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Carl V.

The Anne books by L.M. Montogomery are definitely 'must reads' in my opinion. They are wonderful.

I enjoyed reading the Alice stories in the book The Annotated Alice because it was so fascinating seeing all the in-jokes, etc. that Lewis Carroll put into his work.

Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater was a book read to us in second grade that I have very fond memories of.

Roald Dahl's children's books are wonderful.

Daniel Pinkwater's books, especially Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death are whimsical and fun.

As far as newer stuff I think that Tale of Desperaux and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo are destined to be classics.

Shannon Hale's retelling of fairy tales in her books are terrific.

Ida B by Katherine Hannigan was a very good book.

Isabella

My very favourite book is A Little Princess. Read it!

I stumbled onto Anne of Green Gables, thankfully. Others you mention (Peter Pan, Wind in the Willows, Paddington) I know I had contact with, but they never really resonated with me.

When I latched onto something, like Nancy Drew and then the Anne books, my mother would buy them up for me, but I didn't have much reading guidance as a child, and I know I missed out on a lot. I did have a lot of fairy tales though.

iliana

I never read any of the Anne books either. Some of my favorites were the Little House books and the Trixie Belden series.

Niall Harrison

I loved the Little House on the Prarie series, at least the first few volumes; and the Heidi books; and [foo] Adventure books by Willard Price; and Roald Dahl; and the Swallows and Amazons books probably most of all; and I read umpteen Enid Blyton books on autopilot; the Alice books, the Paddington books, One Hundred And One Dalmations (though I always preferred The Twilight Barking), and ooh, lots more now that I think about it.

What I didn't do -- and this turns out to have been an odd thing for someone who became an sf reader -- is, CS Lewis and some of Dahl aside, read much fantasy. No Diana Wynne Jones, no Susan Cooper; I remember a couple of books by Nicholas Fisk (Trillions, and A Rag, A Bone, annd A Hank of Hair, which scared me to bits), but I didn't get through Tolkien until my teens, or Wyndham, or John Christopher. I came to them backwards, after discovering Asimov and Clarke on my dad's shelves.

Brandon

Several weeks ago, while helping a buddy move, I came across two of my favorite books as a child: Alvin Schwartz' "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" and James Howe's "Howliday Inn." (Howe wrote the "Bunnicula" series.) And I've been in a bit of a reminiscent mood ever since. My favorite books growing up were Gary Paulsen's "Hatchet" and Louis Sachar's "Sideways Stories from Wayside School." And the most interesting thing, for me, is that I remember more about the books I read as a child than anything I've read as an adult. I'd have a hard time recalling books I read a month ago, but I could easily rattle off just about every title I read as a kid. And maybe that's because those were the books that had the greatest impact on me. They were the ones that got me reading in the first place.

jenclair

The Anne books by L.M. Montgomery charmed me (have recently been re-reading them)and The Secret Garden is also an all time favorite.

I've never read Enid Blyton, but had put them down on my TBR list several months ago during a similar discussion. I've noticed the name resurfacing lately on other blogs, so they are definitely loved, and I should see about ordering some.

Eloise is also a wonderful book for younger readers.

LK

Adored Little Women and Nancy Drew books. Adored A Little Princess and Charlotte's Web. Others:

Betsy-Tacy books
Strawberry Girl (Lois Lenski)
Ginnie & Geneva (Catherine Woolley)

Stefanie

Yay for the Little House books and Nancy Drew! I loved them dearly. Other books I loved: Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls, Island of the Blue Dolphin (the author's name escapes me), A Bridge to Terabithia (again the author's name is gone), and Madeleine L'Engle's books A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, etc

LK

Must add Beverly Cleary, particularly Ellen Tebbits!

Danielle

I need to put up a list of these with links! Lots of good stuff, and many things I have not read. Although I don't read many children's books now, occasionally I will reread something. I would love to go back and pick up some of these books. The nice thing is that they can be very fast reading! Thanks for sharing everyone!!

litlove

I too loved Nancy Drew and Paddington! The best thing about having a child has been the reading, and I feel I've had a chance to go back and catch up on all I missed out on myself. There are a few authors I'd recommend who are as good for adults as for children. One of those is Diana Wynne Jones. The Ogre Downstairs is a brilliant book for children, whilst Fire and Hemlock is just as good for adults. I know I've raved about it before, but Meg Rosoff's young adult book, How I Live Now really is the most extraordinary novel I've read in the past couple of years. My son is also a big fan of Jennings's school tales (written by Anthony Buckeridge) and also of the Just William stories by Richmal Crompton. Always very amusing, both of them!

