: soccer team pizza party

Exactly one year ago today: Go Ahead, Make My Day


Anonymous said...

I was an avid reader ..... I loved "Tom's Midnight Garden", "Charlotte Sometimes", "The Secret Garden", "What Katy Did" and the James Herriot series of Vet books. I have tried so hard to get my kids interested in these books but I get told they are "old-fashioned", which they are .... but that's not such a bad thing .....

Karen M. Peterson said...

I will forever be grateful to my mom for teaching me to read at such a young age.

I didn't read The Diary of Anne Frank until junior high, but her story still haunts me to this day.

Michele said...

Did you guess the ending of The Sixth Sense?

Anonymous said...

Wow, great list!

I read all the time when I was younger,too. We would get incentives in school - each time we read a book, we got a sticker. When we collected enough stickers, then we got a free gift certificate for a pan pizza at Pizza Hut...I like pizza, so this arrangement suited me well.

I have to sheepishly admit, my list is not nearly as "classic" and highly educated sounded, but here you go...

-Beverly Cleary books - ex. Ramona Quimby Age 8
-Judy Blume - ex. Are You There God, It's Me Margaret (Learned a lot from this book, my mom had some explaining to do!)
-The Black Stallion
Where the Red Fern Grows (I still SOB reading this one...)
-Shel Silverstein poems
-Babysitters Club series
-on and on and on....

Stephanie Faris said...

Oh my. You were a very smart reader...reading the classics and some major highbrow stuff. I did read Little Women... I also remember reading Where the Red Fern Grows (?) and Tuck Everlasting. The one about the fern stuck with me because the freakin' dog dies. UGH! Talk about traumatizing a 6th grader!

Quadmama said...

The "Ramona" books were my favorite. I cannot wait to read them with my daughters.

Kathy B! said...

I devoured every book set before me as a child/teenager/young adult. Now I only read magazines because I get too sucked in and can't break away!!

Mother Mayhem said...

I don't remember learning to read. I think I was born doing it. LOL

My favorite was Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth. :o)

glitzen said...

OH yes, Anne and Anne! I loved them both, in different ways. My Chena just finished Anne Frank. She wanted to read it when she was ten, two years ago, and I made her wait until now. We have had some great discussions over it.
I loved reading too!! I read whole novels on the trip home from the library, in the car. Mom hated how fast I read, ha ha. A few favorites: Trixie Belden series, The Boxcar Children, Hardy Boys, Two are Better than One, Caddie Woodlawn, and anything by Margarite Henry. I read every horse story in my library, I think.
Just last week, my very first librarian, who issued me my wonderful, precious library card, passed away. She always remembered me when I went in, even all these years later. I will miss her. :(