Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Some Light Summer Reading

A week or so ago I checked this huge book about WWII out of the library. I find WWII very interesting and I had seen the first two books of this trilogy at Barnes & Noble in Denver last fall. The third book isn't even published yet, but I figured I'd better get started on the first two.

So I checked this doorstop of a book out. And it has been sitting untouched next to my bed ever since. I'm not sure what I was thinking because a) I have so many other books sitting by/under/on/next to my bed that I have planned to read, and b) this book is so darn huge I have no chance of finishing it in the next 12 months.

So I've decided to return the book and simplify my life for the summer. Recently we've been reading or listening to a bunch of books from "when I was a girl," or even before, I might add. And I've really enjoyed it. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, the Ramona series, the Bobbsey Twins, the Hardy Boys. And yes, I've even enjoyed Judy Blume, her Santa outing incidents aside. We just finished listening to Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great without any major catastrophes.

And each week as we go to the library, I've been trolling around the juvenile fiction shelves, passing books and thinking, "Oh, I loved that book! I read it a million times!" over and over again. So I decided that just because I am a grown up (making big air quotes here), doesn't mean that I always have to be reading great big grown up books. It was a very freeing decision. And then I promptly checked out a Nancy Drew book. This summer I'm going to read easy, fun stuff that brings back memories.

On my stroll through the shelves this afternoon, I made a mental list. Obviously, I won't get close to reading all of these. It's just a list of stuff I read and enjoyed when I was a girl, wished I'd read, or should have read. But I am wondering if I can stay awake to read a book a week.

Today I checked out Nancy Drew Message in the Hollow Oak (I wanted to start right off with the first one, but it wasn't in, darn it) and Caddie Woodlawn, which I never read in my youth, but remembered hearing about.

Other memory makers. . .
Anne of Green Gables (Can you believe I never read these? Cinda just fell off her chair in shock.)
The Black Stallion series
Harriet the Spy
More Ramona
More Judy Blume
The Little House books
A Wrinkle in Time (I confess, despite several attempts, I have never finished this)
The Charlie Bone Series (OK, this is a modern day one, but it sounds fun)
Where the Red Fern Grows
The Red Badge of Courage
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (My Grandma Moffitt gave me this in elementary school. I never read it, but have moved it all over creation, so it's high time)
The Chronicle of Narnia (I've never read all of them)
Call of the Wild
Homer Price
Where the Lillies Bloom

I can't stop. . .

Misty of Chincoteague
Witch of Blackbird Pond
Old Yeller
The Diary of Anne Frank
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Island of the Blue Dolphins
Julie of the Wolves
Stuart Little
Charlotte's Web
The Trumpet of the Swan
Bridge to Terabithia
The Outsiders

Good grief. I could go on all night.

These were just part of a pass around the library. I reserve the right to add to or delete from this list at any time. Or stop completely and just read Trixie Belden books all summer.

Got a fave I need to add to my list? Let me know.


Kristie said...

I've read a lot of young adult this past year in an attempt to keep an eye on what Brayden (my 12 yr old) is reading. Some that I enjoyed were a series that starts with "Uglies" by Scott Westerfeld. Also "Eleven" by Laura (?) Myacle. Lots of good stuff out there ... maybe not "classics" but still fun reading!

Anonymous said...

Have you read any of the Happy Hollisters? I loved the adventures, so have found most of the series to keep for posterity. Most of my kids think they are great, too.

Jerry West is the author, although I think I recall that it is a pen name.


manda said...

The Chocolate Touch was my all time favorite book when I was a kid!

Lauren said...

I spent time this spring reading a lot of juvenile fiction just because. I reread Wrinkle in Time, (which I always love, by the way!). I have also been reading Carl Hiassen's books for kids--Hoot and Scat (don't have Flush yet). I enjoyed those, and Fergus is starting Hoot, I think.

Anonymous said...

My 13 year old and I have been in a mother/daughter book club since she was about 8 years old, so I've rediscovered many of the books on your list that way. Bridge to Teribithia, Island of the Blue Dolphins, etc. As the girls have gotten older, we've branched out to some of the series Kristie mentioned...the Uglies and the 11, 12 and 13 books by Lauren Myracle. These are a refreshing change from "heavy" reads. LOVE Trixie Belden, by the way! I still have my entire childhood collection (up through #20) along with a few higher #s that I found online for my daughter. Ok, think I've babbled long enough now... Books ARE my favorite topic. :)

Mary Z

jean said...

