Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Shaped My Childhood

toptentuesdayThis week’s theme is “Top Ten Books in X Genre,” and I wanted to write about some books I don’t typically write about, but not in any genre I was too unfamiliar with. So instead of picking a genre, per say, I chose to write about the novels that first got me into reading: the ones I read in grade school!

Top Ten Books That Shaped My Childhood

anneofgreengablesAnne of Green Gables series – Let’s just start with the best (and my most favorite) on this list: Anne of Green Gables! I’ve written about my beloved Anne already on my blog, so I won’t repeat myself, but I do want to say that this is still my favorite book of all time, and I can’t wait to have my own daughter to share these stories with :)


charlotteswebCharlotte’s Web – What a lovely book. Some images from this book that still pop up in my mind from time to time are buttermilk baths for pigs and newborn baby spiders floating around everywhere (I hope that doesn’t discourage any would-be readers: it really is a wonderful book!).


walktwomoonsWalk Two Moons – I honestly don’t remember much from this book except that I was enamored by it for months. I believe my best friend owned it and of course since she was a year older than me I looked up to her in so many ways (the reason I read Anne of Green Gables was because she read it first). I should reread this one day.


harrypotterHarry Potter series – I tried narrowing this down to one Harry Potter book, but they all tend to blend together. I read the first three for a book report project in fifth grade and I remember not being able to put them down (I can still see myself sitting at our dining room table reading about the Chamber of Secrets). As is the case with most readers, I still love this series, although the last movie adaptation disappointed me. I’d like to reread Harry Potter sometime soon :)


thegiverThe Giver – Another book I’ve talked about on this blog, but still one of my all-time favorites and a book I often recommend to my adult friends, The Giver is one of those novels that effortlessly forces you to think about how it applies to the real world. As an elementary school student reading it for the first time, I longed for my teachers to say, “When you finish your work you can read silently at your desk,” so I could finish following Jonah’s fascinating coming-of-age tale. And apparently there’s a movie version in the works!


wheretheredferngrowsWhere the Red Fern Grows – Ahh, the first novel that made me cry my eyes out. My 3rd grade teacher read this out-loud to us every afternoon and right from the first chapter I was in love. [spoilers!!] When Old Dan and Little Ann died, all of the girls in our class–myself included!–were crying into our tissues, and I’m sure even the boys must have felt sad. I still love this book, though. I’m a big sucker for tear jerkers.


rainbowfishRainbow Fish – I think what drew me to this book so much was the colorful and iridescent illustration on the cover, but the story has such a simple and meaningful moral to it that stuck with me as well. It is a very nice story that highlights the values of being different and sharing with others.


sidewaysstoriesSideways Stories from Wayside School – This is probably the most unique entry on this list, but there were several stories that stuck with me all throughout elementary school, most notably the one involving the hypnotist. I also enjoyed Louis Sachar’s other novels, Holes and There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom.



blackstallionBlack Beauty/Black Stallion – I do not believe I actually read Black Beauty, but my sister and I were both in love with the film. We watched it all the time growing up. But I did read several of the Black Stallion books.



littlehouseLittle House on the Prairie series – The first series I fell in love with. I especially loved reading these books outside in my backyard on a nice summer day :) I have not read this books since I was a child, and I would love to revisit them soon!

What were your favorite childhood books? Make your own post or share with me in the comments :)

8 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Shaped My Childhood

  1. Oooo, I wish I had enough time to post my Top Ten today but I probably won’t get around to it. :-(

    Are there any children’s books that you haven’t read yet, but plan to? For me, I want to read The Wind in the Willows soon. I read it when I was very young but it’s been so long, it feels like I’ve just barely read it.

    My top favourites are The Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome, Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson and The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster. I have many more but they are too numerous to list!

    • Ahh I’ve never read The Phantom Tollbooth, but we watched it several times in elementary school. I should give it a read now; it would probably make much more sense to me as an adult! Other childhood books I want to read are the rest of the Narnia series (I’ve only read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe), Fontaine’s fables (it seems that every French person knows then well), and the Grimm fairy tales (those are technically children’s stories, right?). I haven’t heard of The Swallows or the Amazon series. I’ll have to look them up!

    • I reread the Anne series last spring and loved it just as much as ever :) I haven’t read any Little House books since I was a kid, so I’m definitely due for a revisit there.
      I tried commenting on your list but it wouldn’t let me for some reason :( so here is what I wanted to say: Grimm’s Fairy Tales and those of Hans Christian Anderson are both on my “desperately want to read” list! I will have to check out some other books on your list as well–very interesting!

      • Sorry it wouldn’t let you comment on my list. Hopefully that’s not a common problem.And yes, you should read those soon! My aunt has a book with a collection of fairy tales (can’t remember now who (all?) the author is though) and I read it every time we visit there.

  2. It’s old-fashioned, but I used to love Wind in the Willows, with crazy Mr. Toad! I felt sad when they got rid of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disney World, but I think most people were like, “Mr. Who?” I was also really big into Nancy Drew! I still collect the old 1960’s yellow jacket books…I’ve got about forty of them. Semi-recently I was drawn to pick up a children’s book that is newer–The Mysterious Benedict Society. They’ve made it into a series, and I haven’t read all of them, but I really enjoyed the first one, even as an adult! :-)

  3. Great list! My childhood favorites from your list (and we’re talking half a century ago for me!) are Charlotte’s Web and the Little House on the Prairie series, as well as CS Lewis’ Narnia series.

    I’ve re-read Narnia probably 20 times. It gets better and better. (I refuse to see the movies.) I bought Narnia when I was expecting my oldest daughter 30 years ago, and it’s a set *she* took into her adulthood.

    Harry Potter is at the top of my all-time favorites for sharing with my daughters. I had to buy my own when they moved out with their copies. :)

    I enjoyed your list; thanks for the walk down memory lane for me!

  4. Awesomesauce! I’ve read all but one book on your list (never heard of “Sideways Stories” before), and many were and are my favorites. This is a great idea for a blog post!

    I think as a kid, say age 12, would have been:
    The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
    The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
    The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
    the Anne of Green Gables books (all of them) by L. M. Montgomery
    the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
    Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
    King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry
    All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
    Homer Price by Robert McCloskey
    Outlaw Red by Jim Kjielgaard

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