Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Children's Books Are the Best and I Shall Hear No More About It

All right. I was trying to give you all a brief respite, but today's Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is too good, so you only get Monday off from me. Here, to make it up for you, is THE BEST GIF OF ALL TIME:


top ten childhood favorites

It seems a matter of debate as to when childhood was, so I'm just gonna choose books up until I was...I dunno, 13? Sure. That. And I know I'm gonna forget a lot of influential books, but oh well. Let's get all the terrible series books out of the way first.

1. The Babysitters Little Sister - Yeah, I read these. A lot of them, too. I specifically remember the woman at the bookstore saying I probably wasn't old enough for Babysitter's Club, so I should read this. Hopefully I wasn't like ten but stupid-looking. Anyway, I loved these, but they're what prompted my mother's rule for my childhood that she would buy me whatever book I wanted so long as it wasn't dumb (these counted as dumb).

2. Goosebumps/Fear Street - Man, just like one could graduate from Babysitters Little Sister to Babysitter's Club, you went from R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series, which was AMAZING, to Fear Street, which was disgusting. I specifically remember an Irish Setter dying in one beach-themed one and there being chunks of his flesh with hair still on them floating in the water. Gross, sir. BUT, totally engaging until you realized his formula was literally always suspect the least suspected. That quiet girl in the corner over there? Yeah, she's secretly the child your parents abandoned and has been slowly killing off your friends while working her way to your ultimate doom. My favorites were the ones that went into the history of Fear Street, because they took place In the Past and daaaaymn, I love me some Past.

3. Thoroughbred series - Yeah, I was obsessed with horses. Horses were the best. These came out once a month and that was NOT OFTEN ENOUGH, but I stopped cold when they ended one book on a cliffhanger, because even as a ten-year-old I WAS NOT GOING TO BE SUCKERED INTO BUYING YOUR NEXT BOOK. If I liked it, I liked it. No manipulation, authors.

4. Bloom County/Calvin & Hobbes/Fox Trot - I read a lot of comic strip collections growing up. And they heavily influenced my brain. Bloom County is still my favorite. 

5. The Whipping Boy - Um, this book is kickass AND has great illustrations AND won the Newbery.

6. Anything by S.E. Hinton - I went through a weird phase when I was 11 where I was obsessed with anything S.E. Hinton wrote, and organized my My Littlest Pet Shop animals into rival gangs that would fight each other.

7. Harriet the Spy - Obviously great book. No comment.

8. All of Roald Dahl - I think Roald Dahl was the most respected children's author in my house. Him or Madeleine L'Engle. And when I say "respected" I mean "respected by my brothers," who were the ultimate authorities in this kind of thing. Obviously.

9. Chronicles of Narnia - Ok, I have to confess, the BBC movies made a far greater impression on my childhood than the books (some of which I've only read once, because come on, The Horse and His Boy?), but that's because they are AMAZING. Not that the books aren't. But for reals, if you see them for the first time when you're like five, they will stick WITH you. Favorite of the series...Magician's Nephew or Last Battle. Cannot decide. Leaning towards Magician's Nephew, but I use Last Battle in theological discussions.

10. Gone-Away Lake - Omg. This book. This was my favorite for a long time. It was written in the '50s AND has all these stories about the turn of the century/1890s, i.e. AWESOMETIMES. It's amazing. I'd read it right now if I had it with me.

(honorable-mention-slash-I-couldn't-fit-them-on-the-list goes to Wayside School, The Egypt Game, and MOST DEFINITELY The American Girl series. Felicity's where it's at, yo)

(I've amended this entry about a billion times, but ALSO THE BOXCAR CHILDREN AND BOBBSEY TWINS AND HOW DID I FORGET NANCY DREW)