Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted at the Broke and the Bookish where we share our top ten bookish related things!
Sometimes I fall off of doing this meme because I have a hard time coming up with ten different books/authors/things for each topic. But when I woke up this morning and saw that today's topic was dedicated to the top ten books/authors/series that got us into reading or sparked our interest in our current favorite genres, I knew that I had to do it! I've been a lifelong reader, and I can still remember a lot of the books that really got my little mind turning in elementary school. Without further ado, here are the top ten books, authors, & series that were the foundation on which I built my love of reading!
1. Ramona Quimby series! I LOVED all of the books in the Ramona Quimby series, with Ramona the Pest specifically being my favorite. She is mischievous, and sassy, and I will never forget her pulling on poor Suzy's curls over and over and over again. Beverly Cleary also had some real gems like the Ralph S. Mouse series (it was a mouse on a motorcycle, what's not to love?), and the Henry Huggins series, but Ramona was my favorite.
2. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett. Honestly, I grew out of picture books very quickly (book snob alert!) but if someone was to ask me what my favorite one was, it would DEFINITELY be Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. The town of Chewandswallow (haha!) gets their food from the sky three times a day. Juice pours like rain, meatballs drop down like hail. AKA: It's a dream world. But then, the food gets bigger, and CRAY CRAY. !!!!! I forgot how awesome this book was. Like magical realism for babies.
3. Roald Dahl. This man freaked me out and had me excited at the same time. I think I was in 4th or 5th grade when I started reading his mildly twisted books. I don't even know if I can pick favorites! I know I loved Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Witches, James and the Giant Peach, and The Twits. All so beautiful and magical and crazy. He also has some interestingly titled adult books (Switch Bitch?!) but I have not forayed into them because I want to keep my childhood in tact.
4. Goosebumps by R.L. Stein. I ate these up like candy on Halloween night. I can't even tell you how many Goosebumps books I've read, and I don't remember being all that scared by them...but maybe I was a little bit. I just know that I adored them and read tons and tons of them. I also was obsessed with the videos (yes, I have Goosebumps 'episodes' on VHS!)
5. Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I actually just read an article not long ago about how this book/series is one of the most racist children's book of all time (I think due to it's depictions of Native American's?), but that can't stop my little elementary school heart from loving the trials and tribulations of life on the prairie. Little known fact: I actually LOVE history, specifically American, so I think this series sparked my love in that, too. This book took me places, and I even tried making molasses candy in the snow (gag). I also remember feeling very cozy when I read these books, and my family went camping a lot and I'd bring one of these along so I think that added to the nature side of these books.
6. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. Obviously I loved this book enough to get Harriet tattooed on my arm (above!). This book also sparked my interest in writing. Harriet is never found without her black and white composition notebook, where she scribbles observations and sometimes mean-spirited comments about her classmates (basically my high school diary). She also runs around her New York City neighborhood and observes her neighbors, too, and when her diary gets found, all of her thoughts are out in the world and she has to make it better. I love this story, and Harriet, even though she was a little bit sassy.
7. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. I feel like this series is a given for just about every book blogger out there. I started reading Harry Potter when I was ten (fitting, no?) and NEVER WENT BACK. Holy crap, I LOVED (and still do) HARRY POTTER! /end nerd moment. Seriously, I flew through these books, and waiting for the next one was always torturous. My fifth grade teacher even got into the Harry Potter spirit. She read the first book out loud to us, and in a lesson on how to use a phone book, there were special Harry Potter references, people, and places to look up IN THE PHONE BOOK OF MY TOWN. I still don't even know how that sorcery happened, but it blew my mind. Harry Potter really showed me how far books can take you, and how much it can enrich your mind and fill you with magic. Sigh. I need to reread all of these ASAP. I also need to have a baby so I can make them love Harry Potter ASAP, too (april fools!).
8. Dear America series. As mentioned above, I'm a little bit of a history nerd, the sinking of the Titanic being one of my (weirdly) favorite historical events. When I found out the Titanic sank on my birthday (April 15th!), I became obsessed with finding out everything I could about the ship, it's short voyage, and it's sinking. I even somehow managed to watch the movie when I was seven and embarrassingly asked my 2nd grade teacher some vocabulary from the movie that I was unfamiliar with ('one-legged prostitute' being one of them). This one about the Titanic was, of course, my favorite. But there are also some really amazing ones about other important parts of American history, all told from the perspective of a young girl.
9. The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I actually don't remember much about this series, other than it was about four orphaned children and their adventures living together. I just remember that I read quite a few books in this series and really enjoyed it as a child. I found a Boxcar book at a thrift store not long ago and naturally had to have it. I don't know if I'll collect them all again, but ya never know, considering my book buying habits.
10. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. Another dark, twisted set of books that I was obsessed with. My neighbor worked at the bookstore in the mall of my hometown, and one day I was delivering the Neighborhood Newspaper that I made up for the six houses on my street and she told me she had a book for me to read. It was the first book in this series, and I quickly fell in love with these three orphans and their evil uncle. This is another series I would love to revisit, because I remember it being super creepy and engaging.
Aww, now I'm feeling all nostalgic over Baby Me and how much of a little book nerd I used to be even then. I felt physically excited writing about some of these books, and a lot of memories attached to my reading of them started bubbling to the surface. I feel like I need to go read ALL OF THESE RIGHT NOW!!
This was so fun. What were some of your favorite childhood books? Which ones would you like to revisit?