Favorite childhood books?

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What were your favorites? Did you read them again and again?

I'm late for work now so I don't have time to list my ten thousand favorites, but I will later. You first.

-- Beth (beth@xeney.com), April 13, 2000


I've yet to find anything as an adult that entranced me the way those little girl books did.

I love the Shoes series, starting with Ballet Shoes, but moving on to Tennis Shoes and Theatre Shoes and all the others. Pretty much any book about ballet would do it for me.

I also had a stack of Trixie Belden books a mile high. Nancy Drew was a bit too girlie for me, but Trixie and the gang were my heroes. I just found a Trixie Belden t-shirt on Amazon. I think I must buy it.

My favorite of all the books I read , though, were the ones about writers. Harriet the Spy had me carrying around a black and white composition notebook for years. Emily of New Moon set me to writing character sketches. And of all the Little Women, my favorite was Jo.

-- Jenn (elphaba@diaryland.com), April 13, 2000.

Oh yeah, trixie belden! I adored her. Loved her. Wanted to be her. I was also all into the Little House on the Prairie books, and was very sad that I wasn't a pioneer girl...

-- Mary Ellen (mary_ellen@mindspring.com), April 13, 2000.

There is no way I could list ALL my favorites here, there simply isn't enough space.

I wasn't so into the girly thing though. The books I really, really loved inevitably included elements of fantasy.

My favorite series of all time is the Chronicles of Narnia. I have read each of the books in the series at least 10 times, and have continued to re-read them as an adult. I was so enamored of these books as a child that I learned to read when I was 5 so I wouldn't have to depend on my mother's assistance.

And now I am LOVING the Harry Potter books.

-- Sarah (scampbell@frankfurtbalkind.com), April 13, 2000.

So many good ones! "The House With a Clock In Its Walls," ANY Beezus and Ramona book, "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" (The Narnia Chronicles lost my interest at "Prince Caspian), the Anastasia books by Lois Lowery. And when I was little, I was big into nursery rhymes. Like, loved them in an obsessive way. I still look for cool Mother Goose books...

-- carol (innerarch@yahoo.com), April 13, 2000.

Growing up I read a lot. Some of my favorites were the "Little House" books, the Narnia series, The Boxcar Children series, and anything Judy Blume or Beverly Cleary. I would read them over and over and over.

-- Amy (adgirl7@hotmail.com), April 13, 2000.

Since I'm on a High Fidelity kick here are my all time, top 5 childhood books: 1. From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler 2. Wind In The Willows 3. Harriet The Spy 4. Lad: A Dog 5. Pippi Longstocking

I also loved the Trixie Beldon, The Bobbsey Twins, The Tuckers & Donna Parker series, as well as the Jill horsey series from the UK. The Fury Stallion of Broken Wheel Ranch series and the Misty of Chincoteague series were favourites as well. Anything horsey or doggie was devoured and then read until the pages were tattered. For years I called my bicycles Man 'O War after I read the book in grade six!

Yes I still have all these books and yes I still take them out and reread them. I am saving them for my kids, along with all the Dr Suess books my parents bought when I was a child. Fave Dr Suess? Go Dog Go!

-- Cathy (capdvm@sprint.ca), April 13, 2000.

Oh goodness. What AREN'T my favorite childhood books?

The Shoes books, especially Movie and Theatre. Betsy-Tacy. Trixie Belden (mine were destroyed in a flood and I am buying them one at a time on ebay). Nancy Drew. Narnia. Mrs Piggle-Wiggle. The Moomins. The Chronicles of Prydain. Oz. Anne and Emily. Little Women.

Then there are all the ones that are more recent that I'm still discovering and buying, like Harry Potter and Ella Enchanted and Robin McKinley (everything she's ever written) and a terrific British author named Jacqueline Wilson (curse you, amazon.co.uk).


-- Melissa (centerbeth@yahoo.com), April 13, 2000.

It's so hard to pick just a few! Here's a short list:

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Mandy by Julie Edwards (actress Julie Andrews writing under her husband's last name), any of the Secret Seven and Famous Five books by Enid Blyton, Cherry Ames books by Helen Wells and Julie Tatham (I'm collecting them on ebay!), Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce, Twin Spell by Janet Lunn, Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg.

Then of course I can't forget the Chronicles of Narnia. And the Chronicles of Prydain. And Island of the Blue Dolphins and...,

Way too many to list!

-- Cara (cara@golden.net), April 13, 2000.

Oh god this brings back memories... I loved the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books too and the Paddington Bear series. Nancy Drew I liked but I never read all of them. Judy Blume - the cheese factor is high but didn't you feel understood ? I also loved The Witch of Blackbird Pond and The Island of the Blue Dolphins so much that I recently bought new copies as mine disappeared many moons ago. And I don't even have any children.

-- Dawn Maliszewski (dawn@njlawyers.com), April 13, 2000.

As metioned previously, the Trixie belden series, Island of the Blue Dolphions (I know it's here somewhere..) Judy Blume, and Paddington Bear.

My all-time "read 'em over again and again" was Winne the Pooh. Alice in Wonderland too. I learned to read and five and haven't stopped. I still read children's books when I'm out of my own to read. I don't usually read books voer again ,but the ones from childhood... well, let's just say the last time I read Winne the Pooh I bawled like a baby.

-- andrea (renhold@nbnet.nb.ca), April 13, 2000.

Cara! My new best friend! The only other person in the world who's even heard of Mandy, the best book ever! Let's go off in a corner and compare lunch boxes and revel in how lucky we are to have discovered this marvel while everyone else lives in blackness.

I am going to feel guilty and disloyal for all the ones I remember three minutes after this post, but besides Mandy, and I'm not going to italicize anymore, Green Eggs and Ham, Where the Wild Things Are, all the Dr. Dolittles, and then I really learned to read so by author, mentally skimming Phoebe's shelves: Joan Aiken's Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Black Hearts at Battersea, and Shadow Guests, Mary Anderson's Step on a Crack (also OOP, and a girl with half an Electra complex), Alice in Wonderland, John Christopher's Empty World and the Tripods Series, all the Ramona books, Jane Louise Curry's The Bassumtyte Treasure, Tonke Dragt's Towers of February (Dutch, OOP, very good), Half Magic and Seven-Day Magic, anything with the slightest Melendy or Moomin in it, Wrinkle in Time and Swiftly Tilting Planet (which I'm rereading and reloving as we speak), Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of NIMH and Z for Zachariah, Bridge to Terabithia Great Gilly Hopkins and Jacob Have I Loved, The Westing Game, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, the All-of-a-Kind family books, and the Little House books.

Can I count Zilpha Keatly Snyder's The Changeling even though I didn't read it till I was 24, and the Swallows and Amazons series even though I didn't read it till I was 22, and the Prydian Cycle even though I didn't read it till I was 21, and Wind in the Willows even though I didn't read it till I was 20, and A Ring of Endless Light even though I didn't read it till I was 19?

And of course, right up there with Mandy, Alice, Meg Murry, and Max the King of the Wild Things, Milo. All hail The Phantom Tollbooth.

-- Lisa Houlihan (lisa@penguindust.com), April 13, 2000.

There! I knew I would. I'll have nightmares for forgetting. Narnia, of course, except Silver Chair and Last Battle, and especially Dawn Treader and Horse and His Boy. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler but nothing else by Konigsburg for years. The Secret Garden, but not The Little Princess because I wanted to smack her and not Little Lord Fauntlerory because I wanted to drown him, because I was so mad for the sake of Cuffy's friend and that of all the other little boys who fell victim to that pretension. (Y'all know who Cuffy is, don't you? Beth, I know you do.)

