Thursday, April 01, 2010

favorite childhood book? (Your Questions...)

Rebecca Knight asks, What was your favorite book growing up?

Anne of Green Gables. Or Island of Blue Dolphins. Or Rifles for Watie. Or anything by Judy Blume. Actually, I didn't have any friends as a child, so I read a lot back then. I also drove my mother crazy by re-reading books about 30 times.

Your turn. What's your favorite childhood book?

88 comments:

I have nothing to declare but my genius said...

Mine was a book called Snotty Bumstead by Hunter Davies. It's about a rebellious child who lives alone and does whathe wants - turning his living room into a football pitch and the stairs into a slide etc. I've still got the book now and although it's torn and falling to bits I can't throw it away.

Kate Evangelista said...

Does Sweet Valley High count? I know, please don't smack me with it.

Emily White said...

Where the Red Fern Grows. I still cry when I read that book!

Ashley A. said...

Island of the Blue Dolphins. Hands down favorite. I read it at least 30 times.

Also up there for me, if I may: Bridge to Terabithia, Beat the Turtle Drum, The Great Brain series, Three Apples Fell From Heaven (Armenian Folk tales - weird, I know) and The Eyes of the Amaryllis.

I read all the Judy Blume books over and over, but somehow they don't make my "favorites" list.

Matthew Rush said...

Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl.

I also loved The Lord of the Rings but my dad read that one out loud to us.

Rick Daley said...

Anything by Judy Blume.

I also enjoyed the Great Brain books.

Claire Dawn said...

Harriet the Spy, Pollyanna, the Secret Garden, the Famous Five series, Secret Seven series, Encyclopedia Brown series...

I was legendary in primary school. Teachers would send me on errands to marvel at me walking around while reading.

Sandra Gail Lambert said...

Madeleine L'Engles's A Wrinkle in Time. I mean the Mrs. W's, terreracting, Fortinbras!

B.E. Sanderson said...

The Mystical Beast by Allison Farthing was my favorite by far. I must've read it a hundred times. A close second was D'Aulaires Greek Myths. =o)

Joe Iriarte said...

I don't know if Ender's Game counts--I was fourteen when it came out, but if it counts that's it.

If not . . . hmm . . . Stranger in a Strange Land or maybe Door Into Summer (I was too young to realize how creepy that book is).

I'm trying to think of a beloved book that was specifically written for kids, and I'm having a hard time. I loved Hardy Boys books as a kid, but none of them stands out individually.

I feel like when I was a kid there wasn't really a category between children's and grown-up . . . not really a YA. I remember liking Tales of--

Scratch that, I know what it was: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I read that one several times, and loathed the Gene Wilder movie for not matching my recollection of the book.

coldfirewriter said...

Harry Potter. I didn't read much before then because all the books people gave me sucked. Now I'm always doing something with words, be it reading or writing or talking someone's ear off.

Lydia Sharp said...

Call me a nerd, but I loved A Wrinkle In Time.

Also, The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables (and the spin-off, Emily of New Moon), The Chronicles of Narnia (yes, all of them), The Sweet Valley High Series and all its spin-offs (it counts in my opinion, Kate), Choose Your Own Adventure books...

There was a book titled The Middle Sister that I absolutely adored (because I am a middle sister), but can't remember who wrote it.

As a teenager, I was more interested in murder mysteries: Second Child (can't remember who wrote it, but parts of that story still haunt me today), Last Act (can't remember the author of that one either... yeesh), Ten Little Indians by Agatha Christie...

And a whole bunch of others that aren't coming to mind. Everything I read was a "favorite" (obvs), and I always had a book in my hand from age 4 to adulthood.

Kelly Bryson said...

My side of the Mountain, Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Cay, Chronicles of Narnia, The Secret Garden, The Little Princess are the main books I read over and over and over. There's a lot of wilderness survival and gardening in there. Why I love camping and gardening? Or that's why I love those books?

Anonymous said...

