Favorite Childhood Books: GreatNewBooks Team Post

For fun, the ten of us on the GNB team — Lindsey Mead, Nina Badzin, Jess Vealitzek, Hallie Sawyer, Stacey Loscalzo, Katie Noah Gibson, Julia Munroe Martin, Jessica Flaxman, Pamela Hunt Cloyd, and Jennifer King — thought we would enjoy opening up the conversation of Favorite Childhood Books to share here at GreatNewBooks.org with you!

We worked hard to each try and pick our favorite book from growing up. Between the ten of us, these are our Favorite Childhood Books …

 

FAVORITE CHILDHOOD BOOKS

Lindsey’s pick: 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle In Time – this book is not just my childhood favorite but among my very favorite novels, ever.  I love the story about imagination and science, family and loyalty, adventure and the great big universe.  I love the Mrs Who/Mrs. Whatsit/Mrs Which characters, who call on us to expand our senses of what is “real,” and the liberal use of quotes from other books.  I love the strong girl character in Meg Murry and the smart working mother character.  I love the intelligent and “strange” character of Charles Wallace and the way that L’Engle insists that we value people for who they are not just how they appear.  I love this book and have read it four times.  Both of my children loved it too.

Read more from Lindsey by clicking here.

Lindsey can also be found on Twitter @lemead.

 

Nina’s pick: 

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

 

THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett

 

The Secret Garden has always been one of my favorite stories, both in the novel and musical forms. I love watching so many hearts in the story soften, but most of all Mary’s, her uncle’s, and her cousin Colin’s, who both change the most from start to finish. It’s a story of making a foreign place into your home, making strangers into family, and getting a second chance in life.

Read more from Nina by clicking here.

Nina can also be found on Twitter @ninabadzin.

 

Jess’s pick: 

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

 

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES by L. M. Montgomery

 

Anne of Green Gables — I have several favorite childhood books, but this one cemented my desire to be a writer. I not only wanted to be Anne Shirley, I wanted to be able to write her as L.M. Montgomery did. Anne’s optimism, honesty, and idealism were welcome companions of mine and I will be forever grateful that Montgomery gave me this gift.

Read more from Jess by clicking here.

Jess can also be found on Twitter @jessvealitzek.

 

Hallie’s pick:

Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel

 

TIKKI TIKKI TEMBO by Arlene Mosel

 

Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel. I requested this story for as long as I can remember, primarily because of the way my father read it to me. This is a recreation of an ancient Chinese folktale about two brothers, one with an unfortunately very long name. My favorite thing about this book is how many times my father had to read Tikki Tikki Tembo’s full name: Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo! When I got old enough, I loved reading it over and over, proud that I could finally recite his name from memory.

Read more by Hallie by clicking here.

Hallie can also be found on Twitter @hallie_sawyer.

 

Stacey’s pick: 

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little House on the Prairie. My parents read to me every night before I went to sleep for years and the Little House series is what I often think of when memories of those times come back to me. Interestingly, when I tried to read the books to my girls, the stories weren’t at all what I remembered. I remember tales of family and siblings and mean classmates and none of the description and setting that fills the pages of the books. This experience always makes me thinking about the reading aloud experience is so much more than just the book. It is the tradition and the relationship that is formed during the reading.

Read more about Stacey by clicking here.

Stacey can also be found on Twitter @staceyloscalzo.

 

Pamela’s pick: 

The Curse of the Blue Figurine by John Bellairs

THE CURSE OF THE BLUE FIGURINE by John Bellairs

All of John Bellairs’ children’s books took place in the 1950’s. Johnny Dixon’s father was off in the Korean War, his mother was dead, and he lived with his grandparents in a cold New Hampshire town. And yet, these were the coziest books of my childhood. Johnny’s best friend was a professor who baked chocolate cake, his grandparents took him for walks and told him stories of his town’s strange history, and the haunted mysteries Johnny always became entangled in always ended in a yellow kitchen at midnight. I used to read and reread The Curse of the Blue Figurine under the covers with a flashlight and a small pile of M&Ms. The Edward Gorey illustrations were a big part of the magic of these books, the pen and ink drawings both comforting and eerie. A few months ago, I found one of John Bellairs’ books at the library and was about to get it for my son. But the illustrations had changed and weren’t by Gorey so I put the book back.

Read more from Pamela by clicking here.

Cathy can also be found on Twitter @pamelahuntcloyd.

 

Katie’s pick: 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott

 

I first read Little Women when I was about seven years old and fell totally in love with the story of the March girls. I identified with both Meg (as an oldest child) and Jo (as an avid reader and writer), but I adored the entire family and their adventures. I’ve reread it many times and also visited Louisa May Alcott’s home in Concord, Mass., near where I live.

Read more from Katie by clicking here.

Katie can also be found on Twitter @katiengibson.

 

Julia’s pick: 

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

 

HARRIET THE SPY by Louise Fitzhugh

 

I have so many favorites — I was a book-a-day-reader until I went to college. But if I pick just one, it would have to be Harriet the Spy. I was a truth teller like Harriet was. And it caused me problems, just like for Harriet. When I went to camp in fifth grade, I kept a journal about the girls in my cabin, hidden under my bunk. One day, another girl found it and after that I was given the cold shoulder. It wasn’t that I’d written anything so awful (observations about friendships mostly), but I think the other girls felt like I had noticed a little too much. In truth, looking back, those notes were some of my earliest writerly observations.

Read more from Julia by clicking here.

Julia can also be found on Twitter @jmunroemartin.

 

Jessica F’s pick: 

East of the Sun and West of the Moon by Kay Nielsen

EAST OF THE SUN, WEST OF THE MOON by Kay Nielsen

 

As a child, I loved fairy tales from all nations and creeds. My favorite book was Kay Nielsen’s East of the Sun, West of the Moon. The art deco illustrations are absolutely beautiful and the “stories from the north” are infused with magic and wit. When I watched the movie “Frozen” with my kids, I remembered how snow, romance and magic were married in my imagination long ago through Kay Nielsen’s nordic fairy tale collection. For a summary of my favorite of the fairy tales, a version of the better known Beauty and the Beast, visit http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/eastsunwestmoon/.

Read more from Jessica by clicking here.

Jessica can also be found on Twitter @msflaxman.

 

Jennifer’s pick: 

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

 

WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS by Wilson Rawls

 

So many books I loved and read over and over growing up: Anne of Green Gables, Black Beauty, Robinson Crusoe, Heidi, The Westing Game. There is one, though, I remember exactly how I felt when I read it: Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. This is the title that has never left my mind, the book that held me and brought me places. I grew up in Texas and Arkansas, and always have loved animals. I think this is one of the books that met me where I was at and captured my heart.

Read more from Jennifer by clicking here.

She can also be found on Twitter @JenniferLynKing.

 

At GNB, we’re delighted to say we’ve recommended more than 150 books we think you’ll love to read here on our site. Please browse our archives and find a few books to add to your to-read stack. And subscribe (on the right sidebar) to our weekly email to receive each new weekly recommendation direct in your inbox.

More than anything, we enjoy getting to share and talk great books with you. We’re glad you’re here with us!

For You: We’d love to hear about your favorite childhood book — please share your best book with us in the comments below. Thank you for joining us at GNB!

Author: Great New Books

Great New Books is all about sharing our favorite books, one week at a time. Our passion is for recommending quality books which keep us turning pages long through the night, great books which have the potential to touch hearts, and lives, and open doors to a better world. We’re so glad you’re joining us here, and appreciate you helping spread the word about Great New Books! Tag your favorite books with @GreatNewBooks on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and we'll help share your posts there.

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