Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers’ answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND post a comment on our post with a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post to share with us and all those who are participating. If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. If you can’t come up with ten, don’t worry about it—post as many as you can!
This week the hosting site it letting us choose. We could pick any past Top Ten Tuesday that we either missed or wanted to revisit. I decided to go with Childhood Favorites. I have always been a voracious reader. I sped through books as a child, but I definitely had a few favorites. A few books or series that I read and reread and (in a few cases) have reread as an adult. So here we go:
1. The Secret Garden by Mary Hodgson Burnett — My absolute favoritist (yes I know it’s not a word, but I still use it) book of childhood. I dreamed of finding of a secret garden somewhere. I didn’t ever want to live in a creepy house in the English moors, but the appeal of the garden was so great. This is one of those books that I reread every few years. I still love it. And I love the Hallmark movie version. It’s the only acceptable version of the book. I love watched the movie on those dark and stormy nights. It makes the beauty of the garden that much more. This is one of those books that I swore I would read to my children. Alas, I have boys and they just aren’t interested in reading a “girly” book. Thankfully, a friend has two girls and guess what one of them got for Christmas two years ago? The Secret Garden, of course.
2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott — Much the same as The Secret Garden, this is one of those books that I read and reread through childhood. I loved the March sisters, especially Jo. I cried when Beth died and Jo denied Laurie. I rejoiced when Christmas came and Papa March came home. I laughed when the girls played tricks on Meg’s suitor. I loved every page of this book. The sequels just don’t live up to the original. But that’s okay. I could always imagine the sisters’ futures without the need of another book. My friend that I mentioned in #1… her other daughter got a copy of this book for Christmas. My boys are more suited the Percy Jackson and The Jungle Book than a story about four sisters.
3. The Monster at the End of This Book — This is probably the first book that I remember reading. Grover has always been my favorite character on Sesame Street. I love his silly sense of humor, a bit crazy, a bit lovable, and kind of sarcastic. I was always scared to get to the end of this book, but I loved it anyway. Have you guessed who the Monster at the end of the book is? It’s Grover of course. After I had my boys, I sought out a copy of this book to read to them. They were infants, they wouldn’t even know what I was reading, but I still had to buy it for them. The copy had to be an original style Golden Book with the gold binding. (The new ones have the shiny covers. Blah!) I had to search high and low, but I found one. And even after my boys had grown out of the book, I saved it. Just in case it’s needed in the future.
4. Dick and Jane series — Okay I know, a really weird choice for a childhood favorite. My Grandpa Joan was always pushing education. She wanted me to read and practice reading and practice some more. I remember going over to my Grandpa Tom’s house and getting out these volumes to read to her. These were antiquated in the 1980s when I was learning to read. Nobody used these in schools. But my grandmother thought these were the best to learn how to read. Repetition and simple words. I grew to detest Dick and Jane and Spot as I grew in elementary school. But I will always remember reading these to my grandma and then to my stuffed animals.
5. The Babysitters Club series by Ann Martin — The first series that I read independently. I remember starting these and wanting to be in The Babysitters Club. Or at least my own version of a Babysitters Club. All of their crazy adventures and lasting friendship. I wanted all of that. I even saw the appeal of boyfriends (at a future date of course, I was like 8 when reading these. Boys my age had cooties). My favorites were definitely Stacey and Claudia. I wanted to name a future daughter Anastasia (Stacey). Although I always saw myself in Mary Anne. I even recall having Barbie like dolls of a few of the characters. I’m pretty sure one of them was Dawn. Supposedly the series was published from 1986 to 2000. I stopped reading them around 1990, but they were fun when they held my interest.
6. Fear Street series by R.L. Stine — My first “grown-up” series. I graduated from The Babysitters Club to someone in the teen reading level. I wanted more excitement and I had always been drawn to those scary stories. So I started reading the series. And it was definitely scary. The series began in 1989 and I’m pretty sure I started reading them around 1990. I had to get the new books when they were published. I eventually had an entire shelf in a bookcase dedicated to the series. The Fear Street Sagas were my favorites. Set in the past, these multipart stories, told the origins of the evil on Fear Street. I loved them! Looking back, these are really cheesy. But they definitely satisfied a hunger. One that eventually grew into Anne Rice and Edgar Allan Poe.
7. The Velveteen Rabbit — Another of my early childhood favorites. The story of a lovable stuffed bunny who is loved by a boy and then he grows up. So sad! But don’t fear for the bunny, he gets his reward in the end. I feel like the creators of Toy Story used this story as a basis for their story. At any rate, I loved this story as a child. It was a rereadable favorite. I can’t remember what illustrated version I had (it wasn’t the one on the right), but which ever one it was, the pictures were beautiful.
8. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White — Who doesn’t love this story? Not me. I absolutely love this story. I’m sure when I first read it, I was devastated that Charlotte died. But as I’ve grown, there is poetry and a sense of closure when she dies. It’s as if everything is right with the world. We lost a good friend, but everything continues. To be extra cheesy: it’s the circle of life. I’m okay with the loss. I see CHarlotte’s Web as a story of growing up. Wilbur learns about the world through Charlotte and the various farm animals. He rejoices and cries. And at the end of the book, he’s come to realize his place in the world. (The movie version with Dakota Fanning is entertaining if for nothing else than for Templeton, the rat)
9. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg — A definite favorite. A museum, run-away siblings, a mysterious old lady, and tons of adventures. I always wanted to run away and live in a museum. Although sometimes scary, all those artifacts intrigued me. I definitely would have hid in the Egyptian section of the Field Museum in Chicago. We went there a few times when I was a child and I imagined myself hiding in the bathroom and then coming out when everyone had gone. Sure, the mummies would be extra creepy at night, but that was part of the adventure. I reread this book about a year ago and loved it just as much as I did as a child.
10. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry — Probably the first book I read that dealt with a real life event, I loved this book from beginning to end. This probably instilled a love of history that I didn’t even realize until I got into college. It made me think about gravity of real life events. I was affected by this book in so many ways. In high school I took a class on the Holocaust that I probably would not have if not for this book. While The Diary of Anne Frank is nonfiction, Number the Stars had a much bigger impact on me. Lowry’s beautiful descriptions and inner monologue make the events “real.” A must read for all elementary students. I need to add this to my reread list.