A Wrinkle in Time and Lloyd Alexander's Prydain series. Those were my favorites to read and read again.

WandaV

Lu said...

Little Women, re-read a kazillion times.

Lu

Christi Goddard said...

Where the Red Fern Grows

and

The Little Wooden Doll

Joe Iriarte said...

I went to a really tiny elementary school for a year, and in their library they had ancient books that they must have had since the 1950s or before. All in hardback, no dust jackets, no authors I'd ever heard of, no pictures but line-art every couple dozen pages or so. It was kind of cool, actually, because my parents always bought me whatever new books I wanted, so this was like visiting a strange land where they had completely different books I didn't otherwise have access to.

Anyway, there was this one book about a boy and a girl who survived an airplane crash and were castaways together somewhere, basically trying to make do. Eventually, through the magic of plot contrivance, they found a baby . . . maybe from another airplane crash?! Anyway, I'm sure it wasn't well-written by any standards I'd recognize now, but that book totally fired my imagination back then. I wish I knew what it was called and who it was by.

A.B. Fenner said...

I'll go ahead and jump on the Island of the Blue Dolphins bandwagon, because I was obsessed with that book, along with another, lesser-known one by Armstrong Sperry, Call It Courage.

Then in middle and high school I really got into fantasy: LOTR, WoT, Stephen Lawhead's Arthurian series, and the ilk.

CKHB said...

I'm a rereader, too! When my grades slipped, my parents would confiscate all my already-read books as punishment...

Favorite childhood books:
Watership Down
The Hobbit
The Great Brain series
The Ballet/Dancing Shoes books

Derek Gentry said...

The Dark is Rising, by Susan Cooper!

I think I still owe the library some overdue book fees on that one...

Kristan said...

Anne of Green Gables, hands down, no question.

I also remember loving Castle in the Attic and Walk Two Moons, though.

Kat Harris said...

Bridge to Terabithia

But Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a very close second.

Amanda said...

As a young child, Goodnight Moon. Slightly older it was this book no one else heard of called Judge Benjamin: Superdog Rescue. By the time I was ten, the book I was reading over and over was The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. Still own and love that one.

J.J. Bennett said...

I loved Island of the Blue Dolphins! Nancy Drew books, Narnia, James and the Giant Peach, The Little Princess and Shel Silverstein poems! All great books...

Laurie Lamb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MJR said...

I can't pick one either. Here are some I loved: James and the Giant Peach, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, My Father's Dragon, The Little Princess, Witch of Blackbird Pond, Cricket in Times Square, Stuart Little, The Little House books, Barbar, The Lonely Doll, and Misty of Chincoteague (and every horse book out there).

oh, and Anne of Green Gables...and a zillion others...

Jill Myles said...

Toss up between WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS or D'AULAIRES' NORSE GODS AND GIANTS.

Awesome. Both of them. :)

Rosa said...

The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge. I bought it again as an adult, because I had such fond memories of it.

Charity Bradford said...

I loved Island of the Blue Dolphins and that Anne-girl. I still read Anne so I guess that series would move into first place.

Where the Red Fern Grows also holds a special place in my heart. When we read it as a class in the 8th grade, I noticed the boy I like cried. Yep, I'll never forget that.

JES said...

Tom Swift Jr. and His Ultrasonic Cycloplane. Tears still spring to my eyes when I remember that The Missus surprised me (one Christmas, a few years back) with a copy she'd found online.

Also, any kids' non-fiction written by Quentin Reynolds. I think they were all published by Random House, under an imprint called Landmark Books. That was the first publisher's name I ever recognized and actually sought out.

Trying and sorta failing, here, to picture you as a friendless child... Did you live in the Amazonian jungle or something???

kellion92 said...

My top five: The Princess and the Goblin, A Little Princess, Ballet Shoes, The Rescuers, The Trumpet of the Swan.

Then, as now, I had a weakness for fairy tales, anything British, Victorian and early 20th century literature, and animals.

Paolo Puggioni said...

