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Friday Favorite: Childhood Books

July 29th, 2011

There’s nothing like rereading books you loved as a child when you’re an adult. I was particularly fond of the Little House on the Prairie Series. My sister and I had a set and we read them so much they had to be taped back together many times. My sister actually still has the set and my nieces love to read them.

Last winter I got the Little House books from the library and really enjoyed rereading them. They’re just as engaging now as they were when I was 10. Last summer on our trip to Monticello we stopped at the Royal Oak Bookshop in Fort Royal, VA. It’s a wonderful little place with a great selection of used books. I was able to find almost the entire Little House Series in hardback, there was only 1 missing. I purchased the missing book used on-line this past winter and now I have a lovely set of one my favorite childhood series. This winter I’m planning on reading through them again.

I also loved The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe as a kid and the rest of that series (the Chronicles of Narnia). My sister and I also wore out the set of those as well. Five or six years ago I purchased this set as one big book in C.S. Lewis’s preferred reading order. I’ve read this series more as an adult, I even took a C.S. Lewis class in college. It is a wonderfully engaging series for kids and adults and I’m looking forward to reading through it as well this winter!

What books did you love as a kid? Have you ever reread any of them?

50 Comments to “Friday Favorite: Childhood Books”
  1. KimH on July 29, 2011 at 5:10 am

    Little House was my very most favorite series of books when I was young as well. I’ve not heard of the others you mentioned. I’ll have to check them out..
    I havent reread them in a long time but I’ve thought about it..
    I think its great that you have.. Gotta love it! ♥

    Reply to KimH's comment

  2. Sue Nugent on July 29, 2011 at 5:52 am

    I love books. I had approximately 1,500 to burn or be badly damaged in the house fire of 07. I had purchased a set of the Little House books for my 8 year old step daughter, in hopes that she would enjoy them. She did not care about reading.I have collected books for 33 years in hopes that the grandchildren would care about reading, but they do not. I have begun giving all my children’s book away.It is so painful to love books as I do, and have no one to share them with. Hopefully the little ones I gave them to, will enjoy them.

    Reply to Sue Nugent's comment

    • KimH on July 29, 2011 at 7:32 pm

      Sue.. I can so so so empathize with you.. It can be painful I moved 13 years ago & I had a wall to wall, ceiling to floor bookshelf that was about 9’x15′ full of books. I couldnt take them all with me so I had to pare them down.. I probably took half with me.. As I’ve said in several of my profiles.. Books were my first love and they’ll be my last as well.. ♥

      Reply to KimH's comment

  3. Toni on July 29, 2011 at 6:37 am

    I loved the Little House books, too. Any time I hear the word “timberwolf” I think of those books! Another book that I read over and over was My Side of the Mountain. It just sounded like so much fun to live in a tree in the forest, and it definitely helped pique my interest in foraging for food.

    Reply to Toni's comment

  4. B ryan N. on July 29, 2011 at 6:39 am

    I too had the Little House series when I was a kid they had been read so many times they had fallen apart.I think reading them has been part of the reason I try to live a more simple life and stay away from alot of the modern ways of doing things.Now that I have kids of my own I should buy them the series and see if they would enjoy them as much as I did. Thanks for the reminder I had actually kind of put them in the back of my memory somewhere.

    Reply to B ryan N.'s comment

  5. Kathi on July 29, 2011 at 6:49 am

    My girls loved the Little House Series as children. I also read Anne of Green Gables to them and that was another favorite.Sometimes I think it is better to read aloud to children the books you wish them to appreciate.They usually can think at a higher level than their reading ability. Many think reading aloud is only for very young children, but I think it is especially wonderful when they are a little older. I work in an elementary school and am exposed to children’s literature. During the summer I love to read contemporary children’s books. I also browse the library YA section to see what the schools are requiring for summer reading.

    Reply to Kathi's comment

    • Lee on July 29, 2011 at 10:19 am

      Kathi, I think you’re very right about reading aloud. We also have audio books playing a lot when we’re cleaning the house or getting ready in the morning.

      Reply to Lee's comment

  6. kristin @ going country on July 29, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Yup, I still have my Little House series from childhood, and still read them. Also “A Girl of the Limberlost,” “Caddie Woodlawn,” “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” . . . I re-read a lot of books for kids. It’s soothing and requires no brain power. Probably not so good for my atrophying brain, actually.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  7. Lisa on July 29, 2011 at 7:40 am

    I have never read the Little House books, and I can’t remember ever seeing them in the library. Maybe because I’m in Australia? I loved Ruth Park’s Muddle Headed Wombat series and Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree series.

    Reply to Lisa's comment

  8. Melissa on July 29, 2011 at 8:06 am

    I loved the little house series! I also remember loving to read missionary biographies, maybe that’s where my travel bug comes from!

    Reply to Melissa's comment

    • Susy on July 29, 2011 at 8:15 am

      Have you read The Savage My Kinsman – it’s Elizabeth Elliot’s story and how she traveled back to live and work with the tribe of indians that killed her husband.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • KimH on July 29, 2011 at 7:34 pm

        wow… sounds like a good read…

        to KimH's comment

  9. Allison on July 29, 2011 at 8:15 am

    I loved both. However, if you read the Little House books, you have to read The Wilder Life. It just came out recently, and it’s about a woman who visits all of the Little House sites, and who tries to live like Laura, etc. It’s really funny.

