Sunday, January 31, 2010

List # 2 of the 52 Lists

List # 2:
Favorite Books of My Childhood

1. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
2. Mandy by Julie Edwards (you may also know her as Julie Andrews. Yes, that Julie Andrews)
3. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
4. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis
5. The Girl from the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter
6. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
7. Heidi by Joanna Spyri
8. The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett
9. A Little Princess by Francis Hodgson Burnett
10. The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
11. Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrre Brink
12. The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O Dell
13. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
14. Charlotte's Web by EB White
15. The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

What are the books that shaped you? What books did you read again and again and hate to put down at dinner or bed time? Who were the characters you wished you could be, that you loved like friends, that you knew and knew you?
These are mine.
I love them still. I have read them all more than once. Many more times than once.
These books are my friends.

They are books I still love today. When I read them now, it is clear to me now why I loved them so. Many are about brave, strong, interesting, creative girls. Just the kind of girl I longed to be. Others are about boys or girls who loved nature, the outdoors and adventure. Oh how I longed for those things too. They are stories of magic and dreams, kindness and love. They are beautiful. All of them.

Some I have in my own library. Like this copy of Heidi. It was a Christmas gift, given to me by my Mom and Dad, when I was 8 or 9 and is one of my most treasured books.

I proudly wrote my name, in grade school cursive, on the front page.

The illustrations are beautiful and I always dreamed of the day I would one day go to Switzerland and walk the alpine trails like Heidi and Peter.
When I did, it was even more beautiful than I imagined it would be.

Books give us dreams. They help us go places we've never been.

Another favorite from my library is Mandy. It is a sweet, sweet story of a little girl, an orphan, who longs for a place of her own.

She finds this cottage in the woods and tends the garden, washes the windows, makes a fire in the fireplace and has tea.
How many times did I dream of finding my own cottage in the woods?

It was written by Julie Andrews, for her daughter, and she knows just what is in a girl's heart. It is a very lovely story of finding a place to belong.
I cry every single time I read it.

Many of these books have girls as the main character. But don't let that stop you from reading them to your boys. I just read Heidi to James and he really enjoyed it. We started Mandy yesterday and he likes it too. Beyond the story itself, I like my boys to have good examples of good girls. Girls who have more going on than a pretty face.

There are others too. Like My Side of the Mountain, an all time favorite. When you read it, you will want to move to the forest and build a house in a tree, just like Sam Gribly.
And The Yearling. Oh, that book. I could go on and on. I cry every time I read that book, too. A lot. The Yearling deserves its own blog post.

And you deserve to be introduced to some of the best books around. If you haven't read some of these, you should. You really, really should. Don't wait to read it with your child or grandchild, read it yourself.

And tell me if you do. Or if you have already. I love a good book talk.

Also, how are your lists coming? I'd love to hear more of your topics--I know there are some good ones out there.
Send them on over!


Johnna said...

Greta~ I love this post and it brought a tear to my eyes. I missed out when I was a child...literary neglect I tell ya! To be homeschooled...what a privilage. I now own all but five you listed and that will soon change:) We love homeschooling and our books. I don't want to miss any stories and I see myself reading aloud or being read to until our children reach adulthood!

Shannon said...

I love all those books you listed! (Except for "Mandy" - I don't think I ever read that one.) I totally forgot about "Caddie Woodlawn". Thanks for this post; it brought back some great book memories.

I also really liked "Hatchet." I think it would be a great one for your little men. The main character is a boy, but the thought of surviving alone in the Canadian wilderness was so romantic to me. Of course, now that I am older and wiser, the thought of trying to survive isn't nearly as romantic. :P

Lillian said...

I have read 10 of the 15 you have listed here. All but the Little House on the Prairie series, as an adult. I too have many books that are my friends and have read them over many times. I know that you would love the trilogy I read last summer. The Trees, The Fields, and The Town. See if you can find them in your travels.