-- Lisa Houlihan (lisa@penguindust.com), April 13, 2000.

Damn! See, that's why I didn't italicize.

Can someone please reassure me that the ghosts of various authors and characters *won't* haunt me if I forget them or omit them (the latter because this *is* Beth's forum, not mine).

-- Lisa Houlihan (lisa@penguindust.com), April 13, 2000.

Okay, sorry, sorry, Beth, given that I *do* know that this is your forum, can you at least be grateful I restrained myself from contributing to the "How do you and your mom get along" thread and let me go nuts here instead? Someone above mentioned The Famous Five, which I've heard of but never read, and I remembered that Henry in an adult (beach-level) novel, September, reads The Famous Five (plus the author, Rosamund Pilcher, mentions that his mother is going to eat him up because she loves him so, and that they play Pooh-sticks and have Wendy-houses, but assumes her audience has enough of a clue that they don't need Where the Wild Things Are, Winnie-the-Pooh, and Peter Pan explicitly named). So I went to Amazon looking for Enid Blyton, but the Famous Five is OOP! Shocking. *However* one lay reviewer mentions that when *she* has a dog, because of this book its name will be Tim. This reminded me of "Holy Grail" (because I just watched Life of Python on A&E) but also of another children's book with a dog named Tim! I couldn't think of the title for a whole ten seconds or so during which I thought I'd lost my mind (which, though weak everywhere else, has children's books *down*), until I remembered Penelope Lively's The Ghost of Thomas Kempe! This is a *great* book, another favorite. Remembering dog names reminded me of *another* favorite, The Incredible Journey. Two dogs named Tim, both in British (I assume Blyton is British) books, makes me wonder, is Tim a much more common name for dogs in the UK than in the US?

I'll try to be quiet for a while [sits on hands].

-- Lisa Houlihan (lisa@penguindust.com), April 13, 2000.

chronicles of Prydain? Somebody clue me in to these! I don't know from Prydain!

But I ditto the "Basil E. Frankweiler" et al. Also "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"and "A Wrinkle in Time".

New good ones: The Weetzie Bat books by Francesca Lia Block.


-- martha merriell (mmerriell@austin.rr.com), April 13, 2000.

The Narnia Chronicles are the books I remember loving. I am still looking for that wardrobe.

-- mis (mis000@hotmail.com), April 13, 2000.


I know! I can't believe more people haven't read Mandy! I have such a vivid memory of checking it out of the library and reading it in my backyard one hot summer day. It's such a beautiful story. I used to run a bookstore, and whenever people would come in asking for a book for a 9 or 10 year old (7 or 8 if they were advanced readers) I would push a copy of Mandy into their hands.

For everyone who hasn't read it (yet!) -- Mandy is the story of a 10 year old orphan who climbs over the orphanage wall one day and finds a deserted little cottage in the woods. She claims it as her own, fixes it up and makes it her own special place.

I bought a copy of it recently, so that I'll have it when my daughter is old enough to read it.

-- Cara (cara@golden.net), April 13, 2000.

Martha, The Prydain Cycle is by Lloyd Alexander and comprises The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr, Taran Wanderer, and The High King. Much as C.S. Lewis retold Christian legend for (white, 50s) children in The Chronicles of Narnia, so here does Alexander retell Welsh folklore, primarily The Mabinogion, with elements of Arthurian and Greek myth as well. A foundling, Taran, is assistant pig-keeper to a wizard (whose name slips my mind). The actual pig-keeper is a farmer, Coll, and the pig (whose name I also forget) is an oracular pink one. Taran wants to grow up, to know who his parents are, to touch the Book of Three, to have more responsibility, to do Great Deeds and be Renowned. After the pig tells a fortune she's afraid of, she runs off, and Taran runs after. He meets a prince named Gwydion (a name associated with Arthur), a Gollum-like (but nice) critter named Gurgi who speaks in rhymes and is always after more munchings and crunchings, an itinerant bard (Flewddyr Fflam, or something, some Welsh joke) whose harp pops a string every time he stretches a truth, and a princess with a golden bauble named Eilonwy (which name either is, or is extremely similar to, the name of the girl in The Return of the King who kills the head of the Nazgul). The first, fourth, and fifth books are best, but you can't skip the second and third because you won't recognize characters and appreciate their role in the fifth if you do, and besides it is a Leading Lisa Law of Literature that you must read a series in order, skip none, and finish all. So be it.

-- Lisa Houlihan (lisa@penguindust.com), April 13, 2000.

Mis--you can look for it in my backyard. We just bought a house with two count 'em two lampposts in the backyard. My reation confounded the realtor, who (I confirmed) had never read them. (His is the poorer existence.) I figure at least one of them must lead somewhere. Ooo, and we have an apple tree, too, perhaps grown from the seeds Diggory brings back in The Magician's Nephew. If a windstorm ever knocks it down, I'll try to build a wardrobe from it. When that happens, I'll let you know.

-- Lisa Houlihan (lisa@penguindust.com), April 13, 2000.

I loved Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish, Curious George and Clifford the big red dog. I still like anything by Bill Peet, and I read them, along with Frances (Russel Hoban) books to my daughter.

She's a serious fan of the Hank the Cowdog series by John R. Erickson. They're a little over her head (she's 4) but the fact that they're about a dog is what really gets her.

-- deb (deb@itsdebatable.com), April 13, 2000.

I knew I married the right man when we were browsing together in a used bookshop, and I spotted a big stack of the old, cardboard covered Trixie Belden books, and when I squealed (blush), he bought them all for me.

Lucy Maude Montgomery - all of them, all the time. And i adored "Patty and Jo: Detectives", and just bought it again.

Semi off topic - has anyone here read the "Return to Secret Garden" book? Where they are all adults? I read it last fall, and poor Brian! Every night, I would be sputtering at him about how utterly atrocious it was, and how the author clearly did not 'get' the book Secret Garden.

-- Kristin Thomas (Kristin@sperare.com), April 13, 2000.

Okay, I should have checked my shelves before posting because how could I forget MANDY?? I love Mandy, and I didn't think anyone else had ever read it either. And I also forgot the Melendys and Edward Eager and Bridge to Terabithia and The Westing Game and THE EGYPT GAME, one of my favorite books of all time by Zilpha Keatley Snyder.

(Hen Wen is the pig in Prydain. Eowyn is the girl in Return of the King.)

Whoever was looking for the Famous Five...they're OOP in the US, but are most likely in print in the UK. Try http://www.amazon.co.uk, which is like crack, so beware beware beware.

And as far as Return to the Secret Garden goes...what utter crap. I was completely appalled. Didn't Mary end up having sex with both Dickon and Colin??



-- Melissa (centerbeth@yahoo.com), April 14, 2000.

I was a pony-mad girl when young, so anything featuring horses was a big winner. My favourites were a series about a girl called Jill Crewe, written by a Ruby Ferguson. I would love to re-read these, but I can't find them anywhere.

I was also a big Enid Blyton fan, back before I realised what a load of racist claptrap it all was.

What else? Little House on the Prarie, Little Woman, and I loved the Narnia books as well. I bought them again and re-read them last year, and I was amazed at how religious they were - I'd never picked up on that when I was younger. Has anybody else found that? They're just like re-worked bible stories.

I can't think of any others, which is bizzare because I was a sad and lonely child who did little else but read and ride my pony. So I'm sure I'll be back here with some more titles.

