Happy Top Ten Tuesday!
I revisit my favorite books from my childhood and adolescence regularly. I read the Lord of the Rings every year for 10 years between the ages of 11-21. I can't count the number of times I've read A Wrinkle in Time, all the Harry Potter books, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books, and all the major works of L.M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, and Jane Austen. My Chronicles of Narnia books are all literally falling apart (except for the last book, which is in near perfect condition and I pretend doesn't exist).
So...here are some of my perhaps lesser favorites that I *probably* haven't read since childhood, but still really liked and would return to.
1. The Borrowers by Mary Norton
I will never forget when my third grade teacher read this aloud to the class. Looking back, there were definitely some spotty bits with "Old Madeira" that I never questioned then, but whoa, that was kinda adult for third grade.
2. Matilda by Roald Dahl
My dad and I both remember getting out paper and pencil to solve that math problem that Matilda's dad is teaching her older brother, and Matilda does the calculation in, like, a minute.
3. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
I read this in high school for a modern fantasy class, and I remember not being really into it, but then I liked the sequels a lot, so I should probably go back.
4. Marathon Miranda by Elizabeth Winthrop
I'm sure no one else read this ever, but I was really into the story of an asthmatic girl living in New York City, mostly because I was unfamiliar with either of those experiences. Wonder if it would hold up.
5. The Watcher by James Howe
I really related to this book, even though it was kind of abstract and distant. I should probably examine why.
6. Dancing on the Edge by Han Nolan
Another book about a teenager whose life I could not relate to at all. She's raised by a grandmother who's a psychic medium, and...it's really compellingly weird, but also deep and painful in ways that are more popular in contemporary YA fiction (this was a 1997 National Book Award winner, according to my copy).
7. The Farthest Away Mountain by Lynne Reid Banks
I was really obsessed with this cute, quirky fairytale, and it's still one of the only books I've read featuring gargoyles as significant characters. I just didn't re-read it as much as some other books.
8. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
The cover shows signs of ample wear, though I haven't read it in several years. As far as I'm concerned, this is still the best Cinderella re-telling of all time (I still have not, and will not, see the movie).
9. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Probably the only reason I haven't re-read this in many years is that I long ago lost my copy, but still keep hoping it will turn up (I still have The Long Secret on my shelf). Harriet the Spy was an incredibly formative book for me, and Harriet's goal to "know everything" is still my dream.
10. Knight's Castle by Edward Eager
I read this before I read Ivanhoe, and while it's an utterly charming book, I'm still not sure why children between the ages of eight and thirteen were reading Ivanhoe. I know I read it more than once, but my cover looks pretty intact, so I can give it another go!