    Reply to Allison's comment

  10. Erika on July 29, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I absolutely love these books. We have worn ours out as well. Everytime I find one at a yard sale or library book sale I grab it. We are on our 4th copy of Little House in the Big Woods. The only one that is still the original is Farmer Boy.

    We saw a Curious George book the other day at the library and my teens and I laughed remembering reading it when they were little. It made us remember the Babar series about the elephant city. The libarian didn’t know what we were talking about sadly.


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  11. Kathy on July 29, 2011 at 9:11 am

    I loved the 2 series you mentioned, but my all-time favorite as a child was Charlotte’s Web.

    Reply to Kathy's comment

  12. Gabe on July 29, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Loved the Little House books! I read the first one in second grade and was hooked after that. I think that kindled some of the live-off-the-land spirit that sticks with me to this day. Toni, I also really enjoyed My Side of the Mountain, though I read The Far Side of the Mountain first… oops. Where the Red Fern Grows was probably one of my favorite favorites, and I read the Narnia series many times too, which probably started me down the path that led to my wife’s favorite, Lord of the Rings :)

    Reply to Gabe's comment

    • Susy on July 29, 2011 at 9:24 am

      Mr Chiots is a HUGE Lord of the Rings fan, he’s read many of the other books associated with it as well.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  13. Daedre Craig on July 29, 2011 at 9:24 am

    I loved Hatchet and other adventure/survival books!

    Reply to Daedre Craig's comment

  14. Diane on July 29, 2011 at 9:33 am

    The Secret Garden. Not a series, but long enough to almost qualify.

    Reply to Diane's comment

    • Susy on July 29, 2011 at 9:35 am

      I too LOVED this book, I remember reading it over and over again!

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • KimH on July 29, 2011 at 7:35 pm

        Meee too! Loved it!

        to KimH's comment

  15. Wendy on July 29, 2011 at 9:53 am

    What a great find–the Little House books are certainly some of my favorite childhood books. I still prefer reading children’s literature to most “adult” fare. Some of my childhood favorites: the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace and The Saturdays (and other books) by Elizabeth Enright.

    Reply to Wendy's comment

    • Kathi on July 29, 2011 at 6:18 pm

      My daughters and I also LOVED the Betsy-Tacy series. I have such great memories of reading them aloud and laughing and crying much of the time. My daughter were 6 years apart and both enjoyed them equally.Most people I recommend them to have never heard of them.

      Reply to Kathi's comment

      • Karen on July 29, 2011 at 10:04 pm

        OMG. Yes! One of my favorite series. Of course back when I was a kid series were not as common as they are now. I still love series books because I hate to give up my favorite characters.

        to Karen's comment

  16. Allison on July 29, 2011 at 9:56 am

    I loved the Little House series too, but my favorite was the ‘Thoroughbred’ Series by Joanna Campbell. I have loved horses for as long as I can remember and this series stole my heart! I lived vicariously through these books :)

    Reply to Allison's comment

    • Susy on July 29, 2011 at 10:19 am

      I’ll have to make sure my niece knows about this series as she too is a horse lover.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  17. MAYBELLINE on July 29, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I did not enjoy reading as a kid.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  18. Kay on July 29, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Thanks for reminding me of the Little House books–I adored them! I also loved and anything by Roald Dahl.

    Reply to Kay's comment

  19. Martrese on July 29, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Never read Little House. “Wrinkle in Time” was a favorite, and Black Beauty. (I’m still a “horsey girl.”) I was recently thinking of getting “Wrinkle” for my niece and I should re-read it before turning it over.

    Reply to Martrese's comment

    • Candie on July 29, 2011 at 7:49 pm

      “Wrinkle in Time” was and still is my favorite book! I have read it and the other books in that series ssooo many times. I have read just about everything Madeleine L’Engle ever wrote!

      Reply to Candie's comment

  20. Kay on July 29, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Sorry, I don’t know what happened to that last post: Island of the Blue Dolphins.

    Reply to Kay's comment

  21. Michelle on July 29, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I loved the Little House books…I read them over and over as well. I also read Charlotte’s Web many times…love that book…still do, to this day!

    Reply to Michelle's comment

  22. Jerilee Costa on July 29, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I didn’t read much as a kid. But as an adult I’ve enjoyed read much more. I’ve been “catching up” the last few years, reading those kids books everyone else did as a kid. I especially liked “The Last Unicorn” by Beagle. I watched the movie as a kid at my grandparents house a lot.

    Reply to Jerilee Costa's comment

  23. Cassandra on July 29, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I never read these but I did love the tv show. I read all of the Trixie Belden books and they are so good! I also loved the Anne of Green Gable series.

    Reply to Cassandra's comment

    • Susy on July 29, 2011 at 11:57 am

      Trixie Belden – I’d completely forgotten about those – really enjoyed those – and Ramona Quimby and Ralph the Mouse. I should add all of these to my library requests for the winter.