Good thing that you wrote them down - making a mental list wouldn't work for me as far as the parking lot!

Charlotte's Web is one of my favorites. I cried at the end when Charlotte died.

You could just have Cinda recite Anne of Green Gables to you - save your eyes. :-)

Leeann said...

Some of my favorites that you mentioned:

Harriet the Spy
Judy Blume
Where the Red Fern Grows
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
The Trumpet of the Swan

Others I loved:

Just about anything by Enid Blyton:
The Faraway Tree series, any of the boarding school series books like St. Clare's, the Naughtiest Girl series.

The Pinballs

The Cat Ate My Gymsuit

Homecoming/ Dicey's song.

Send me your address and I will loan you and the boys a Magic Faraway Tree book. They will LOVE it.

Anonymous said...

Any Trixie Beldon book! I actually purchased a lot of them on Ebay from Australia of all places. Turned out the seller's husband had cancer, so I started writing to him too. Sadly he passed away last October. I could not put them down.

Since you mentioned Diary of Anne Frank, I just finished The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas. It was really good and I will be sending it to Marey soon. Big print and not a lot of pages.

Postcard Cindy

Laurie said...

How could you possibly leave out The Boxcar Children?!

Lucinda said...

How can we be related? You haven't read the "Anne" books? (I didn't fall off the chair, but I gasped.) Jean's right, I could quote the first one to you. I re-read it at least once every couple years. (The movie version is pretty good too.) I found a list of books students should read before they go to college, but are "banned" by most schools. I decided to read all of them. After checking off the ones I have completely read and not counting ones I've read summaries or abridged versions of, I have 63 books to go. If it makes you feel any better, Andy's never read "To Kill a Mockingbird" (another of my all-time faves); not sure how that got by me in the screening process...
Enjoy your summer reading!

julie said...

Oh, I love Anne from Anne of Green Gables. I love the language and her fiery spirit!
The Diary of Anne Frank, blech! I didn't care for this even though I know it is very important literature. I used to make my 7th and 8th graders read it, not any more.
You must read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer if you haven't already.
I could go on and on and on. You should also read Touching Spirit Bear.

Anonymous said...

Your list was very good! Brought back a lot of good memories! Some other ones I love:

Sign of the Beaver
Sarah, Plain and Tall and sequels
Stone Fox
Castle in the Attic
Betsey and Tacy Maud Lovelace series
Mr. Popper's Penquins
Clementine (new)
Because of Winn Dixie
All of a Kind Family

One book I've never read is Tom Sawyer. I always meant to.

Someone mentioned To KIll a Mockingbird. I have reread that book and Catcher in the Rye so many times. Recently reread Roots, Godfather, and read The Good Earth by Pearl Buck. Fantastic.

Happy Reading!


Jordyn said...

Like Kristie, I've been reading alot of young adult books to keep an eye on my daughter.

There are too many great ones to list but I absolutely loved, loved, loved the Lightening Thief series.

RSMDianne said...

My 13 year old son loves The Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flannagan. Also, second on The Lightening Thief (Percy Jackson) by Rick Riordan. For teens, he also really liked James Patterson's Maximum Ride series, about kids who are genetically altered to be half bird/half human. I know he's older than your boys, though. My 10 year old daughter is really into The Mysterious Benedict Society right now, and anything by Andrew Clements (Frindle, The Landry News and Lost and Found).

Lucy and Ethel said...

What memories!!! Makes me want to go to the library, which reopens tomorrow as 'new & improved.' I LOVED to read favorite books again with our kids. Our daughter, who has never been quite as crazy about reading, did love - and READ - the absurdly enormous Harry Potter books and also The Series of Unfortunate Events.

So many terrific books out there!


Lucy and Ethel said...

In my haste to tend to our hysterical dogs, I forgot to mention I started reading Harry Potter to our daughter after she received it as a gift and was hooked immediately. Same with The Series of Unfortunate Events. We shared reading time with HP, and I read each book of TSOUE after she finished.

It was so much fun!

And then she graduated and went to college.



Julie said...

I have to agree with the Anne of Green Gables books - I think I had them memorized! Trixie Belden is also a great set - they were rereleased in hardcover just a few years ago.

Love The Lightning Thief series - I turned on a lot of my 5th graders to those. Gordon Korman also has some fun YA titles, Roland Smith also has some great ones!