-- Jackie (jackie_collins@flextech.co.uk), April 14, 2000.

Let me just say that I lovelovelove this forum topic! As well as, The Phantom Tollbooth, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Narnia, Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden, Bridge To Terabithia... I'm surprised that no one's said Where the Red Fern Grows once we started on books with dogs. That was one of the first books that made me cry... but then, I think one of the Narnia books was actually the first. The book that concluded with the older two siblings deciding that they were too old for Narnia. What got me was the fact that they seemed so calm and reserved about it--I felt like screaming "No! You can't make them leave Narnia forever! I won't do it! I won't let them leave!"

But then, I guess I got a little over-involved with my characters...

-- Marilyn Cole (gte270n@prism.gatech.edu), April 14, 2000.

Okay, that's three for Mandy. Good.

My own pony stage wasn't protracted (remember that girl in Blubber by Judy Blume who's picked out the horse she's going to marry and, no surprise, dresses up like a jockey for Hallowe'en?) but it was long enough that I loooooved Marguerite Henry. I never could read Black Beauty or many animals books, not if they suffered at all. Which just shows how good King of the Wind is, that I could get through it anyway and love it. At least Misty and Stormy and the others weren't abused. Did anyone else have nightmares about that illustration of the man whipping Sham, while the boy looks on helpless? And I shall never read Old Yeller, Lassie, Rascal, Shiloh, and "My Life as a Dog" is one of the worst movies ever because all the grown-ups lie to the boy about his dog.

The other exception to the animal rule is The Yearling, which I remember watching in fifth grade, and over which I remember even boys crying. I was glad I'd read it because otherwise I'd've run from the room screaming. And the N.C. Wyeth illustrations, the dance of the whooping cranes and Pa and Jody jigging around the body of Ol' Slewfoot--beautiful.

Melissa, thanks for the names. Hen Wen, of course. Eowyn and Eilownwy, got it. What was the wizard's name? Did it begin with D? Dalren or something?

-- Lisa Houlihan (lisa@penguindust.com), April 14, 2000.



I met Lloyd Alexander last year, and it was honestly one of the highlights of my life thus far. He is like a real-life cross between Dallben and Fflewddur Fflam.


-- Melissa (centerbeth@yahoo.com), April 14, 2000.

Melissa, eek, of course, The Egypt Game is another favorite, and it was love of Snyder for that book which drew me to The Changeling years afterward.

Remember the last line of The Egypt Game? D'you know Snyder published, just in the past few years, The Gypsy Game? I will never poison my mind with anything like Return to the Secret Garden but I didn't think anything the very same author had written could be so terminally dull. Remember how in The Egypt Game the six kids are two black, two white, two Asian? Remember how seamlessly that all worked, and how you didn't even notice the careful balance until you reread it as an adult? It doesn't work in Gypsy; it's too heavy-handed, too didactic, too obviously points out: "See, see, they're all different colors and different backgrounds and they all get along."

And speaking of The Secret Garden, I never liked how jealous Colin was of Mary's friendship with Dickon. I didn't realize as a child that Colin and Mary, cousins though they be, might marry, or that Dickon, the far better creature, had no chance with Mary. I don't even want to know how the heretic author tried to give Mary both.

-- Lisa Houlihan (lisa@penguindust.com), April 14, 2000.

Can't resist this topic. My all time favorite childhood book is Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. Have reread it many times. I was immensely pleased with the casting done for the PBS series. Almost perfect. Other books I liked as a child: Daddy Long Legs....actually there are a number of orphan books I liked. I did not realize my affinity for orphan books until my daughters pointed it out to me accusing me of having an orphan fetish or something. I definitely will have to get that "Mandy" book. I loved all the Gene Stratton Porter books...Laddie, Freckles, Girl of the Limberlost, etc. The nature descriptions in them and in "Anne" are enticing. I was a farm girl and our town did not have a library, so I also read my dad's old books from the early part of the century like Shepherd of the Hills by Harold Wright, a series of books with titles like Do and Dare or Tried and True...those weren't really that good though...oh, and a book called Michael O'Halloran...oh, that was a Stratton-Porter too...and gulp, another orphan book. I also remember loving the Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come by John Fox Jr. I do like animal stories, but never read them, then or now, because too many of them are sad and I cry too hard! As an adult in my schooling I have taken a couple of children's lit courses and have discovered many of the titles listed above by other forum members. Two I thought exceptional and for the adolescent are Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry and The Westing Game. I tried to get my book club to add a Newbery winner to our reading selection each month, but it didn't fly. I hope to read them all someday and now I have an even longer list....

-- Linda Shaw (lshaw@uindy.edu), April 14, 2000.

This has been fun. Reading these have reminded me of so many books I love. I loved Bridge to Terabithia, The Wrinkle in Time series, Trixie Belden, Jacob Have I Loved, I read Jane Eyre and loved it, The Diary of Anne Frank was a book I checked out of the library a million times. I loved I am the Cheese, The Little House books, I read the Xanth series, Dragon Drums, Dragon Song and Dragon Singer, I did read Judy Blume but never more than once, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle! I loved those books and had forgotten them until they were mentioned here. Now I am going to have to drag my husband out to the used book stores. What a great topic!

-- meridith (frol@aol.com), April 14, 2000.

Did i miss someone mentioning this book or did NOONE say "Bridge to Terabithia". Please, please, please someone out there must have loved this book as dearly as I did. Anyone?

-- Jess (jess99@gateway.net), April 14, 2000.

ok. Yes, I can read, but my computer sometimes doesn't work so I didn't see all the posts! I swear! But, I am glad that my favorite book of all time was mentioned :)

-- Jess (jess99@gateway.net), April 14, 2000.

I don't know if anyone mentioned these books, but I still adore them: The Pippi Longstocking books! I think Pippi was a great role model for me- the strongest girl in the world, she loved her friends fiercely, she lived alone, she didn't go to school, she wasn't afraid of anything, she had lovely red hair in pigtails, she didn't care about good manners.

I also recommend anything written by Gene Kemp, a British writer. The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiller is especially good.

I also like The Secret Princess, another orphan story.

-- Sofia S. (sunny_sof@yahoo.com), April 14, 2000.

What a cool topic! I *still* buy kids books for myself. A lot of times, I'll pick up an old favorite for my daughter, and wind up reading it before I give it to her.

I loved Peter Pan. the original J.M. Barrie version, not Disney. I had a wonderful aunt that really nurtured the imaginations of all her nieces and nephews, and I can remember getting letters from Pan every day when I had my tonsils out! Of course, it was Auntie, but I still have those letters, and they really are written as Peter Pan would have written them.

-- Laurie (lzor@hotmail.com), April 15, 2000.

And Cynthia Voigt: Jackaroo, the Tillerman series, Bad Girls.

(Now I'm posting from home where I can look at my own shelves. I'm done now.)

-- Lisa Houlihan (lisa@penguindust.com), April 15, 2000.

Of those that have been mentioned: Others that haven't been mentioned:

There are some others that are really escaping me right now. One was the history of a little wooden doll; that was a really good one. Sycamore Summer ... I can't even find a reference to it, but it's a coming of age story that I think might have involved a twelve year old losing her virginity to a much older man. (I was too young to be shocked; I was just kind of uncomfortable.) That book about the horse named Gypsy, and the other horse, and the girl and her dad and her step-mom ... man, I wish I could remember the name of that one. Another about a girl who is sort of haunted by a ghost from Tudor England. She's at some kind of hospital or convent or boarding school or something, and she sings, and there is something about the song "Greensleeves," and Anne Boleyn. Wish I could remember it.

