Best kids’ books, ever

I read a great article by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times a while back (thanks to the magically wonderful iPhone, I occasionally get to do adult things like read the NYT) about getting kids to read during summer break. That was never a problem for me. I LOVED to read and never turned down a trip to the library. I would come home each time with a big stack of books and wrestle with the delicious dilemma of which one to read first. To this day, when I have a stack of fresh reading material in front of me, I get this happy and excited feeling, like a kid in a candy store!

Here are some of my favorite books from when I was growing up (and a few more recent than that).

  1. The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling. This might be my all-time favorite series of books.
  2. Old Yeller, by Fred Gipson. I was SO SAD when I realized what was going to happen to Old Yeller. Made me scared to death of “hydrophobia.”
  3. Anything by Richard Scarry, especially  Cars and Trucks and Things that Go. My favorite thing about his books was searching for Goldbug on each page. Kind of like the 1970s version of Where’s Waldo.
  4. The Great Brain series, by John Fitzgerald, especially The Great Brain at the Academy. I first found a copy that belonged to my older cousin at my Grandma’s house. I read them over and over again.
  5. Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson. Sniffle.
  6. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle. This was probably my introduction to sci-fi.
  7. James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl. I, too, wanted to escape my troubles and live in a giant rolling peach with some caring, loving bug friends.
  8. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl. Another favorite escapist fantasy.
  9. Bunnicula, by Deborah and James Howe. Find out why all the vegetables in the crisper lose their color at night! It couldn’t be a vampire bunny, could it?
  10. Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh.
  11. The Root Cellar, by Janet Lunn. Historical time travel.
  12. The Boxcar Children series, by Gertrude Chandler Warner.
  13. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, by Robert C. O’Brien.
  14. The Girl with the Silver Eyes, by Willo Davis Roberts. The main character, Katie, has the power of telekinesis, and is on the run from some very bad people.
  15. The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin. A fascinating murder mystery, concerning the will of George Westing. Who will solve the puzzle and claim the inheritance?
  16. Strawberry Girl, by Lois Lenski. I loved the illustrations and it took me forever to figure out that “biddies” referred to chickens.
  17. The Little House series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Because I’m a girl, yo.
  18. And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, by Dr. Seuss. My favorite Dr. Seuss book ever!


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