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?