My memory is terrible and I can't remember anything I've read before I was ten.
Well actually I can't remember things in general but I'm ok with that.
The first book I remember is Bram Stoker's Dracula, which I stole from my mom's shelf (of course I wasn't allowed reading that book, I was ten!)
It terrified me beyond words and I had vampires-related nightmares for years. Nonetheless I read it again and again, although I feel kind of weird now thinking about it as my favourite childhood book.

Katrina said...

I would have to say Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Phantom Tollbooth and The Ancient One were my most frequent rereads as a child. I also recall being fond of the Julie of the Wolves series, the Hatchet series, and Island of the Blue Dolphin, though I reread those less often.

Tere Kirkland said...

I found authors I loved and devoured their books, Scott O'Dell, Bruce Coville, Lloyd Alexander, Roald Dahl, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Caroline B. Cooney, Madeleine L'Engle... I could go on, but I'll stop now. ;)

Sarah Hina said...

I'm with you on LM Montgomery. Read them all. But I always slightly favored the "Emily" series. There was something other-worldly about that girl.

And yes, Judy, Judy, Judy.

Also, Charlotte's Web. I just read it to our kids, and cried all over again.

laughingwolf said...

either wells', time machine, or asimov's, 'foundation trilogy'...

Sarah Laurenson said...

The one that sparked my interest in reading: The Boxcar Children. I so wanted to run away and live in a boxcar.

The one I remember reading the most times: Stuart Little. I was big on rebellion, independence and finding my own way in life.

Stephanie L. McGee said...

The ones that stick out the most for me are Champion Dog Prince Tom and Tee Vee Humphrey. They were the first two books I ever read. I loved the Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, and the Saddle Club growing up but the first two books stand out more than the rest.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I've read all LM Montgomery's books (the Annes and the Emilys being my favorites).

I'm usually not one to stop reading, but it took me a couple of tries to get through ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS. I think I tried it again (and finally finished) in my college adolescent lit. class

Rebecca Knight said...

Moonrat, you sound like me! :) I read waaaay too much as a kid (just kidding--there's no such thing.)

My favorites include:

Anything by Bruce Coville (yay, magic shop books!)
Judy Blume books
Peter Pan
Little Women
Island of the Blue Dolphins
Charlotte's Web
Trumpet of the Swan..

The list goes on. And these are just the top picks!

Anonymous said...

Tarzan of the Apes

Kayeleen said...

I can't even begin a list of my favorite childhood books. I was a voracious reader. Like I inhaled them. LM Montgomery, Madeliene L'Engle, Lloyd Alexander, Lois Lowry, Susan Cooper, Louisa May Alcott, I could go on and on. I might have read several thousand books by the time I got to high school.

Theresa Milstein said...

Too hard. Okay, I'll try. The first one I remember reading over and over was The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. I took it out of the library countless times in first grade. Why would anyone tear down those trufula trees? I've cared about the environment ever since.

Caledonia Lass said...

"Little House on the Prairie" books. I used to read them over and over. However, Island of the Blue Dolphins comes pretty close.

Lisa_Gibson said...

Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl sticks in my mind the most. Or Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack by M.E. Kerr. All Judy Blume books as well. Bridge to Terabithia, or Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. When I was very young, I loved the book Miss Suzy by Miriam Young.

Mark said...

As a kid my favorites were probably How to Eat Fried Worms and Squawwwk, both by Thomas Rockwell. Also the Narnia series, Charlotte's Web and The Trumpet of the Swan. A Wrinkle in Time. All the Encyclopedia Brown books. I also read all my sister's Judy Blume books (especially Forever with all the good bits marked). I also really loved one called The Spaceship Under the Apple Tree.

Anassa said...

I had three: The Secret Garden, Hunter's Moon by O.R. Melling, and The Giver by Lois Lowry. I can still reread those without lose of enjoyment, and I've lost track of how many times I have.

Dana said...

My two (can't narrow more than that) were;

1) James and the Giant Peach.
2) The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe.

Dana-vitch36

Bethany said...

