The best books I never read (as a kid).

As a kid, I loved to read but I’m from a small town and it was hard for me to find enough kids books to keep myself busy. When I was in 5th grade I went through a time where I suffered stomach problems and insomnia so my dad started me on the Xanth series by Piers Anthony. I never went back to kids books after that. I discovered Stephen King in junior high and Horror became my go-to style.

When I was preparing for the birth of my first daughter I decided to start reading aloud to her while she was still in the womb, and then continued while she nursed. I saw no reason to read picture books to a baby so we started with The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. The books had belonged to my husband as a boy.


I read the whole series with her and honestly didn’t go into it looking for the religious allegory. I just loved the beauty of the stories. We also read A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh books and Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel that were my husband’s.

L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series…I am so angry at myself for not finding these books as a girl. Anne is exactly the kind of girl I wanted to be, intelligent, opinionated and forward thinking. I loved following her whole life and seeing it unfold. I cried when her first baby died and I cried when her son died in World War I.

The Yearling
by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings is a sad story. I knew what it was about, but I didn’t understand the boy’s struggle between his love for the deer and his duty to his family.

I am surprised that I didn’t find Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls sooner. I’ve always loved Where the Red Fern Grows and usually I seek out other titles by authors I enjoy. Thankfully a coworker recommended it to me. It’s funny and very different feeling than Where the Red Fern Grows.

I don’t remember going through a horse crazy phase like many girls do, but this is one I recommend to girls now. Misty takes place in a much simpler time and the story is sweetly innocent in a way that is lacking in a lot of current books.

The BFG by Rald Dahl, in fact all of his books besides Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator and The Twits were lost on me until I started working at the school.

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt  is a story about something many of us have thought of: eternal life. This charming story shows us that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

Hatchet (and the 4 books that follow it) by Gary Paulson are amazing adventure stories written by a real outdoorsman. Here they are a mandatory 5th grade read, but I missed them as a kid.

Sorry I don’t have Goodreads links in place. Technical issues with one of my devices.


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