-- Beth (beth@xeney.com), April 15, 2000.

Oh! Champions Don't Cry. It was about tennis. I read it about ten times.

-- Beth (beth@xeney.com), April 15, 2000.

Was the one about the little wooden doll Hitty: Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field? I didn't read it as a child, but I picked up a very old copy in a used bookstore. It's wonderful.

-- Cara (cara@golden.net), April 15, 2000.

Ooh, I couldn't resist this forum topic either. I used to read like a fiend as a kid. I had a huge collection and I was a resident at the library and I must have read all of the following a heap of times over: All of these books are still under my parents house, all wrapped in gladwrap and with library catalogue numbers written on the side (in my own writing, it's not that I stole them from the library, I catalogued them myself because I liked organising them).

-- jamaica o'reilly (jamaica@kitschkitten.com), April 15, 2000.

Yes! Hitty, that was it. And add A Cricket in Times Square to that list of books my fourth grade teacher read.

Another one about which I can't remember specifics: a redhead girl, living in a foster home. Her foster parents have a grandson named Benji who is autistic. The girl makes friends with him.

Another: Lucy and the Merman, inspired by a Matth ew Arnold poem. Oh, I loved that book; it was the most romantic story I'd ever read. I thought the poem was pretty great when I was twelve, too:

"Here came a mortal,
But faithless was she!
And alone dwell for ever
The kings of the sea."

The book also mentions "Flow Gently, Sweet Afton," so I had to run out and learn to play that on the piano as soon as I read the book.

-- Beth (beth@xeney.com), April 15, 2000.

Does anyone remember the Scholastic Books from Weekly Reader?

-The Ghost of Dibble Hollow -The Wicked Pigeon Ladies in the Garden -Magic Elizabeth

I wish I could just sit outside in the lilac bushes in the summer again and just READ.

-- Kasey Snyder (medusaminor@prodigy.net), April 16, 2000.

Hey, I would've visited this thread sooner if someone had told me I could watch Lisa H. go totally nuts on the subject.

I'll try not to go over similar ground here and mention what's not been brought up yet:

Paula Danziger, esp. _The Cat Ate My Gymsuit_ and _Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice_? She seemed to understand that fourteen-year- old half-woman/half-girl conundrum better than anyone else.

The Katie John series, about a tomboy. The series followed her until she became a young woman with romantic aspirations that she got from reading _Wuthering Heights_; that one was called _Katie John and Heathcliff_. She also got her ears pierced in the same volume, I believe.

_Understood Betsy_. This was on a shelf of old thrift-store books that came with a time-share my parents once borrowed in Ocean City. I read it and loved it and my mom told me that it had been one of her favorite books, too. I think that was the first time I really conceptualized that my mother had also once been a child. Betsy was always terrified of getting in trouble, of not knowing what she was doing, and the book is about her going to live on a farm and become nearly self-reliant.

_Philip Hall Likes Me. I Reckon Maybe_ by Bette Greene. One of the few books I remember reading with a black protagonist, I'm sorry to say. This one was about a 12-year-old girl in rural Arkansas who did things she was afraid to do. Highlights included returning some t- shirts to the general store after they'd shrunk very badly in the wash, which sounds a lot more dull that it really was, and competing in the 4-H calf competition against Philip Hall himself. I remember she gave her calf a breath mint to give it an advantage in the judging.

E.B. White. What the hell's the matter with you people?! _Stuart Little_ and _Charlotte's Web_, anyone?

My two favorite "troubled teen" books were probably _To Take a Dare_, _Tunes for a Small Harmonica_ and _Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack_. I also got a perverse thrill out of _The Best Little Girl in the World_. I remember hiding that one from my mom because she was already worried that I was too skinny.

A friend of mine has actually been to Chincoteague and had brunch with Paul and Mareen Beebe on their ranch. When she told me this, I thought I might die of envy. I was 26.

-- Kim Rollins (kimrollins@yahoo.com), April 16, 2000.

jamaica o'reilly wrote: ...,I catalogued them myself because I liked organising them).

You're not alone there. One of the very first things I did when I got a computer was to give each of my books a call number then enter their information (title, author, subject etc.) into a database. Once I was finished doing my books I moved on to my friends' books. That way you could search for a certain book, or books on any given subject, and know exactly where you could get them.

Some girls dreamed of being movie stars, I wanted to be a librarian.

-- Cara (cara@golden.net), April 16, 2000.

The Chronicles of Narnia. The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and the Silmarillion. Trixie Beldon "Great-headed man doth prostrate lie, a shaded road a horses cry. Foreign words for all to hear, first clue now so very clear..." The House With a Clock in its' Walls. A Wrinkle in Time. Taming of the Shrew. There are so many, how can I list them all? I started reading very early, and treasure all my books.

-- Kat (kjeffries@wmol.com), April 17, 2000.

Ok, I'm just now reading through the postings. I can't believe I forgot Jane Eyre and Little Princess! I read both in the 2nd grade. Thank you oh public school for the wonderous book fair! And another favorite is Ghosts I have been. One of my older cousins gave me a signed copy when I was little. Hooray!

-- Kat (kjeffries@wmol.com), April 17, 2000.

This is a great question. I've been spending time/money trying to find books that I loved when I was a kid that are now (sadly) OOP. Thank G-d for E-Bay, Bibliofind, the Bookstore Junkies, and my favorite online supplier, East Ridge Used Books.

I do read the ones I've been able to find over and over again. They are old friends.

-- Laura (lbhelfrich@yahoo.com), April 17, 2000.

Just reading people's responses is giving me great memories of children's books. I grew up in a library (my mom worked there from the time I was 5 or 6) so I spent a lot of time reading. My favorites include a lot of the books mentioned by others (Paula Danziger, The Phantom Tollbooth, Beezus and Ramona, etc.) and a few others:

Anything by Daniel Pinkwater (Lizard Music, Fat Men From Space)...just truly bizarre, surreal stuff.

Robert Newton Peck's Soup series (my fifth grade teacher got me into these, he read them out loud to our class every day)

Choose Your Own Adventure (I had a big ol' collection of these)

Anything by Judy Blume, especially Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great and Superfudge

This old book called Little Witch that my mom had from when she taught school in the early '70s. It was really cute and I could read it in one sitting.

Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series...they were so long that I felt like I was actually reading a book for adults. I used to have a great feeling of accomplishment when I finished a really long book.

Once I got into junior high I graduated into those bad young adult series books...Sweet Valley High, Sweet Dreams, Girls of Canby Hall, etc...it's embarassing now to think that I devoured that crap the way I did. I also read your typical "troubled teen" novels (S.E. Hinton, M.E. Kerr, and the like).

I now feel the urge to go to the library after work and check out Lizard Music, just to see if it's as weird now as it was when I was 9 years old. If anything, I would think that it would seem weirder now.

-- Nanette (nanettee@aol.com), April 17, 2000.

I'm not done. Did anyone think I meant it when I said I was done?