I read basically nothing now (and particularly not much new - rereading Toni Morrison, Alan Lightman and Margaret Atwood makes up 99% of it), so recalling how obsessive I was in my childhood about books is so weird. Where The Red Fern Grows, Summer of the Monkeys, Anne of Green Gables, the Alex series (Christian MG), The Phantom Tollbooth, anything by Christopher Pike (when I was in 6th grade I read all of his books), A Wrinkle In Time...man, I used to love summers. 7 books in one day was my high score. My sister beat me by one.

rissawrites said...

So hard to pick!

Phantom Tollboth was one. Black Beauty. The Narnia series. Judy Blume of course. James and the Giant Peach.

I could go on and on.

Diana said...

I'm totally with you on Judy Blume (especially Blubber and Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great), the Babysitters Club, any "true" ghost stories, Behind the Attic Wall by Sylvia Cassidy, and Among the Dolls by William Sleator. Oh! And Peppermints in the Parlor by Barbara Brooks Wallace. These are all books I still own and enjoy. Good storytelling is good storytelling.

moonrat said...

Ashley A--I read Beat the Turtle Drum. I found the image of the life preserver going around Kate to be extremely affecting (you know the part I mean?). I don't think I've met anyone else who read it!

Claire Dawn--I was one of those, too. They would confiscate my books at recess in an attempt to get me to interact with others. I hated others.

Kelly Bryson--totally forgot Frances Hodgeson Burnett! I read and reread Little Princess and Secret Garden both SO many times.

Jill Myles--Where the Red Fern Grows?! Really? Rip my heart out again. Sob. I could only read it once. Even thinking about it makes me sad.

JES--I experienced a violent personal revolution in college. You know how I'm addicted to Myers-Briggs? It's very funny; the first time I took it, in high school, I was an EXTREME introvert (like 90%). Now I'm 75% extrovert. I have no idea what caused that switcheroo.

kellion--OH MY GOD NOEL STREATFEILD!!! Yes, all of her books, all of them. I even hunted down the out of print ones. My fav was probably Dancing Shoes. I loves Dulcie; she was such a meanie.

moonrat said...

Rick Daley--Great Brain! Yes. I read ALL of those. They were always funny but bittersweet. I seem to remember all the bittersweet moments really vividly now.

Kate Evangelista--I never read SVH. But I did read Babysitters' Club books 1-80 and also all the secret specials. So yeah, I think it counts.

Amanda--yes! The Egypt Game! Oh my god, I read that 15 hundred times. I also liked another book of hers, The Velvet Room..

And woops, talking about all these books remember two favorite books of all time I totally forgot before: Ellen Raskin's THE WESTING GAME and Karen Cushman's CATHERINE CALLED BIRDIE. In fact, I was so obsessed with them I made my mom read them, and she teaches them to her 6th grade students to this day.

Ms.PhD said...

me too!

Phantom Tollbooth
Little Women

and the Wizard of Oz books, particularly Ozma of Oz.

But I also liked Terabithia, Narnia, the Red Fern, Lloyd Alexander, Wrinked in Time, greek myths, the Red Shoes books, Secret Garden, Judy Blume, Nancy Drew...

I didn't have a lot of friends as a kid, either. My mother wouldn't really let me go outside to play alone. And my best friend was a hypochondriac who wouldn't leave her house. So if I wasn't over there, or playing with my sister in the basement, I was reading. =D

Glynis said...

The Wonderful Isle of Ulla Gapoo by F Dubrez Fawcett, was my childhood book.

Little Women was my teenage book.

karen wester newton said...

The Secret Garden! I must have read it 20 or 30 times. I also loved the Little House books. I read them aloud to both my kids, and both times, I cried when I got to the part where Jack (the dog) died.

Zoe C. Courtman said...

FROM THE MIXED-UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER!! Loved that one.

Dave Shaw said...

Y'all make me feel old with these books that didn't come out until after I graduated high school or college or had kids of my own. Sigh.

