Saturday, May 28, 2011

Girl Books

I have been cleaning a lot lately and getting rid of books I don't need, and it's nice to get some space on my bookshelves. Something I have been thinking about, as I come across my old childhood favorites, some of which I still have (ahem... the whole shelf of Little House books... ahem), is the library I want to build for Norah to read when she is between the ages of maybe 8 and 13, those years when I lived almost entirely in my imagination. I was thinking of my favorite books that I definitely want to have available for her to read. Here are the ones I have thought of so far:

My Side of the Mountain/George
Calico Captive/Speare
The Witch of Blackbird Pond/Speare
The Tillerman Family series/Voigt
The American Girls collection
The Little House series/Wilder
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn/Smith
Secret Garden/Burnett

That's all I have so far but I am sure there are more. What was on your Greatest Hits list when you were younger? Have you gone back and re-read any of them?


  1. Anne of Green Gables (and sequels)
    Chronicles of Narnia
    A Wrinkle in Time (and sequels)

    I still have copies of all of these and reread them every once in awhile.

    Another one you might want to stick on that list is A Little Princess (Burnett). It was one of my favorites growing up.

  2. Yes to Chronicles of Narnia! -- but also other Brit magic, from Mary Poppins (did you know there are several, not just one?) to most of E. Nesbit and from there connecting to her disciple Edward Eager (Half-Magic, Seven Day Magic, Magic By the Lake) but culminating in the summer I left magic for romantic fantasy: Gone With the Wind. Rite of southern passage. I think I was 11:

    Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind” because everyone should fall in love with a book as a child, to become a real book-lover for life. Power of story! Doesn’t really matter what quality the book is; what matters is the quality of the passion and attachment the child experiences. GWTW was my first real love affair with a work of romantic fiction, a book that took a whole summer to read and that I savored word for word like an epic poem, until its juices ran from my mouth and dripped down my chin. I don’t try to defend it intellectually or historically but I still bristle up just like a lover to hear it mocked or messed with. My best friend and I memorized most of it and quoted it to each other for years, like a secret language.

    For Meredith at that stage, it was To Kill a Mockingbird, all of Harry Potter and most of E.L. Konigsburg.

  3. Also remember Meredith enjoying Zilpha Keatley Snyder read aloud to each other, taking turns each chapter (Egypt Game, Gypsy Game, Headless Cupid, Witches of Worm)

  4. Definitely Secret Garden and A Little Princess. Those probably defined my life; I *was* Sara Crewe or Mary in my mind. hmm... I read many Nancy Drews when I was 8-10 though they were not quite my favorites; lots of baby sitter books -- I think I knew at age 10 that I could write better honestly. And I completely loved Little House books. I was just thinking about those the other day. Can't wait to read to Josie and Mary when they get bigger!!!

  5. oh and ditto to Anne of Green Gables. I still will read those time to time.