Summer of My German Soldier, yes, but her father and my father were too similar.
Daniel Pinkwater! Alan Mendelssohn, the Boy from Mars is my favorite of his.
A Taste of Blackberries--Is this the last line, when they're talking about slamming doors and the boy says "Maybe even twice a day?" I would be in total blubs at that point.
How to Eat Fried Worms! I loved its format, the day by day, progressively shorter entries.
As the younger sibling of a great brain, I derived a lot of comfort from Me and My Little Brain.
Beth, what was the Byars book about the kid being bitten by a rattlesnake? I remembered that when you mention it, but only hazily. The Pinballs, The TV Kid, Summer of the Swans, and especially The Midnight Fox. What was the one with the kid who wanted to be a cartoonist and his mother watched tv all day?
And speaking of The Pinballs, I recently posted a question to rec.arts.books.children that no one could answer. A while ago I asked that list about books with a tomboy with a spunky name with a dog named Heavenly Spot in a brick boarding house with a speaking tube, in the Depression, whose author's name was between Byars and Cleary, and they reminded me of Katie John, but they couldn't answer this and maybe y'all can: What is the book about two sisters who go into foster care because their mother (has had a breakdown?) and the older sister (protagonist) won't like the foster parents because that would be disloyal and she gets mad at her younger sister for forgetting their mother (until the sister frees the foster parents' canaries because their mother told them not to cage anything); and the older girl finds no books in her room except an arithmetic text (with all the problems worked) and Jane Eyre, which she reads because it was her mother's favorite book; and she gets her period for the first time when alone in the house and is rescued by a former foster daughter who comes to visit the folks? I recently reread Katherine Paterson books and thought this was The Great Gilly Hopkins, but Gilly reads poetry and Tolkien, not Bronte.
Marilyn Sachs wasn't a favorite, but Mary Stolz was (and their names are so similar that it's a natural progression): The Cat in the Mirror. I *loved* that.
Is there any family of sisters in which the wild one is the eldest instead of second from the top? Henny, not Ella (Beth, I didn't forget the All-of-a-Kind books! check again); Laura, not Mary; Jo, not Meg. Or do authors construct families this way because they're more realistic?
My favorite E.B. White was Trumpet of the Swan. Stuart Little makes a lot more sense when you're older, I think--that teaching scene. And nobody dies or gets lost in Trumpet, unlike Charlotte and Margalo.
Oh, The Outsiders. And That Was Then, This Is Now. I was so glad that Randy stopped being a Soc (which I pronounced "sock" for a long time).
Cricket in Times Square, certainly, but more Tucker's Countryside. Cricket is the better book, but Tucker is set in Connecticut and has more animals.
Oh, Jean Slaughter Doty! I didn't read many horse books except Marguerite Henry, but I *loved* Can I Get There by Candlelight? because of the time travel and the girl going off by herself.
Thank you thank you thank you, Beth, for reminding me of Lucy and the Merman! I think that was one of my rare Scholastic books. I loved the different colored tails and how they got bigger with age and how she rescued him from the seagull. I haven't thought of that book in years! Tell me, did you realize as a child or later that it's based on a Matthew Arnold poem? If the former, I'll go shoot myself now. Whose *childhood* favorite was The Taming of the Shrew? I'm impressed, but I was way big into raisins at the time.
Paula Danziger rules. The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice?, and The Pistachio Prescription all were great and made up for later, lesser books; just recently I have discovered Amber Brown, for much younger readers, and she is great!
The Language of Goldfish is by Scott O'Dell? Is there a Secret Language of Goldfish by a woman later in the alphabet, Wish through Zish, about a girl not wanting to grow up and being haunted by Aubrey Beardsley drawings and trying to kill herself?

-- Lisa Houlihan (lisa@penguindust.com), April 17, 2000.

I'm still not done.

Jean Little! From Anna. There you go, the *third* sister, instead of the second, being the outcast. I reread this many many times in sixth grade, when I got glasses. And Look through My Window! I so wanted to be Emily, though I was more a Kate myself and my poetry more like Lindsey's. I loved the illustration of Emily sitting in the bookshop reading, because I loved figuring out the books behind her by their cover art. Emily's garret is why, when my mother said we could repaint my room (a bilious green), I chose yellow with white trim.

-- Lisa Houlihan (lisa@penguindust.com), April 17, 2000.

The All-of-a-Kind family! I had forgotten about that one. I won some reading contest in third or fourth grade and got one of those books as the prize...I must have read that book twenty times, at least. And the sequels too.

Another one that I forgot about is Lisa and Lottie, the book that the Parent Trap is based on. That was a good one.

And the Freaky Friday books...Summer Switch was my favorite of those.

Lisa, if nobody can solve your children's book mystery, I'll pass it along to my mom...the library system has a newsletter with a "Stumpers" section where people regularly ask those sorts of questions. You have way more information than most of the Stumpers they list...I'm sure someone will be able to figure out the name of the book for you.

-- Nanette (nanettee@aol.com), April 17, 2000.

Ack! Zibby O'Neil wrote The Language of Goldfish, not Scott O'Dell. Scott O'Dell wrote Island of the Blue Dolphins. Duh.

Now I can add another book or two. I forgot to mention One Summer in Between. And the Karen books by Marie Killilea. And Lisa Bright and Dark, which belongs in the teenage girls with mental illness phase of my reading.

-- Laura (lbhelfrich@yahoo.com), April 17, 2000.

Wow! Go away for the weekend and a topic explodes!

Beth, try "Jack and Jill" again. It took me seven tries. Now it's one of my favorites, up there with "Rose In Bloom".

How could I forget All Of A Kind Family and Katie John??

How about Strawberry Girl? Or the Henry Reed books? I never wanted to be Margaret, I ALWAYS wanted to be Henry.

Anyone else remember The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes?

-- Melissa (centerbeth@yahoo.com), April 17, 2000.

Aha! Zibby O'Neal--that makes sense with the Scott O'Dell connection (yours) and the end-of-the-alphabet connection (mine).

Yes, please, do ask librarians about the foster kids book. It's been on my mind for a month or more.

I love love love The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes. I thought some of the babies got a pretty raw deal, though, that some had to do dishes all the time while some got to dance or sing or paint instead, and the left-over one only had to pull out his mother's chair at table. The cherubic little brat doesn't even bother me, because I think *that* Aryanness is overcome by the little *brown* bunny showing all the white bunnies they'd underestimated her.

Another picture book I'd love to find again is about a little girl who gets an umbrella and boots for her birthday and then it's sunny sunny sunny and she can't wear them to school until *finally* it rains. She's Asian-American, and the city scenes are of a Chinatown or Little Japan or whatever, and the illustrations are all softly blurred watercolor, and there're pictograms in the margins I think, and the best part about it was chanting along to the sound of the rain, which the author tries to represent.

How about Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sa Rembo Cherri Berri Ruchi Pip Perry Pembo? Or something like that. Anyone remember that?

-- Lisa Houlihan (lisa@penguindust.com), April 17, 2000.

I have been trying (not valiantly) to get hold of Lisa, Bright and Dark for many many years, ever since I first saw it in the middle school library. I had a teenage-girl-with-mental-illness phase too (Language of Goldfish, Go Ask Alice, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, Ordinary People (well, hey, kind of), which followed my loney- girl-fits-in-somewhere phase (Mandy, Jacob Have I Loved, Claudia, The Changeling), which had strong associations with my orphan phase (Mandy, Daddy Long Legs, etc.). Of course, Lisa, Bright and Dark was particularly important to *moi.*

Does anyone remember realizing, years after they read Deenie by Judy Blume, that Deenie is named after Natalie Wood's character in "Splendor in the Grass"? I was watching it idly just because it had NW and (Warren Beatty?) in it, and then I realized that this girl was the beautiful girl Deenie's mother named her after in order that she would be beautiful too.

-- Lisa Houlihan (lisa@penguindust.com), April 17, 2000.