Favorites old-school style:

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel - Virginia Lee Burton
The Black Stallion - Walter Farley
The Mad Scientists Club - Bertand R. Brinley
T-Model Tommy - Stephen Meader
Hot Rod - Henry Gregor Felsen

Anyone else remember any of these?

lale said...

-Actually, I didn't have any friends as a child, so I read a lot back then. I also drove my mother crazy by re-reading books about 30 times. -

...you just described my childhood. I drove my parents crazy, too, mostly by reading when my friends were around. Once my mom got so upset that she threw my copy of 'Molly Moon's incredible book of hypnotism' into the sea. I, with my paranoid fear of sharks, had to dive in and swim twenty meters to get it.

My favorite book was probably 'Misty of Chincoteague', though.

Jena said...

My grandpa picked up a book at a garage sale called Serilda's Star, about a girl who manages to save a horse from an abusive owner and nurses it back to health. I also loved Trina (I think it had an alternate title--something about a boxcar or something). Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. Favorite picture book, at least in retrospect: The Big, Orange Splot.

Dawn Simon said...

Charlotte's Web was one of my favorites. I also loved books by Judy Blume, Dr. Seuss, and C.S. Lewis. I adored Jenny and the Cat Club. The Trumpet of the Swan, The Mouse and the Motorcycle...oh, there are so many great ones. I could never pick one.

Kathy said...

When I was a child--Elizabeth Enright's Melendy Quartet. As an adult--Mildred Taylor's Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.

Suzie F. said...

I love how we all crawl out of the woodwork to list our favorite childhood books. Such great memories!

Frederick - Leo Leonni
Misty of Chincoteague
101 Dalmations - Dodie Smith
Nancy Drew (I was addicted to these!)

Bethany said...

Holy Lord, how did I forget James and the Giant Peach and The Wizard of Oz series?! I read the former aloud to my siblings after my mother refused to do it anymore! And the Baby-sitters club series and the junior babysitters or whoever they were...and also some SVH.

Colleen said...

Anne of Green Gables- we redheads have to stick together, and I stil read them every couple of years just because...

Little House and the Great Brain series and all those Judy Blume books were also loved. I read To Kill a Mockingbird and The Daughter of Time in 6th grade and they changed my life.

I also LOVED British boarding school novels- I still have my Chalet School books and the Mallory Towers series.

Eye Reads said...

A Wrinkle in Time, Little Women, and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass.

Also my mother's favorite child hood books. I know because I have her awesome old copies that she gave me when I was still a wee-un

Anonymous said...

Hands down...The Giving Tree.

Close behind that:
* The Country Bunny & the Golden Shoes
* Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
* Danny Champion of the World
* A Wrinkle In Time

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I forgot my dog-eared copy of "Star Ka'at World" by Andre Norton. I read that one many times, too. THat was the beginning of a sci-fi phase for me.

Anonymous said...

Matilda. The Boxcar Children comes in at a close second.

M. M. Justus said...

Elizabeth Enright's Melendy books. Anne of Green Gables and its sequels. The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace. The Judy Bolton mystery series by Margaret Sutton (so much better than Nancy Drew).

Lots and lots of single titles -- I inherited an enormous circa 1960 Scholastic Book Club collection from my three older sisters.

As a kid, I read cereal boxes and mayonnaise jars if nothing else was available, and my keep-and-reread collection was in the hundreds of books (it's now in the thousands, but we won't go there [g]).

Scheherazade said...

The two books that most influenced my childhood were Treasure Island and King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table--my father insisted you couldn't get through life without these two books. So I believed him and he was right.

Anonymous said...

The Chronicles of Narnia

Laura said...

When I was a little gal I loved Winnie The Pooh and as I got older I loved Forever by Judy Blume.

misti said...

All Shel Silverstein, Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary books. Where the Red Fern Grows - I wore the cover off of this one. Little Women, Little House in the Big Woods...now I'm getting carried away.

