Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thursday Thirteen - 104 - 13 of My Favorite Chapter Books When I Was a Kid

- 1

Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown

- 2

Farmer Boy

I could never get enough of this series - but Almanzo's story was my favorite.

Of course I was a huge fan of the Little House TV series.

- 3

Little Women

- 4

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

- 5

The Bastard

As you can imagine, reading this book while still in elementary school seemed somewhat scandalous. But by grade five I was definitely reading adult fiction. I loved the Kent Family Chronicles - an introduction to commercial historical fiction that has remained with me today.

- 6

The Crystal Cave

I'll always remember finding this book in the used book section of the Christmas Tea and Sale, at the church where my Girl Guide meetings were held. To say that this book changed my life would not be overly dramatic. Its time period, its Arthurian legend subject matter, its fresh idea for the character of Merlin - all of it affected the way I tell stories myself.

- 7

The Horse and His Boy

I could never get enough of this series, either - but Bree's and Shasta's story was my favorite.

I'm a massive fan of the current series of Narnia films. I hope, hope, hope they all make it to the screen.

- 8

The Story Girl

Of course I read Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon - but The Story Girl and its sequel, The Golden Road stole my heart. Featuring Felix, Felicity, Cecily, and Sara Stanley (the "Story Girl"), imagine my delight when Road to Avonlea debuted on Canadian television in 1990 - and there were all my beloved characters from The Story Girl.

- 9

The Trouble With Tribbles

This was a non-fiction making-of-the-episode account. Had me in hysterics. Foreshadowed the future film student chapter of my life.

- 10

The Witch Tree Symbol

Other than The Crystal Cave, there's no book that's had such a profound influence on my life. In grade three, a new student just arrived from New Brunswick had this book on her desk. I asked if I could borrow it. That began a 37-year friendship with my forever friend, Connie.

- 11

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

I read this one out loud to my sister before bed.

- 12

Then Again, Maybe I Won't

Can you see the trend I've always had toward gravitating to the books featuring male protagonists, rather than female?

- 13

Thor and The Giants

How I love me some Nordic mythology.

Grace says I grew up reading Nancy Drew books through a friend - we've been best friends for so many years now!

Shelley Munro says I used to love Nancy Drew books. The Hardy boys as well.

Anne MacFarlane says I loved Nancy Drew. I wanted to have titian hair, drive a roadster and date Ned.


anthonynorth said...

Some great classics among them. I never read much when I was young, but I've certainly made up for it.

Grace @ Sandier Pastures said...

I grew up reading Nancy Drew books through a friend who has access to a wonderful library in her school. We've been best friends for so many years now!

Shelley Munro said...

I used to love Nancy Drew books. The Hardy boys as well. Hours of great reading.

Anne MacFarlane said...

I loved Nancy Drew. I wanted to have titian hair, drive a roadster and date Ned.

And I'm still in love with Anne of Green Gables and the Little Lame Prince.

I am Harriet said...

Oh wow. that's a great post!
Good books too:)

Julia Smith said...

Anthony - There's still loads of classics on my TBR pile.

Grace - I guess Nancy Drew is good for bringing friends together, as well as sleuthing!

Shelley - I never read the Hardy Boys but I used to watch the TV series.

Anne - 'Titian hair' - who wouldn't want that?

Harriet - I had fun putting it together.

Janet said...

LOVED Tom Sawyer (and Huck Finn) and Little Women :-)

Amy Ruttan said...

My favorite Little House book was On the banks of Plum Creek. After Farmer boy.

Yeah, I was reading books beyond my skill level in elementary.

I love Nancy Drew too. I still have all my old Nany Drews.

One of my other favorite chapter books as a child was Amy's Eyes, it's very hard to find. I used to take it out of the library. Then I found a used copy and bought it. If you ever run across the book "Amy's Eyes" read it, you'll enjoy it.

Julia Smith said...

Janet - I didn't read Huckleberry Finn until adulthood. I think I enjoyed it so much more because of the wait.

Amy - 'The Long Winter' is my second favorite. There are lots of scenes from that book that stay fresh and vivid in my mind all these years later. And I'm now intrigued about 'Amy's Eyes'.

Jen said...

I grew up reading many of those same books. My first-grader has been asking for chapter books lately and it reminded me what a big transition that was, going from picture books to chapter books. Hopefully I'll have some luck slipping in some of my childhood favorites too. :)

shopannies said...

