We’ve all started somewhere, and I know you guys have books still on your shelves from when you were kids. You probably force your kids (or, like me, your nieces and nephews) to sit and listen as you read your favorite childhood stories. Feel free to add your list in the comment section so we can all reminisce!
1. Katy No-Pocket by Emmy Payne, H.A. Rey
This is the first book I remember reading by myself, and my family can attest that I read it to anyone willing (or unwilling) to listen. The poor mama kangaroo didn’t have a pocket for her baby, so she asked other animals how they carried their babies. Finally, a construction worker gave up his vest with uber pockets! This also sparked me to start stealing my dad’s tool belts, but that’s another story. 😀
2. Fear Street by R.L. Stine
I don’t know where my parents were when I started reading these! It was the early 90s, 1st and 2nd grade for me. Goosebump books were boring and the school librarian saw no problem letting a six/seven year old borrow these! In my defense I have two older sisters who used to make me watch Nightmare on Elm Street and Child’s Play, so I was probably already desensitized to anything Fear Street had to offer.
3. Animorphs by K.A. Applegate
This series is probably the one that had the biggest impact on my reading. It started in the mid-90s, so I was in elementary, and lasted until 2001, which was my first year of high school. The series had 54 regular Animorph books, 4 Megamorph, 4 Chronicles, and 2 Alternamorphs (choose-your-own-adverture style books). I was even in the book club and still have the uber secret necklace that shows I’m part of the yeerk resistance! Shhh!!!
4. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
So, yeah. If you asked me to do math, I’d point you to the nearest calculator, but my oldest sister started paying me to do her English homework (shhhh!) when I was in junior high (4 years difference, she was a math teacher), so I started Shakespeare in the 6th grade. Hamlet was my fave at the time, just because I found it hilarious that nearly everyone died at the end (such at cute kid, huh?). Eventually it lead me to my one true love, Much Ado About Nothing.
5. The Cay by Theodore Taylor
This was one of those books we had to read in school in about the 5th or 6th grade, but I loved it! Eventually I ended up reading all of Theodore Taylor’s books, but The Cay stayed my favorite. It was a great introduction to using distinctive dialect in dialog as Timothy has a really thick Caribbean accent.
6. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
It was in either 7th or 8th grade my class had a reading challenge. We had to read for 7 straight hours in 15 minute shifts and we got to pie our teacher. Someone randomly selected The Hobbit because it was a thick enough book to last all day, and after 30 minutes (I stayed with my special needs cousin in the same grade) we were both hooked on the book. Of course the rest of Tolkien followed.
7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
It was sometime in high school when I got around to reading this one, but I adored it! It’s not the classical he-loves, she-loves, they-marry story; but the darker side of a not quite requited love. Even though I typically despise Victorian literature, this book and a few others manage to make it though.
8. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
This was probably one of my first watched-the-movie-first books. I can’t remember how old I was when I read it, but it’s The Neverending Story! The movie is great. I still love it watch it. But by orin, the book amazed me!
9. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
I’m positive I’ve mentioned this before, but D’Artagnan? Yeah. My first ever book-boyfriend. I read this probably around 7th-8th grade maybe? Then I skipped on to the rest of the D’Artagnan Romances. *sigh*
10. Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
Did you see this one coming? Of course! The original books are full of inconsistencies and mindless ramblings but Sherlock Holmes was the first book that got me interested in mystery novels (not those drab Nancy Drew books my mom tried to shove on me. blek!). I did start these books latter; it was sometime in high school when I started reading them.