Saturday, June 23, 2007

My Favorite Books from Childhood

Recently a favorite forum of mine included a discussion of favorite childhood books. Many responded with titles I loved: The Hobbit, Black Beauty, and the Walter Farley Stallion series. Laura Ingalls Wilder's wonderful books, Little Women, and more topped the lists.

A few of my own favorites were older and harder to come by, but if you ever get a chance, check them out:

Fly By Night was a wonderful British novel about a young girl who wants a pony SO badly she will do anything to get one. She does, in fact, find a stubborn little creature she calls FlybyNight ("Fly," for short), who proves more work than she ever imagined. But the rainy bike-rides delivering papers and sacrifice make her stronger. And though training and affording Fly is often painful and difficult, her love for him becomes stronger because of the struggle. Probably the most realistic book about horsey girls I read. I had a horse myself and lost her for economic reasons. This book was very close to my heart.

I discovered this book by way of my Nana, who loved it when she was little. A gift one Christmas, it came to me with a shamrock-green cover and quickly won my heart. The adventures of the Pepper children and their hard-working mom during difficult times was a harsher, slightly more Dickensian than the more-widely known Prairie books by Ingalls Wilder.

A little closer to my own peers' lists, Island of the Blue Dolphin was one of the first books I read as a child with American Indians as central characters without "white" intervention and cultural stamping. A rich, unique, and simply gorgeous bildingsroman. Plus kids like yours truly, obsessed with critters, will totally love the wolves!

This is really an endorsement of the entire Harper Hall Trilogy by Anne McCaffery, but Dragonsinger is a great stand-alone. It was the first contemporarily written (then) fantasy novel I'd ever read, and it had me from the first line. Dealing with everything from free speech to domestic abuse, it is surprisingly light and rich reading considering... and just delightfully packed with little dragons!

1 comments ]:[ Add your comment:

Dayna_Hart said...

I remember the Peppers...
I love kids books. I always wonder if the authors knew how much of a lasting impression they'd have. I'm not sure I'm up for that kind of pressure...

oh! I came by to tag you, too :)
Details are on my blog, ( but I blame Tawny Taylor (and Jax and Kristen). You can too :)

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