Ah, yes: the original Bud and Deenie. Remember when some school banned _Deenie_ because some dumb mombie read it and said it was "A how-to manual for masturbation?" On the first read-through I had no clue what Deenie was talking about when she was in the bathtub and "found my special spot with a washcloth and rubbed it until I got that good feeling." It was only later in the book, when the girls have the sex Q&A session in the gymnasium, that the topic of masturbation is explicitly named and Deenie gets all red-faced that I suddenly got it. I think I can recite passages of _Deenie_ from memory. My brother and I both have scoliosis, but I only have an 8-degree curvature and never had to wear a brace. Thank god. That would have looked stunning with my headgear.

I was at the library today and thought I'd check out some of the books we've been talking about that I hadn't read in years (heh... check out the books... I was really only intending to look at them) and I found many newer books by the same authors we'd been talking about. It's strange to think that there are Ramona books I'll never read. I could read them now, but I feel left out somehow. That "Amber Brown" series was after my time, too, and there's a metric buttload of them on the shelves. Danziger's newer stuff seems to be aimed at a grade-school rather than junior-high audience.

I was also reminded of two more teen-girl authors who haven't been mentioned yet: Norma Klein (_Mom, the Wolf Man and Me_ is now sadly out of print) and Lois Duncan, who wrote teen thrillers such as _Daughters of Eve_. I remember how oddly familiar the titles and plotlines of _I Know What You Did Last Summer_ and _Killing Mr. Griffin_ sounded to me before I figured out that I'd read them many moons ago. That was some good shit! Speaking of shit -- I read all that VC Andrews crapola, right up until _Dark Angel_, which was the first book written after Andrews' death by some scab. (Andrew Neiderman, I believe.) You could really tell the difference. The scab used the word "orgasm."

While at the library, I found out a couple things about Bette Greene, whom I mentioned earlier: a) she is the author of this _Summer of My German Soldier_ book that everyone liked so much, and b) there is a SEQUEL to _Philip Hall likes me. I reckon maybe_! It's called _Get on out of here, Philip Hall_ and was just published last year. Surprised the hell out me, since the original was written in the mid-seventies

-- Kim Rollins (kimrollins@yahoo.com), April 17, 2000.

I don't remember the masturbation scene from _Deenie_, but I do remember the one from _Then Again, Maybe I Won't_. I think it was a little more obvious, maybe. I remember re-reading that page or two several times just out of curiosity. It was one of the only male masturbation scenes I had ever run across in any of the books that I read.

Maybe it just stood out more because the main character was a boy.

I remember getting a hold of a copy of Judy Blume's _Forever..._ at a used book sale when I was in sixth or seventh grade...it's probably still hidden way in the back of my old bookshelf, behind a bunch of innocuous children's paperbacks, with the corners of the pages with the infamous sex scenes turned down. (I was worried that my mom would take it away if she saw it! That book had quite a reputation!)

I have several friends who received their introduction to sex (beyond the "mechanics" that you learn in school) from _Forever..._. I learned about sex more from reading my mom's Jackie Collins novels and whatever other smutty romances she was reading. _Forever..._ was kid stuff once I got around to it, but at least it was *my* book and it would always be there.

-- Nanette (nanettee@aol.com), April 18, 2000.

Kim, I'm not surprised there's a sequel to Philip Hall. It seems to be the thing lately to write your own _Pemberley_ or _Mansfield Park Revisited_. Unfortunately, all too often the authors betray their earlier works as thoroughly as the Jane Austen apers do: The Gypsy Game, 30 years after The Egypt Game is a prime example. Newbery Medalist My Side of the Mountain*

*Two more favorites: Jean Craighead George's Julie of the Wolves and My Side of the Mountain.

which came out in the early '60s got a sequel in the early '90s. George is a naturalist and it is quite right that she would want to teach kids that the casual adoption of a peregrine falcon isn't a good thing to do, but Sam without Frightful is unthinkable. She also wrote a nice feel-good sequel to Julie of the Wolves in which Julie and her gussak stepmother discover that *both* their cultures are valid, which is a crock of shit as well as a betrayal of Julie who *pointed her boots away from Kapugen.*

It is unfortunate, but some authors lose their touch. (This is a theme I often bemoan in my journal, so apologies for redundancy for my *scores* of readers.) Beverly Cleary and E. Konigsburg seem not to have--I thought Ramona's World was just fine (although I'll always prefer the pre-1973 books that Louis Darling illustrated before he died) and Konigsburg won a Newbery in 1967 or -8 with Mixed-Up Files and again *thirty years later* with The View from Saturday, and she deserved it. Elizabeth George Speare won a Newbery for Witch of Blackbird Pond and deserved it but her more recent books make me yawn. Lois Duncan too.*

* Three More Favorites: Stranger with My Face, Down a Dark Hall, Daughters of Eve.

In her most recent, Gallows Hill, she juggles ESP, past- life experience, witchery both real and imagined, and she does not manage all those balls very well. In really early books, like Season of the Two-Heart and Game of Danger, she hasn't hit her stride yet, in writing style or in thriller-ness. So maybe there's a bell-curve.

Judy Blume stopped dealing with Issues round about Forever (and I thought it was cowardly of her to write that Katherine dreamt of "doing things to [whoever wasn't Michael] that she'd only read about." Was she afraid she wouldn't be published (let alone be banned automatically) if she mentioned oral sex? What about us sixth graders who hadn't read anything yet *except* Forever yet and didn't know what Katherine meant?) But hey, Katherine accepted the University of Denver (because it's on the trimester system and that meant she and Michael could be together every weekend, all winter long)! I'm so hip, to live here. Just As Long As We're Together is good, but not in the Divoce/Scoliosis/Period realm of the earlier books. Summer Sisters marks another departure.

-- Lisa Houlihan (lisa@penguindust.com), April 18, 2000.

I am in heaven at how I'm seeing TRIXIE BELDEN pop up over and over here. I read 2 or 3 Nancy Drews. I LOVED TRIXIE. Wanted to be her, and live next door to Honey and have dates with Jim and babysit Bobby and have a gentle older brother naemd Brian and an obnoxious but fun almost-twin bro Mart. My sister and I had the entire series, plus a few of my mom's cardboard editions. Someone got a Trixie t-shirt on Amazon? Guess what my sis is getting for her 31st birthday?

So many good ones in here. LOVED HARRIET THE SPY. I will still pick it up to this day. My nana gave it to me because I kept a diary too. Very insightful book with some real adult humor. LONG SECRET was good too...loved it. Anyone read SPORT?

WHAT KATY DID and WHAT KATY DID NEXT. Headstrong girl who is paralyzed and becomes a better person for it....why didn't she stay out of that f**king swing like her aunt told her to? Nevertheless, I read this one over and over too. I ate up the details about turn of the century USA.

-- Erica (ericakeating@yahoo.com), April 26, 2000.

And don't forget What Katy Did At School, which is practically the only enduringly popular American boarding school book. Midnight feasts, jokes on Miss Jane, cotton nailed over the windows in winter ...

Three modern children's books that I still reread periodically are Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack by M.E. Kerr (actually a very tame psychological study of misfit high school nerds in Brooklyn), The Young Unicorns by Madeleine L'Engle (the one that takes place at St. John the Divine), and Tessie by Jesse Jackson (fish out of water story about a Harlem girl who gets a scholarship to a private school).

Yes, I was fixated on New York early. And reading Valley of the Dolls at 14 clinched it.

