This week's Weekly Geeks challenge is a perfect fit for this blog. Dewey is asking everyone to talk about their favorite childhood books. As I've said before, I can't even remember a time when I wasn't reading. I read and still read all kinds of books, so narrowing down to a favorite is pretty difficult. However, there a few books and series that really stand out in my memory as ones that I adored.
The Poky Little Puppy
In my baby book, my mother wrote that this was my favorite book when I was a baby. She told me that I memorized the words and "read" it to myself when I was two. I should probably get a copy of this book for my daughter and see if she likes it as much as I did.
Moby Illustrated Classics
The first books that I remember having a huge influence on me were these tiny illustrated classics that were adapted for children. My Aunt Marian gave me a boxed set of 12 classic books when I was around eight years old, and I literally read them until the pages fell out. I remember being so proud to own my very own set of books. I can't seem to find a picture of them now, but they were about 6 inches long and square. My favorites included Black Beauty, Treasure Island, Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles, and the Prince and the Pauper. The way they were written was very approachable and digestible for children, and it helped me develop an appreciation for classic literature.
The Ramona Books by Beverly Cleary
Around the same time, my fourth grade teacher, Mr. Childress, who was also an avid reader introduced me to Beverly Cleary's Ramona books. I loved Ramona's antics and identified with Beezus because I also had a pesky little sister (and brother!) I read all of the books in the set over and over again.
The Fudge Books by Judy Blume
On a similar note, I also loved Judy Blume's Fudge series, beginning with Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Fudge cracked me up, and I used to read excerpts to my sister and brother. My own little brother got into lots of mischief just like Fudge, so I completely identified with poor Peter.
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
When I was nine or ten, my Grandma Daisy gave me the Anne of Green Gables boxed set. I LOVED these books so very much and read them over and over and over again. These timeless books are still very popular with girls today. Anne is the type of heroine that girls seem to identify with even though the books were written 100 years ago.
The Trixie Belden Series by Julie Campbell
Around that same time, a close family friend gave me a box full of Trixie Belden books she read when she was a child. I fell in love with the characters and always tried to solve the mysteries in the book. I still have these books today and plan on sharing them with my daughter when she gets older.
Flowers In The Attic by V.C. Andrews
When I was little older, I found Flowers in the Attic on my Grandma Daisy's bookshelf. Once I picked it up, I was drawn into the sick and twisted lives of the Dollganger family. I call the period of time between the ages of 12 and 16 "the dark years," because I got totally hooked on all of V.C. Andrews' haunting books along with those of Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I do have to warn you that these books are meant for older readers. I was always a bit mature for my age and got a kick out of the dark and twisted plots.
So, you see, I definitely read a variety of books, some that I wouldn't deem to be great works of literature. However, I always appreciated the fact that my mother always let me choose what I wanted to read and enabled me to discover books on my own. I felt a sense of freedom and great responsibility whenever I went to the library and was always excited about what I was going to read next.
What were some of YOUR favorite childhood books?