      Reply to Susy's comment

    • Diane on July 29, 2011 at 7:58 pm

      I read the Trixie Belden series, too, and can remember one Christmas when I got two or three of them at once. Maybe that’s why I’m still hooked on mysteries.

      Reply to Diane's comment

  24. Julie on July 29, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I also loved the Little House books, and have now re-read some of them with my daughter. (One of the bonuses of homeschooling!) We are also reading The Little Princess and recently finished reading The Secret Garden — two of my childhood favorites, both by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

    Reply to Julie's comment

  25. goatpod2 on July 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    I have re-read lots of different children books and still read them as an adult. I loved the Little House on the Prairie books which we just recently purchased the whole series via and loved the C.S. Lewis books as well.

    I also loved Amelia Bedelia books, Dr. Seuss, and Ramona books. I love reading Amish type books now as an adult too.


    Reply to goatpod2's comment

  26. Sincerely, Emily on July 29, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    After reading all these comments I realize that I wasn’t a big reader growing up. There is one children’s series that I have started reading recently. It is the “Thoroughbred” series by Joanna Campbell. I stumbled across it at the library in the used book sale area. My nieces like horse and it is a great series for them to enjoy. There are 72 books in the series and I am enjoying it as much as they are. Emily

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment

  27. blake on July 29, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    I just re-read the LHOP series, which was beloved from my childhood. Amazed at how much I didn’t remember, and which books I loved more this time around (Farmer Boy, esp)! It was such a riveting, delightful re-read. Your post brought a smile to my face :)

    Reply to blake's comment

    • Susy on July 29, 2011 at 7:16 pm

      I too loved Farmer Boy a lot this time around – don’t remember liking it quite as much when I was little.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  28. Kat on July 29, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    I loved both LHOTP and Narnia growing up!

    To add to the list, along with a few others that other people above cited: Caddie Woodlawn, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, Doctor Doolitle series, Amelia Bedelia series, A Wrinkle in Time series, Hatchet, The Secret Garden, Charlotte’s Web, James and the Giant Peach, Harry Potter series, His Dark Materials series, American Girls series, anything by Judy Blume, Holes…

    Don’t even get me started on picture books. I’m a teacher, so I reread all the above books and many more all the time, whether I am in the class reading to my students or in my own free time.

    I agree that a good children’s book always seems to be so much more relaxing than most of the adult fiction out there. After a long and crazy day, it is much easier to curl up and read an old favorite so my brain can relax than a lot of the good quality adult fiction available.

    Reply to Kat's comment

  29. KimH on July 29, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    I loved Pipi Longstockings too.. LOL I could sooo imagine being her.. Hair sticking out in all directions, adventurous and independent with no adults in sight… Yep.. sounds just like me.. ;)

    I also loved Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boy series. My third grade teacher always read them to us after lunch, probably to get us to chill out after lunch playground I loved them!!

    Reply to KimH's comment

  30. Candie on July 29, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    I have a collection of Tom Swift books. They were my dads when he was a kid and I love them. They are fun stories and I don’t have to think to much when reading them lol they are just good fun and interesting!

    Reply to Candie's comment

  31. Kim D on July 29, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Watership Down… discovered it in elementary school and still re-read it once a year. Such a gem!

    Reply to Kim D's comment

  32. Kim D on July 29, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    And Beatrix Potter!

    Reply to Kim D's comment

  33. Patricia on July 29, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    How funny! Tonight, I just finished reading By the Shores of Silver Lake to my two daughters, ages 6 and 9. We start The Long Winter tomorrow. I have really been enjoying revisiting the series. It was one of my favorites as a kid. I absolutely agree that reading aloud, especially to your older children, is so important. It’s my favorite part of the day, reading to them. I love many of the books already mentioned: the C.S. Lewis books, the Roald Dahl books (especially The BFG and Danny: The Champion of the World), A Wrinkle in Time, and Where the Red Fern Grows. I’ll also add The Black Stallion series and the Nancy Drew series to my list of childhood favorites. But my literary heroes remainTolkien and now Rowling.

    Reply to Patricia's comment

  34. Beegirl on July 29, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    I still have both of my sets too ..Little House and Narnia. How funny! Guess I need to pull them out again? I dont know what it is, but Virginia has the best used book stores. Loved to frequent the ones in Charlottesville when we lived there and miss them very much now..

    Reply to Beegirl's comment

  35. Karen on July 29, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    I think I have read just about all the books listed in the comments. Except perhaps the horse ones. I often avoided the horse books because the theme seemed to be that somehow the horse got hurt or died in order to serve the moral of the story. That always made me soooo sad, I started avoiding horse stories.

    Little Women, Nancy Drew, The Borrowers, Pippi Longstockings, Island of the Blue Dolphin… Heinlein’s science fiction series although written with teen boys in mind made me a lifelong scifi addict – “Have Space Suit – Will Travel”

    I couldn’t count how many times I’ve read Little Women, Little Men and Jo’s Boys, the Betsy-Tacy-Tibb stories, or the Heinlein scifi. Almost all my faves were read to my daughters and luckily they became avid readers too.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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