Equiano

Yes to so many already discussed above, particular favourites Anne of Green Gables and Madeleine L'Engle, Susan Cooper. If you like Anne books take a look at Susan Coolidge's WHAT KATY DID and fans of L'Engle and Cooper will like Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea Trilogy. For absolutely fabulous American children's writing you must read anything by Elizabeth Enright. My favourites as a child were any in the Melendy series which begins with THE SATURDAYS and continues in THE FOUR-STOREY MISTAKE, THEN THEY WERE FIVE and SPIDERWEB FOR TWO with a move to the countryside. Anyone else read them? Originally written in the 1940s, we read the 1960s reissues and they've just been re-released in hardback a couple of years ago. Highly recommended.

Max

I always loved Elyne Mitchell's books about Australian brumbies (wild horses). I was a horse-mad child (adult too, actually!) which may have had something to do with it. My mother loved, and still owns, a book called Tales From the End Cottage which featured a little old lady with two cats called George and Shoosh and a dog called Tricksi who sneezed a lot! I also adored a beautiful book of Greek stories and tales from the Arabian Nights, which had the most stunningly simplistic illustrations of characters like Orpheus and Eurydice emerging from the underworld, or Pluto on his throne with a weeping Persephone beside him, or Narcissus leaning over a pond to see his reflection that he loved so dearly while poor Echo flitted about behind him, unseen.

Lotus

What a great post, Danielle, nothing like a little trip back to the books of my childhood to get my day off to a great start. I remember being completely wild for the childrens' classics like "Alice in Wonderland", "Arabian Nights", "Black Beauty" "A Secret Garden" and ofcourse, because I grew up in India I also read a lot of the Indian mythological tales, "The Panchratna", "The Ramayana" etc.

Jodie

I still have almost all my Roald Dahl (a love kindled by a copy of Fantastic Mr Fox bought at a school book fair). Dick King Smith's book were a favourite. I think I've read almost all the ones published when I was young. Redwall books are fantastic, despite their Christian fantasy element. And of course there were the usual millions of horse stories, typical of some girls childhoods.

I did love, love Anne of Green Gables, although I only own two of them. Oh and the Chalet School books and Mallorey Towers of course (perfect for a girl who dreams of a more supportive school).

As for classics I've also never read 'Peter Pan' although now the official sequal has been written I'm planning on digging out the copy at the back of the cupboard. The Velveteen Rabbit is probably my favourite classic childrens read.

Ex Libris

I loved Nancy Drew! I only owned 3 or 4, but we would swap them at school. I also loved The Wind in the Willows, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I haven't read any Anne books, but would like to someday. I have a feeling I will be reading Enid Blyton's very soon.

gina c

Horse books! now i remember! not just Black Beauty although that is still a huge classic, but the Marguerite Henry books about the wild ponies of Chincgoteague (sp?) Island on the outer banks of North Carolina, her other books about famous horses like King of the Wind (the Godolphin Arabian) and the white Lippizan stallions. Walter Farley's saga of the Black Stallion and his kin, son, daughter and so on. My grandmother used to bring home bags of used books from flea markets in the 60s and once I found Willa Cather's Shadows on the Rock which was about a young girl in 18th century Quebec, it has stuck in my memory all these years, and while written for an adult audience like most of Cather's works, I accessed it as a pre-teen. Must mention again Mistress Masham's Repose, by T. H. White, (Sword in the Stone, Once and Future King, Book of Beasts etc), a young girl living on a vast deserted estate in England discovers the descendants of the Lilliputians (Gulliver's Travels) living there, her interactions with them and attempts to save them (not always successful), this book made such an impression on me, again it was one of those flea market finds that my grandmother brought home. I strongly recommend it and its been reprinted recently.

lucette

This post (the comments, too) has been a trip down memory lane--lots of things I'd like to reread.
The Dorrie the witch books--a lot of them are available on abebooks.com.

Krakovianka/Karen

I have read and enjoyed almost everything in this post and its comments (not quite, but 85% or more, I think). I LOVED Dorrie. "Dorrie was a witch. A little witch. Her hat was always crooked, and her socks never matched." And wherever she went, "Gink [her cat] went with her." Dorrie and the Blue Witch was my all time favorite--I love the style of the illustrations in these books.

Also loved Elizabeth Enright and have collected most of her books for my children to read. Books by Ralph Moody ("Little Britches") are great for boys--kind of a male "Little House" series. Children's literature is a category all its own, and the books kids read are so important, because they do tend to be remembered and make a greater impact than reading we do later in life.