I went through a stage of reading talent-girl and career-girl books. Ballet: A Dream of Sadler's Wells. Flying: series about a girl named Beth who became an airline stewardess. Nursing: the Mary Ellis books. Also medical-problem YA novels and Holocaust/World War II YA novels; my favorite World War II books were The Endless Steppe, in which a Jewish family in Vilnius gets deported to Siberia shortly before the German invasion of Poland/Lithuania, and Shurik, about a Russian nurse during the Siege of Leningrad.

Oh, and who else thinks Go Ask Alice was a total fabrication?

Since most of my extended family lives in British Commonwealth countries, I netted a huge pile of Anglo-Australian children's books and annuals. Some of these should ring bells for Jackie at least: the Billabong books, Seven Little Australians, The Muddle- Headed Wombat, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, The Animals Noah Forgot, the Nancy at St. Bride's books, the Maid of the Abbey books, and annuals issued by various girls' magazines.

-- Diana (diana@alum.mit.edu), April 26, 2000.

Oh yeah, What Katy Did At School ! I read that too...in fact, I lived in Ireland for a few years (ages 8-10) and I remember that they made Katy into a mini series on TV, I think? I think I was given At School when I lived in Ireland.

Another book I got over there was Little Plum by I think, Dahl? Can't remember. About a girl who gets a Japanese doll...lots of detail about Japanese alters, or something.

-- Erica (ericakeating@yahoo.com), April 27, 2000.

Ooh, the Endless Steppe! I remember that--how excited they were for a gift of soap. And learning what steppe and tiaga mean. Another similar book is North to Freedom, though I never could figure out freedom from what--it wasn't slavery because the boy was white and it was after 1865. The protagonist in North to Freedom reminded me of the protagonist of another book whose title I forget. He is nameless for a long time, homeless, without family, an itinerant farm laborer, until he winds up with an old woman on her sheep farm and she names him, appropriately, David. Does that sound familiar? Can anyone help with the title?

-- Lisa Houlihan (lisa@penguindust.com), April 27, 2000.

I forgot about all the biographies I adored when I was a kid: Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, and Crazy Horse were my favorites.

-- Beth (beth@xeney.com), April 27, 2000.

I am trying to track down an older young adult type book...of course, I have no title or author to go on, but you people know *everything* about kids books, I swear!

The book was about a young girl, who ended up at a summer house/cottage rental - a big, dusty, barn of a place, crammed full of left over stuff, and she wants to be a witch, or she finds a book to teach her how to be a witch, and she is all the time dragging stuff she finds around this cottage to help her with spells..i remember her using an antique manual egg beater for one, or trying to. Her family is kind of not around for her, and ....um, that is all I can remember.

Does that ring any bells? If you can name that book, I will trade you the info for the most wicked CD of 80's music mp3's that you have ever seen, or pimp you wildly, and for years and years, or whatever.

-- Kristin Thomas (kristin@sperare.com), May 01, 2000.

Most of my favourites have been listed, but two sets for completely different age groups haven't been: The monster at the end of this book starring furry, cuddly old Grover, and a series that I was obsessed with in Grade 10, by Rosamund duJardin, that starred a set of twins, Pam and Penny - there were also some of her books outside of that series, but all of the titles have fled my memory. I also loved folktales from other parts of the world, especially the Anansi stories.

-- Jessica (jesst@brown.edu), May 02, 2000.

I think pretty much all of mine have been mentioned, but I wanted to give some more props to the Lloyd Alexander books. They are incredible, and I still read them again and again. Lisa Houlihan sells the books earlier on this thread better than I ever could, but the final book in the series -- "The High King" -- may well be the best book I've ever read. That's probably because Alexander isn't wary about killing off characters you care about. I got into the David Eddings books in high school (anyone else read the Belgariad and the Mallorean Chronicles?), and the one thing that disappointed me about those books is that pretty much all the good guys emerge unscathed. That's not necessarily true with Alexander, and I think it makes the books more intense.

Out of curiousity, were any other Lloyd Alexander fans tremendously disappointed with the movie version of "The Black Cauldron"

Alexander's "The First Two Lives of Lukas-Kasha" is also great, FWIW.

Others off the top of my head: "Bridge to Terabithia", "Tuck Everlasting," all the Great Brain books by John D. Fitzgerald, "Julie of the Wolves", all the Matt Christopher sports books, "Walk the World's Rim," The Encyclopedia Brown books -- and of course, the Chronicles of Narnia.

Oh, and "A Wrinkle in Time." Whenever I find some new shortcut through traffic that saves a lot of time, I call it a tesseract. And in looking up how to spell it, I found this...


-- Mike (m_is_for_mike@hotmail.com), May 02, 2000.

My favorite series' were the Little Bear series (Little Bear's Visit, Little Bear and his Father) and the Frog and Toad Series (Frog and Toad Together). I bought the Little Bear series for my daughter already... better go see if I can find Frog and Toad now!

-- stasi (stasi@sweetpeas.org), May 02, 2000.

so many good books in this forum... I'll just mention the ones I don't remember seeing... I can't remember her name. Zelda something or other, but she wrote vaguely spooky books... egyptians... a ghost dog. one of them was about a cat with no hair I think. i loved those books. and of course the entire Anne of Green Gables series. I wanted nothing more than to be Anne Shirley when I grew up... I read those books over and over. I recently revisited Forever which I unfortunately read for the first time in second grade. My aunt saw it was judy blume and just bought it for me. of course i didn't understand a word of it until i reread it in fifth or sixth grade, but it wasn't nearly as steamy reading it now.

-- jackie (sireia@yahoo.com), May 02, 2000.

I started readint at 2 1/2, so I read voraciously all through school, and I can't remember half the books I read, but several of them were read many many times. Anything by Gordon Korman (I Want To Go Home was a favorite, as were any Bruno & Boots books and Don't Care High. I thought that if they ever made a movie of it, my high school was the perfect place). The Neverending Story-- I had to read it a few times to really get it. I think I was a little ambitious with that one when I was 8. Bobbsey Twins, but NEVER Nancy Drew. Narnia (I just re-read those). The Secret Garden, Annne of Green Gables, The Cat Ate My Gymsuit (again, I think I was a little young for that one), anything about Helen Keller, Sweet Valley High (Again, too young, but they were cool when I was 10). I also had a series of classics for kids-- War of the Worlds, Sherlock Holmes, The Time Machine and about a dozen others. Encycopedia Brown, What Katy Did, Ozma of Oz. I also read this series about another planet called Isis-- I think they were called Keeper of the Isis Light, Guardian of Isis, and The Isis Peddler, by Monica Hughes. I also think they're out of print. They were my first sci-fi books, and they were really good. There were so many more that I just can't remember right now...

I lost most of them in a flood. I'd really like to replace the Isis books and What Katy Did, because I really enjoyed them. And I need a new copy of The Neverending Story. Mine's shredded.

-- Heather (pocket_witch@hotmail.com), May 02, 2000.

First, I just want to thank all of you for being out there (especailly Lisa H.) because you prove that I am not crazy and it is percectly normal to be 31 years old and still reading "children's " books. Of course I already kind of knew that from reading Melissa's journal, but now I feel like I'm in support group! Cool!

Most of my favorites have been listed, but I didn't see the Three Investigators anywhere. I like Nancy Drew, Tixie, Judy Bolton, etc. But the Investigators were so cool, with that neat trailor in the middle of the junkyard and all their top secret gadgets. I really wanted to move to California and find Jupiter Jones.

I also love Madline L'Engle but I notice that a lot more has been written about the Wrinkle in Time series (which is great) then the Austin books. I loved the Austins. They made me think that a family really could sit around and sing songs and eat meals together. Sigh. Broken home syndrome rearing its ugly head again. Rumor has it that a sequel to the Murray books is coming out soon with Meg in her 40's and its all about her kids. I read it somewhere....can't think of where right now. Sorry.