I loved farmer boy book along with others in that series

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

You know, I never liked the Almanzo books. I think because they were different from the TV show (which I still love; I'll admit it!).

Other stuff I loved: Charlotte's Web, the Prydain chronicles, and the Jim Kjelgaard books -- all of which I've either read or am reading to my kids now.

Anonymous said...

Great, great books, thank you for sharing!!!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Books are such true and lifetime friends.

Thanks for coming by my blog and reading Kim's interview!

Tracey said...

I would love to have The Story Girls for my daughters to read! Some great classics there that I and my girls have enjoyed!

Akelamalu said...

My favourite books were 'The Famous Five' by Enid Blyton. :)

Wylie Kinson said...

Many of these I'd never heard of (and feel like I totally missed out!!)
I was all about Anne of Green Gables (and the sequels), Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden in my youngest reading days. After that, I managed the entire collection of Zane Grey and by age 12 was into Sidney Sheldon. I don't think there were any 'young adult' books when I was growing up. If so, I certainly never heard of them.

Dorte H said...

Ah, another wonderful post :D

I have read and enjoyed 2,3 and 4, and some Nancy Drews, though not this one.

Your covers are so appealing.

On a limb with Claudia said...

Oh... sigh... oh... sigh... Each book is like looking at a fond old lover.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Julia Smith said...

Jen - Sometimes locating the childhood favorites means doing some detective work. But it's worth it.

Shopannies - The whole Little House series is a massive favorite of mine.

Susan - I'll have to check out the Prydain chronicles, and the Jim Kjelgaard books.

Kim - Of course, there's so many that have to be left off the list of a Thursday Thirteen.

Angie - My husband and I are lifelong book people. Our favorite characters are definitely 'friends'.

Tracey - It's worth making a special order for 'The Story Girl'.

Akelamalu - I read Enid Blyton, too!

Wylie - I haven't read any Zane Grey - I should try some of those.

Dorte - I love cover art. I had to find the original covers that I looked at, once upon a time.

Claudia - What a wonderful image...

Annette Gallant said...

Great list, Julia. Very excited to see some favourites on there such as Farmer Boy, Nancy Drew and Little Women. I was also a big fan of the Trixie Belden series and All-of-a-Kind Family series.

Thomma Lyn said...

Oh wow, I've read almost all of those. And you know what, I've been trying on and off for years... I kid you not... to remember the name of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. I could recall the plot and how much I'd loved it as a child, but I couldn't remember the title. Thanks! *big grin*

Nikki said... cool! I love Little Woman and Star Trek, Tom Sawyer! I read loads of Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and Enid Blyton.

Thanks for sharing!

Julia Smith said...

Annette - I stayed true to Nancy Drew as far as amateur sleuths were concerned ;-)

Thomma Lyn - Mystery solved! And Happy Release Day! *mhua*

Nikki - I also used to read Star Trek novelizations.

Travis said...

I actually read a few of my sister's Nancy Drew books. They were quite enjoyable, although I preferred my Hardy Boys.

Sniz said...

We have the same taste! The Horse and His Boy and Farmer Boy were my favorites of those series too! I haven't heard of the Story Girl, but now I want to read it! I just finished reading all of the Anne of GG books to the girls.

MsSnarkyPants said...

The Horse and His Boy was my favorite too!

M. said...

Love the retro covers. And I LOVED 'The Crystal Cave'! Did you read the other two titles in that trilogy? Uniformly excellent. I think they were 'The Hollow Hills' and 'The Last Enchantment'.

Julia Smith said...

Travis - For some reason, while I read the guy-centered stories like Farmer Boy and Then Again, Maybe I Won't, I never read a Hardy Boys book. I'm sure in retrospect I would have loved them.

Sniz - Same taste! Alright!

Ms Snarky Pants - The Silver Chair is my second favorite one.

Julia Smith said...

M - I did! But the first one is so special for me.

Toni said...

I'm sooo with you on Little Women and Tom Sawyer. Oh, and my friend Colleen was just like you. She was reading The Thornbirds in 7th grade. :D

Anonymous said...

Nearly all of yours are favorites of mine (not Judy Blume, Star Trek and I don't know that Thor book but like mythology so would enjoy it, I am sure.

Are you coming to the Betsy-Tacy convention in July?