Looking back and feeling nostalgic about things is apparently a natural part of aging. How many of us find ourselves looking back on things we loved in our younger years? A favorite song… a band you were crazy about back in the day… a special place that has personal meaning to you. Memories are sweet, indeed, and I often find myself reminiscing about those long ago days, with a smile on my face, as I recall things that made me happy as a child. As a lifelong bookworm, it’s only natural that those memories often include beloved books I read back then.
Here are five of my favorite childhood reads.
5. The Nancy Drew Mysteries by Carolyn Keene
The first mystery I ever read was one of the Nancy Drew mysteries. I read (and reread) the series all throughout my elementary school years. I credit Nancy Drew with my love of mysteries. I never managed to figure out ‘whodunnit’… I suppose I wasn’t quite as clever as Nancy. 😉
4. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
This is the first book I ever read with a Native American protagonist. When I learned it was based on a true story, my interest in Native American cultures and history began, so this was an important book that helped shape (in part) the person I became.
3. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Reading this book is akin to a rite of passage for pre-teen girls. (Or it was when I was a kid, at least.) I identified with Margaret in so many ways. Reading about a girl my age who was just as confused and insecure as I was made life a little more bearable.
2. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Delightful, imaginative, always dreaming “Anne with an E” was easy to fall in love with when I was a little girl. I wanted to be Anne, or at least have a best friend like her. Anne Shirley taught me about kindred spirits, imagination is important, and that it’s perfectly fine to use big words when you need them.
1. Little House Collection by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Nothing takes me right back to my childhood like the Little House books. More than any other, these are the books responsible for my love of historical settings. I loved the illustrations as much as the stories themselves, and I spent countless happy hours reading about the Ingalls family and their many travels.
One of the greatest simple pleasures in my life is reading. In one way or another, all of these books helped shape the reader I was to become. What were some of your favorite reads as a child? Does your list include any of the books I’ve mentioned?
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