Otherwise, I was all over Judy Blume, Little Women, Little HOuse, Harriet the Spy and a great ghost/puberty book called "Nantucket Summer." Can't remember the author. I just discovered the Melendys and Betsey-Tacy, if you can believe that, I don't know where i was looking as kid to miss those! Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my all time favorites, largely because I come from an Irish-Catholic NY family. I don't see the Mushroom Planet books mentioned here...Mr. Bass was the main character and I think Eleanor Cameron was the author. Any book that had some boys building a rocket in their basement was too cool as far as I was concerned. (Although it would have been nice to see a girl in there somewhere!) Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler was fabulous and I encourage fans of that book to check out her recent one, "The Saturdays." It's the best thing she's done since. There was also the Forgotten Door which made me want to be a vegetarian and live peacefully with all creatures, but my Mom didn't like veggies so that didn't last. Oh...I know I'm not mentioning much new here but I could go on forever! Oh wait..."The Catalog of the Universe" by Margaret Mahy which is a great juvenile title. She has some other great stuff too. The best thing about her books is that they are all so different. You should check her out!

Cheers! Colleen

-- Colleen (Rosadiuk@alaska.net), May 02, 2000.

Ugh...college graduate with two typos in the first paragraph. Forgive me, please?! I hate it when that happens!


-- Colleen (Rosadiuk@alaska.net), May 02, 2000.

Anybody else out there read the Choose Your Own Adventure books and wish you had more fingers in order to hold the place of every choice you'd made in the hopes that you could go back and rechoose each of them after you finished the story arc you ended up on? Anybody else get an ending once that you liked, and were never able to find again because it would be some sort of literary sacrilege to read the book straight through?

-- Vic Kipper (figbash@dnai.com), May 02, 2000.

A sequel to the Secret Garden? I didn't know such a thing existed. I'll believe you guys when you say it sucks, but what happens in it?

-- Julie (ZepFiend@aol.com), May 02, 2000.

Great resource for out of print books : http://www.half.com

6 copies in stock of Lisa, bright and dark.

-- Kristin Thomas (kristin@sperare.com), May 02, 2000.

"Zelda something or other, but she wrote vaguely spooky books... egyptians... a ghost dog"----Could this be Zilpha Keatley Snyder, who wrote The Egypt Game and Blair's Nightmare?

I absolutely agree that The View from Saturday is Konigsburg's best since Mrs. Basil E.--lots are quite good, but Saturday is just fabulous.

I remember the Baker Street Irregulars, the Three Investigators, Danny Dunn, Alvin the inventor, and Henry Reed, who was always coming up with something or other. I never knew there was more than one Journey to the Mushroom Planet though.

More absolute favorites: Richard Peck, The Ghost Belonged to Me and Ghosts I Have Been, which were so much better and different than his other stuff that I always thought these two were by Robert Newton Peck, who wrote the Soup books and A Day No Pigs Would Die.

I'm packing the books and I'm mostly through M (Nicholas Moseley, Hopeful Monsters, not a children's book unless you're freaskingly bright) of the general fiction. My own particular books will stay out until the last minute because I can't bear to be separated from them.

New forum topic! How do you arrange your books?

-- Lisa Houlihan (lisa@penguindust.com), May 02, 2000.

Popping up late; this thread has me about to start digging through the attic! But I think I have the answer to the question further back, about the story about the witch? Are you thinking of The Active-Enzyme Lemon-Freshened Junior High School Witch? I loved that one, as well as Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, amd Me, Elizabeth by E.L. Konigsburg...both books made me think for a long time that books about witches had to have titles about three feet long.

-- Stef H. (kgim01@pro-usa.net), May 02, 2000.


YES! And I used to feel like such a rebel reading those Choose Your Own Adventure books because, well, they were boy books and I read them anyway. Pretty sad that an eleven year old had such huge gender issues, but true. I used to volunteer (yes, at age 11) at the Rio Linda Library and I'd make sure the librarians let me get the choose your own adventure books before they'd put them out on the shelves. Membership had its privlidges.

-- stasi (stasi@sweetpeas.org), May 03, 2000.

Re: Flipping through Choose Your Own Adventure books
My favorite book in the series had numerous references to a Utopia-like land, which -- it was stressed -- could not be reached by making a decision in the book. And, sure enough, one ending did feature you reaching that land, even having a two-page illustration of the place.
The catch was that there was no page that would send you to that ending; that is, the only way to get to it was to cheat.
I no longer remember the title, but it was definitely written by Edward Packard.

-- Shmuel (shmuel@england.com), May 03, 2000.

Just a thought, Beth, but could your ghost story be The Canterville Ghost, by (who would have thunk it?) Oscar Wilde? I've been trying to remember that title ever since I read your response, and it just came to me this morning.

-- Laura (lbhelfrich@yahoo.com), May 03, 2000.

Pretty much all my favorites have been mentioned...I liked horse books, orphan books, some fantasy books (never really got into Narnia but love the Oz books), and expecially pioneer books.

One writer I haven't seen mentioned is Robert Lawton - I think - he wrote "Rabbit Hill" and a lot of other books from animals' point of view.

Others that I haven't seen here are Edith Nesbit's series about a family of British children who discover magical charms & things - the only title I can remember is 'Five Children and It'. Then there are some books by Edgar Eager - 'Half Magic' is one - with similar stories. Those children have read the Nesbit books and want to have the same kind of adventures. Some stuff about how girls can't do this or that, but I still adore them. They're funny.

-- Lizzie (crow@well.com), May 03, 2000.

(Add to above lissstsssss) Danny, Champion of the World and James and the Giant Peach. Roald Dahl, Uncle Shel, Edward Gorey: we'll miss you! Write soon.

I meant that in an end-of-letter kind of way, not as an entreaty- to-the-dead kind of way. Except all three of them might like the double entendre.

-- Lisa Houlihan (lisa@penguindust.com), May 03, 2000.

I'm currently using images from my favourite books of my childhood in my journal - last month was Milly Molly Mandy and this month Fairy Stories. The fairy stories were collected in books called the Blue, Green, Red (I think) and Brown Fairy Books; I've only got the Green and Brown ones, very battered and with scribbles. I'm amazed that I was reading these so young; they were published in 1904 (reprinted in the 50's) and have enormous words for me when I was, I think, 7 or 8, going from the times I remember reading them at the first house we lived in. I think I just put words in where I didn't understand - I still have problems with "mere" which I decided was a misprint, all the time, for "near". heh.

The other ones I loved were pony books; the English Jill's Pony .. etc stories, and related titles.

cheers anna

-- anna (anna@lucidity.au.com), May 08, 2000.

I'm still a kid and my favourite books are the Magic Faraway tree, the Enchanted Forest, The folk of the faraway tree (those three are a trilogy), THe Mr. Men books, Peter Pan, THe famous Five, All the Jean little books, All the Kit Pearson Books, and a lot more!!!!

-- Jenny Harmer (redhead_me53@hotmail.com), April 20, 2001.


I am looking for a children's book, the title of the book is called Never Give Up. This book has several stories such as Tikki Tikki Tembo, and Mexicali Soup. This is a book from my childhood and my sister used to read it to me. I think it is a red hardback book but it is hard to remember all of the details. I think that the book was published sometime in the early 1980's. Please help me locate this book it would mean so much to me.

Thank you,


-- Autum (Autum@integrated-technical.com), February 18, 2002.

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