TBT: Books from my Youth


I rolled Throwback Thursday with the April A to Z Challenge.  It’s a good thing that books begin with a “B.”

Anyway, I had to think hard about the books I read when I was a kid. I mean, I stared up into space trying to remember the books I read.

By the way:  Spoilers, Sweetie.

Here’s the shortlist:

  • The Girl in the Box by Ouida Sebestyen:  Oh, my dear god.  This book scared the crap out of me when I first read it.  To this day, it still haunts me.  It didn’t nothing for my phobia of complete and utter darkness.  I am by turns fascinated with the book and repulsed by it.  I mean, come on!  If there was ever a book that deserved a sequel it’s this book.  Honestly.
  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell:  Honestly?  I don’t remember this book.  I mean, I remember the book, but I couldn’t tell you the plot of it.  Obviously, there’s a horse involved.  But other than that?  I couldn’t tell you.  Obviously, I should read this book again.
  • Caddie Woodlawn  by Carol Ryrie Brink:  Wow.  Another book that I can’t remember.  Well, that’s another book to add to my pile.
  • Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder:  Yes, I remember this book.  Also, it seems that this was the second book in the series.  It seems that this is a life long affliction that I have…reading series out of order.  Oops?
  • Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1) by L.M. Montgomery:  Yes!  I remember reading this book and absolutely loving it.  I also adored the series.  I wanted to be adopted by Matthew and Marilla.  I was so obsessed with the Anne of Green Gables (1985 film) mainly because of the lead actress, Megan Follows.  That red hair!!!  
  • The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin:  I don’t remember how far I went with the series.  I remember Mallory and Jesse joining as junior babysitters, but anything further than that is a blur.  I loved that each sitter had her own personality and handwriting (!!!) to match.  
  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White:  Yes, of course, I remember this book.  Who doesn’t remember reading it and then reading it again?  I still have my copy from when I was eight.  My niece, Little Miss C (who isn’t so little anymore, let me tell you) has her own copy.  
  • Needful Things by Stephen King:  What?  Didn’t we all read a little Stephen King before our parents gave us “permission” to read him?  I definitely need to reread this book.
  • The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1) r by Stephen King:  I may be the *only one* who loved this first book.  Seriously, reading The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower, #2) after The Gunslinger disappointed me.  Rereading the first book and the rest of the series made me appreciative of the entire series…but The Gunslinger will forever hold a special place in my dark little heart.
  • National Velvet by Enid Bagnold:  Another book that I can’t remember the plot. This needs to be fixed.
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins (Island of the Blue Dolphins #1)  by Scott O’Dell:  THERE WAS A SEQUEL?!?  WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?!?!?  
  • Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls:  No, shush.  Don’t talk to me about this book.  This is just as upsetting as The Fox and the Hound.  
  • Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins, #1) by P.L. Travers:  I think I read most of the series.  I was very struck by how different Mary Poppins was in the book vs the movie.  Oh, well.  I guess that’s life.  
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater and Florence Atwater:  Oh, I loved this book.  I borrowed it from my school library over and over again.  No, I didn’t see the movie.  I wanted to keep as it was in my memory, thanks.
  • Old Yeller (Old Yeller, #1) by Fred Gipson:  Good grief.  I must surely cried a lot reading these books, huh?  I never read the other two books in this series.  Old Yeller, the movie, also killed me.
  • Sweet Valley Twins by Francine Pascal:  I remain fascinated by this series and Sweet Valley High.  I even read Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later but strangely enough not Sweet Valley University.  That Jessica!  Always scheming!
  • My Side of the Mountain (Mountain, #1) by Jean Craighead George:  1.  Are you kidding me?  There’s a series??  2.  I read this book over and over and over again in the fifth grade, that my homeroom teacher (and neighbor) finally gave it to me after it started to fall apart.  I still have it.  It’s yellowed and held together with surgical tape.  (My mother is a doctor.)
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1) by  L. Frank Baum:  I don’t remember why I didn’t read the rest in the series.
  • Behind the Attic Wall by Sylvia Cassedy:  I found this book…slightly creepy.  I mean, talking dolls?  Really?  

Honestly, I could go on and thankfully, for you, I won’t.

So, there seems to be several themes I see going on here.  There’s the alone and lonely theme (The Girl in the Box, The Island of the Blue Dolphins, and My Side of the Mountain); the animal theme, horses in particular (National Velvet, Black Beauty, Charlotte’s Web Where the Red Fern Grows, and Old Yeller); the Southern/country theme (Where the Red Fern Grows and Old Yeller – though if I remember correctly, Where the Red Fern Grows took place in the Ozarks.  Not Southern necessarily but country, probably.); magic (Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz); and the settlers theme (Caddie Woodlawn and Little House on the Prairie); horror (The Girl in the Box, Needful Things).  I’m sure there are other themes, but these are the ones that jump out at me.

Maybe I should make it my summer reading project…reading as many of my childhood books as I can.  It’s something to think about, at least.

So, what were your favorite childhood books?  Do you have any recommendations?


23 thoughts on “TBT: Books from my Youth

  1. Just William, Swallows and Amazons, Captain Hornblower, The 39 Steps… More a boy’s list, I guess! (Though I did read Black Beauty because my sisters kept going on about it. Couldn’t tell you the plot either, though. Sad, if I’m not mistaken).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read at least 9 of your books. I read Caddie Woodlawn, too, and haven’t a clue as to what it was about. May have to revisit. I was into horse stories–My Friend Flicka, Smoky: A Cowhorse. Also, I read Little Women and Little Men. Growing up Catholic, I read many lives of the saints books and saint stories! But Anne of Green Gables will always be my favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Harriet The Spy, The Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler, and some mystery about an osprey’s nest..title eludes me and I’m too lazy to google it. I must have read each of those 6 dozen times between the ages of maybe 9 and 12.
    And Charlotte’s Web and Black Beauty made me cry, so only once each for those.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are not alone in your love for “The Gunslinger”. My husband has Roland tattooed on his chest. I, however, was not hooked after reading it; I never made it past the first one. I do love Stephen King’s book, “On Writing” though.
    There is a YA trilogy, I think it’s out of print now, starting with “Mother Earth, Father Sky” by Sue Harrison, that was my favorite when I was younger. I re-read all of them a few years ago and still enjoyed them immensely!
    Good luck with the A to Z challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The scary ones, I definitely didn’t read, but Little House on the Prairie series, the Anne of Green Gables series, I did read. I also loved loved loved The Secret Garden. Still do. 🙂


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