Kailana

I might have missed it being answered, but The Island of the Blue Dolphins is by Scott O'Dell. It is a duology with the sequel being "Zia". Or maybe that one comes first... can't remember.

I just wanted to say that if any one has not read Anne of Green Gables and all the sequels, I strongly suggest that you do. They might be marketed for younger readers, but I think that they are as much for adults as children. I took one summer a few years ago and read all 8 of them. It was fun. One of these days I am going to buy the DVDs of the movies that were made...

Kate S.

Great post and great comments! It's not surprising to find that I share many childhood favourites with the astute crowd of bloggers whose current reading so often piques my interest! My childhood favourites include Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy-Tacy books; Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne books and, expecially, her Emily books; Elizabeth Enright's Melendy books; Astrid Lindgren's Pippy Longstocking books; Enid Blyton's Malory Towers series; Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books; Beverly Cleary's "Fifteen" and "The Luckiest Girl"; L.Frank Baum's Oz books; P.L. Travers Mary Poppins books; and, E. Nesbit's books about the Bastable children. Children's classics that I didn't read until I was an adult but love all the same include Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising series; Lloyd Alexanders Prydain chronicles; and, Alberta Conant's books about the Miller Girls. There are lots of contemporary children's books that I very much enjoy as well, but I think I've gone on long enough!

Stephanie

Unfortunately when I was younger I wasn't all that interested in reading, so I missed out on a lot of the books you mentioned. Luckily I have become an avid adult reader and hope I will be able to read these books with my daughter.

Krakovianka/Karen

One more to add--books for teen girls by Mary Stolz. Very few of these were reprinted in cheap paperbacks, so they are hard to come by. I value each ex-library hardback I have managed to acquire. Her books are much deeper and more serious than most young-adult fiction, and give young people credit for being intelligent, not immature and silly. A few titles that come to mind: Pray, Love, Remember and Ready or Not. I never read one of her titles that wasn't worthwhile, though.

Kirsten

For me Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden were always the front runners. Although I loved Charlotte's Web and Anne of Green Gables. And how about those Amelia Bedelia books? My mother used to read the Dorrie the Witch books to my younger sister and I - I used to love the illustrations!! I actually found an old battered copy of one at my local library about a year ago and checked it out for old times sake :)

fin

I keep going back and re-reading all my old faves...

Lazy Cow

I love this topic. I've been buying back all my childhood books over the past few years. Amazingly. I've read most of the books mentioned. Reading is pretty much all I did as a child. The Anne books were probably my favourite.

Lori

I am looking for a story written in the 1960's about a white girl who was adopted by an american indian tribe. Her hair was blonde and her eyes were cornflower blue. They named her Cornflower. I would love to read this book from my childhood again.

Lea Dickson

I have been trying to remember the title and author of the 'Little Witch' books FOREVER! I'm so glad I came across your post about then!
All I could remember was that her hat was always crooked and her socks never matched. As a child I LOVED every one of those books and couldn't wait to get back to my local library to see if there was one more I hadn't read yet now available.

Danielle

Lea--I'm glad my post helped! I loved those books as a child, too. I even had several of the hardbacks, but I think they ended up at the Goodwill as I have never been able to find them. Pity as they are pricey to find used! I wonder why they don't reprint them?!

Mel

What a lovely site! I have enjoyed the trip down memory lane while searching for new ideas. I was an avid reader as a child and my most-loved books were:
* Enid Blyton (and particularly the Faraway Tree trilogy, The St Clare and Malory Towers school books)
* L M Montgomery (ALL of them and I have recently completed my collection of all of her books still in print)and
* Elinor Brent-Dyer's Chalet School series
I also really enjoyed classics by Elizabeth Enright, Joan Aiken, Laura Ingalls Wilder and E Nesbitt as many of this site's contributors have.

Two particular books that are among my favourites yet not by authors listed above are: 'Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh' by Robert C O'Brien that I read to a very clever year 3 class who adored it (although it's more suitable for 10 years +)and 'Andra' by Louise Lawrence (recommended for 12+).
As an adult I have loved the Harry Potter books and now, searching for new titles to read to children I have been excited to discover Odo Hirsch (eg Antonio S and the Mystery of Theodore Guzman)and am looking forward to devouring more of his books.

Imee Baronda

Thanks for this blog, this book fits to my kids. I don't care about book...but now I use to have more research for the sake of my kids. Hayyzzz...perhaps I enjoy doing it.

From the Philippines,
Imee
ChooseYourOwnAdventureBooks.org for Kids, Adults and Teachers

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