Working at a school and seeing the students fervently read their books, got me to thinking about my own childhood bookworm days. Boy oh boy, did I read A LOT! Living in a not so great area and having to read a book a month for school book reports, what could a little girl do but read all the time. Luckily, I was able to choose any book to read and there were summer reading programs like the one at Pizza Hut. If you read 5 books, you got a big button and a free personal pizza!
Well that inner child bookworm is still part of me, and I want to share my top 5 childhood books with you. Now the criteria for the books I chose are as follows:
- I read it 2 or more times
- The book had a lasting impact or was memorable
- I still enjoy it today
Also the books are not in any order; they each hold a special place in my childhood. So let’s get started!
Molly An American Girl Series by Valerie Tripp
I must have read through this series more than 7 times! I even took it with me on my plane trip to Thailand (it was a very long 17 hour-ish flight). You see, Molly and I shared many things in common. She was in the third grade, disliked multiplication bees, and often daydreamed in class. We even looked similar. She wore her hair in two braids and had glasses…so did I! I could go on, but besides the superficial similarities, Valerie Tripp truly captures the spirit of a girl growing up in America. Every time I read about Molly, I’m reminded of what it’s like to be a little girl again. From sibling fights to classmate conflicts and all the ups and downs in between, the Molly series has always kept me in touch with the little girl I once was.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
I was in the 4th grade when Harry Potter reached the States. My classmate who always got the latest things was of course, the first to have a copy of it. Soon it became the bee’s knees at school, so I jumped the band-wagon and bought myself a copy at Costco. First reaction, wow wizards and witches are not as lame as I thought (think Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown, but don’t get me wrong I still enjoy them!). I’m sure everyone knows this, but Rowling has changed the world’s view of wizards and witches. I mean she literally created a whole other world with it’s own social structure, culture, and mystical creatures. But the reason why I am drawn to the first book of Harry Potter is because you get to vicariously experience the wizarding world through Harry Potter on his first trip there. Everything is new and exciting, and your mind wonders what more could there be?! And then Rowling continues to blow your mind with things like butterbeer, which I still really want to try.
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
My local library didn’t have a copy of Anne of Green Gables, so I took it as a sign that it was finally time to buy my own copy. Of course I went for the Puffin in Bloom edition; it’s so pretty! Well, where do I start with Anne? She is a feminist at heart, very optimistic, and a big dreamer. I admire that she constantly stays true to herself despite what society demanded of young ladies at the time. There’s so much to say about Anne, but I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite quotes to express my appreciation for her:
“It is ever so much easier to be good if your clothes are fashionable.”
“Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it…Yet.”
“The world looks like something God had just imaged for his own pleasure, doesn’t it?”
“I’m not a bit changed– not really. I’m only just pruned down and branched out. The real ME–back here– is just the same.”
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The first time I read this book, I wondered what turkish delight was. Turns out it’s this cubed-shape fruit jelly covered in powdered sugar, and it comes in a variety of flavors. It’s what Edmund wanted so much that he was willing to trade his siblings for it. What a little brat! The illustrations of Edmund in the book even made him look like a brat. But of course we know he turned out to be quite the hero after Aslan saved him (and that part of the story makes me cry every time). And so the redemption of a little punk and the triumph of good over evil, makes this book one of my top 5.
Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
My 2nd grade teacher read this book to us, and it was so comical that I borrowed the book from the library to read it again. I forced my mom to read it to me, and she also found it silly. Let’s just say Amelia Bedelia is a housekeeper who takes everything literally. When you tell her to draw the curtains, she will take out a pencil and paper to draw the curtains. Putting out the lights, in her world, means unscrewing the light bulbs and putting them outside to dry. Now that I think about it, she’s like a mix between Lucy from I Love Lucy and Mary Poppins. In spite of her peculiar ways, Amelia Bedelia makes a killer lemon meringue pie. In fact, the characters in the book made it so enticing that I convinced my mom to buy a lemon meringue pie from Marie Callender’s. Yup folks, I got my whole family to try lemon meringue pie all thanks to Amelia Bedelia. Unfortunately we weren’t too fond of it, but it led to future discoveries of other delicious pies at Marie Callender’s.
Rereading childhood books is like taking a peek at your little self again. I hope you could relate to the joys and wonders I had reading these books. Please share your favorite childhood books in the comments below. I would love to read them too!