Hey y’all! So this week’s top ten is forcing me to go way back in the memory vault and try to think of the books I enjoyed reading a lot as a kid. This is difficult when I’ve read so many books since then, but it is aided by the fact that my mom was recently getting rid of a lot of the old chapter books we’d kept for decades, so I’ve been reminded of many of them lately.
Let’s take a look! (Being 28 at this time, my “childhood” favorites may be loosely interpreted. I don’t remember a lot of what I read pre-middle school. Bear with me.)
Top Ten Childhood Favorites
1. The Harry Potter series
My mom started reading the first book to me as a bedtime story when I was eight. We never finished it at that time because my mom hated the book. She’s not big on the fantasy genre at all, but me? I took to it like a pig to mud. (That’s not a flattering simile, but roll with it.) A few years later, after we’d moved houses and I was old enough to tackle a book of that size, I read it from the beginning. And thus started my love of Harry Potter, which now decorates my library in multiple ways.
2. Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss
Ok, so my mom did a lot of reading to me as a kid. I loved it and she had this latent desire to be a kindergarten teacher or something (she was an accountant), so she loved reading to me. But we had a deal: she would sit on the floor and read to me, but I had to sit on the couch and brush her hair as she did. And I picked this book a lot because I loved how much she hated the tongue twisters. Even then, I had a wicked sense of humor.
3. Island by Gordon Korman
Oh, I loved this series so. I still have the first book in it, one of them my mom was recently getting rid of. Island is the story of a few kids who get stuck on a deserted island (after a plane crash, I think). It’s about survival, but it’s also about uncovering secrets because there’s something big that’s hidden on this island. Suspenseful, interesting, and a touch historical, I loved it.
4. Mister Monday by Garth Nix
This twist on King Arthur was a lot of fun to read too. There’s a different Boogie Man for each day of the week, someone who’s out to get Arthur in this alternate world he falls into by accident. Mister Monday was always my favorite as it really started the world building.
5. Those “Dear America” books or whatever they’re called
Wow, ok, things are starting to come back to me. Remember those books that passed themselves off as diaries from big moments or the royal princesses? Yeah, I read a lot of those. I owned one about the Titanic, but I loved reading about the princesses and I was always checking my library for the newest ones. Thus my love of history.
6. The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding
God, I read some weird stuff as a kid. This historical horror story was completely enthralling to me. It involves possession, demons, and so much more in something like late 19th century England. And also, I just loved the name Alaizabel.
7. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
I read this multiple times in middle school and it still lives in my library. Historical fantasy at its best, it’s an introduction to the cultured life of girls at the turn of the century as well as showing what these girls desire most: freedom. Actually, you know what it is? It’s Dead Poets Society about girls. I’ve just now made that connection and I’m dying.
8. The Boxcar Children
I read a lot of these as a kid too. I think my mom must have bought some collection of them because we had so many. I know I never made it through all of them, but I definitely know I read the first one multiple times. I thought those kids were kind of genius.
9. Most things by Roald Dahl
I can’t tell you exactly which books I enjoyed the most because I don’t remember them well enough, but I know I liked Dahl’s style. I remember the movies based on his books better. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is an obvious one (actually I liked the movie from the 1970s better than the book). But my favorite movie was this animated version of The BFG. That’s still probably my favorite Dahl story.
10. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
I just remembered this. Oh man, this was a hilarious series. It taught me so many vocab words in the most hilarious way possible. And Snicket could never butt out of the story for very long before became sassy or mentioned his poor lost love. I did love this series, even as I kept hoping something good would happen. Of course, that was not to be.