Huck Finn. I read it at the dinner table (hidden in my lap), so my childhood copy has a few food stains. Gross, maybe, but somehow sentimental.

Nancy Coffelt said...

Black Beauty - definitely.
Incident at Hawk's Hill.
The Earth Abides (not a kid's book but I got my paws on it).

Picture books -

Sam, Bangs and Moonshine.
What's a Ghost Going to Do?
Sylvester, the Mouse with the Musical Ear.

Thanks for reminding me of these terrific books.

Kim Kasch said...

I LOVED all the Wizard of Oz books - and Salem's Lot.

I'm kind of eclectic

Briony said...

The Magicians House Quartet by William Collett. Kind of similar to the His Dark Materials trilogy, they're all about alchemy and fighting bad guys. I was obsessed with those books, and other than the first one I haven't been able to track them down since.

Jess Haines said...

I love ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS! That and two others were my (later) childhood favorites: THE TRUE CONFESSIONS OF CHARLOTTE DOYLE and INCIDENT ON HAWKS HILL.

-J

Ashley A. said...

I discovered Beat the Turtle Drum in my school library when I was in 3rd grade. I would read it, return it for something else, then check it out again. I thought Constance Greene was brilliant. At the end of the year I moved, and my new school's library didn't have it. By the time I came back, I was in 6th grade and reading other things. I think I missed a lot by reading it so young. I'm going to see if I can get a copy for our kids.

An aside: My dad turned me on to Stephen King when I was 13. When I was 15 my stepmother banished me because I asked to be excused from the table so I could go read the copy of Thinner that I had stashed in my purse.

Spring said...

Charlotte's Web. This was the first chapter book I read to myself when I was about seven and it's still one of my favorites. And I still cry.

I also devoured the Trixie Belden series when I was about ten. I used to climb a tree and read for hours. Good times. :)

I didn't read the Judy Blume, Anne of Green Gables, and Narnia books until I was older.

susiej said...

Laura Ingalls Wilder.

The Black Stallion Series (I've always loved Series)

Alexander Dumas- I wanted to be a Musketeer so bad. And Queen Margot-talk about impossible love.

At 12, I read LOTR, fell had for Aragorn and been a fantasy fan ever since.

Anonymous said...

Everyone here should take a look at Betsy Bird's poll of the Top 100 children's books, which she's running down as we speak at her blog, A Fuse #8 Production.

Jemi Fraser said...

Anne of Green Gables, The Hobbit & Nany Drew/Hardy Boys. :)

Elaine AM Smith said...

Do you still reread books up to 30 times? I thought that was only me.

I loved the books by Alexandre Dumas when I was young.

Made myself sick reading horror because one of my brothers had some BANNED books - you have to read those.

I was fascinated by the Famous Five and Secret Seven books, but even while I was reading my inner voice was sceptical: life never seemed that idyllic nor crime that easy to solve.

jenny milchman said...

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS; WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE; JENNIFER, HECATE, MACBETH, WILLIAM MCKINLEY, AND ME, ELIZABETH; MANDY; ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN...

Tamsin Silver said...

My father read to me a lot as a kid. I loved the Madeline books and then the Narnia Chronicals were all I knew followed by A Wrinkle in Time and Alpha Centuri. But, once I reached a point where I picked out books on my own at the library I was addicted to Nancy Drew. I wanted to BE her! *sigh* Ah, the memories of those yellow hard cover books...(the old ones were small hard covers with yellow background with a glossy finish...I know b/c one of my ex-boyfriends bought me a few as a gift). :)

Mata said...

Loved, loved, loved Anne of Green Gables! Little House on the Prairie (read that when we moved to America and it was so American, I loved it but then I wanted to be white all American which was not going to happen :( ha ha ha) and I was carried away by Lord of the Rings and I never in my life read a Judy Blume book?

Rage said...

I loved the Fabulous Five, Boxcar Children, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the Chronicles of Narnia.

My all time favourite was Alice in Wonderland.

I never stopped loving Dr. Suess but I would never have admitted it then.