Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Childhood Favorites

By Rose

I've always loved reading. I was that kid that woke up super super early so I could read for 2 hours before I had to go to school. I still remember attempting to walk around the house and do chores while reading. It didn't work too well. At 2 years old, I used to sit by myself in a corner with my mother's Glamour magazine and read myself a story. (She eventually had to take Glamour away because she was worried about the content). Was I born to be a bookworm? Yes, I was.
The books that I read as a kid are what made me love reading so much as an adult. I've always been a bit obsessive over whatever book/TV show/movie/music I happen to be into at a particular time. There are certain books- Bridge to Terabithia, Anne of Green Gables, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH- that I remember reading over and over. These are still some of the best books I've ever read. There's something magical about books when you're a kid.

I guess you think you know this story.
You don’t. The real one’s much more gory.
The phoney one, the one you know,
Was cooked up years and years ago. . . .

With his famous wicked humor and the cunning of a big bad wolf, master storyteller and satirist Roald Dahl retells his six favorite fairy tales. Get ready for Dahl’s diabolical version of what really happened to Cinderella, Goldilocks, the Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, and Little Red Riding Hood. -from

This book greatly influenced me as a child. I actually taped my performances from it on

the tape player I got for my 10th birthday. For ages 7 +.

All summer, Jess pushed himself to be the fastest boy in the fifth grade, and when the year's first school-yard race was run, he was going to win.But his victory was stolen by a newcomer, by a girl, one who didn't even know enough to stay on the girls' side of the playground. Then, unexpectedly, Jess finds himself sticking up for Leslie, for the girl who breaks rules and wins races. The friendship between the two grows as Jess guides the city girl through the pitfalls of life in their small, rural town, and Leslie draws him into the world of imaginations world of magic and ceremony called Terabithia. Here, Leslie and Jess rule supreme among the oaks and evergreens, safe from the bullies and ridicule of the mundane world. Safe until an unforeseen tragedy forces Jess to reign in Terabithia alone, and both worlds are forever changed.

In this poignant, beautifully rendered novel, Katherine Paterson weaves a powerful story of friendship and courage.


This was my favorite book of the 5th grade. I read it over and over. I always was a

sucker for books that make you cry. For ages 10+.

Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, is faced with a terrible problem. She must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma. And Mrs. Frisby in turn renders them a great service. -from

I found this book completely fascinating. The idea of these highly intelligent rats

and their secret underground world will draw in any kid. Good for ages 8-12.

"Well, first of all, " said the BFG, "human beans is not really believing in giants, is they? Human beans is not thinking we exist."

Sophie discovers that giants not only exist, but that there are a great many of them who like to guzzle and swallomp nice little chiddlers. But not the Big Friendly Giant. He and Sophie cook up an ingenious plot to free the world of troggle-humping -- forever. -from

I actually did a book report on this book in 4th grade, where I brought my clarinet in and played in class. The BFG had a horn that he played, and I used my clarinet to represent that. This book is really funny and strange. Great for ages 8-11.

Father is missing! His top secret job as a physicist for the government has taken him away—but where?—and how? Meg and her younger brother, Charles Wallace, set out with their friend Calvin on an exciting adventure through time and space to search for him. With the help of the mysterious Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, the youngsters learn to expect the unexpected as they move in the fifth dimension known as the "tesseract".

With this award-winning story, Madeline L'Engle has captivated millions of readers throughout the world. Her universal themes of courage, perseverance, and love are interwoven with imagination and suspense. A Wrinkle in Time, published in 1962, won the distinguished Newbery Medal for children's literature in 1963. -from

Wow, I loved this book. In fact, the whole series. I found the idea that actual science was behind these stories obsession-worthy. This is the first in the series, although my very favorite was A Wind in the Door, where they talk about mitochondria. Just read it, you won't regret it. For ages 9+.


  1. Great list!!! You brought back many a memory from my own childhood!

  2. "mrs. frisby & the rats of nimh" was one of my favorites. i used to have marathon reads where i'd read it in one day. obsessed!

  3. Rose, these are really great reviews. These books weren't in print when I was a girl, so it's good to learn about them.

  4. I think you should do a review for the phantom tollbooth, i just read it because i got it free though Big Brother Big Sister and it is amazing. you should also do that book thats about the mouse that gets stuck up in the tree during the storm and is illustrated by the same guy who illustrates for roald dahl. im trying to get my little to read the madeline l'ingle books because they are amazing, she got them free from big brother big sister but i dont think she has read them yet. also, i still think you should read and review the percy jackson books because they are really popular with youth right now and i really enjoyed them. im going to be reading the first egyptian myth based books by the same author and ill let you know if its good or not.

  5. Thanks everyone for all your comments! Holly- how would you like to do a review of Percy Jackson for us? I started it and just couldn't get into it, so I don't forsee myself reading it anytime soon. And is the book you're talking about with the mouse up the tree called Abel's Island? It's actually not illustrated by Quentin Blake. William Steig is the author and illustrator of that one, although they have a similar style. I remember you being really into that book.