All bookworms link the magical feeling of reading to something that sparked their interest in reading at a young age. There are those magical books that you wish you could read again for the first time and those that make you feel all the warm-fuzzy-nostalgic feels. You see the covers of those books and it takes you back in place to a time and place where you are sitting in your dad’s recliner and smelling your mom’s cooking. You pick it up and you remember exactly where you were when you read it and how it made you feel.
These are the books from my childhood that bring back that warmth and make me want to be a kid again just so I can reread these for the first time.
The Chronicles of Narnia series is one of the first series of books I remember my mom reading to me. Looking at the books reminds me of how my sister and I used to clamber up into her bed and huddle around her while she read. I still remember the soft glow of the lamp beside her bed and the way my parents’ room smelled in our childhood home. I remember the floral comforter my parents had and the pink pajamas I wore. This series really ignited my love for all fantasy books. I always hoped that one day I would open my closet door and discover it had changed into a snowy landscape or an ocean full of adventure.
Back in the day, Scholastic Book Club was the OG subscription box service for kids. We used to sign up for a club at the beginning of each school year and each month we would get a package with a book and some other goodies. In 5th grade my mom signed me up for the Little House Club and I managed to get all of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books and then some. I think each month I got one from the Little House series, a related activity book, and a non series book like her journals and some of the prequels and sequels about her mom, grandmother, and daughter (written by other authors). I still have my original set of books in this series and I remember that red and white box being delivered to my teacher each month and tearing into the goodies that came with it when I got home.
In 4th grade I was obsessed with the Dear America books. I remember loving the diary format. I started keeping my own diary then thinking that one day my thoughts might be important enough to turn into a book (HAHA). The first one I read was The Winter of Red Snow about The Revolutionary War. I still remember exactly where these were in my elementary school library and I still remember reading my favorites and putting them carefully into my backpack as the school day wound down. Someone recently told me that in Canada there was a Dear Canada series that was like the same thing. It blew my mind.
The Boxcar Children was one of those older books that delighted me because the idea of living a life without adults seemed fantastic in some ways. I loved the first and second book enough to reread them several times in my life. The last year I taught 3rd grade, we read this as a class book. I know I read a lot more than the first 2 in this series but I don’t think the mysteries appealed to me as much as the adventure in the first 2 books.
I saved my favorite for last. I feel like I grew up with Harry Potter in some ways. I read the first book when I first got ahold of it at the end of second grade. It had already gotten a lot of buzz in the book world because it had been published a year before in the UK. By the time my mom had put a hold on it at out library we were 135th in line to get it. When I finally got it in my hands I was so excited. I had heard so much about the magical world contained in the pages. At this time, I wasn’t reading chapter books to myself. My mom would read with me. She looked at the size of the book and told me there was NO WAY she was going to read it out loud to me. I was devastated. But then I was determined. I read Harry Potter to myself. And then with each additional publishing I read those too. I read the first book when I was 7 and the last one came out right after my 16th birthday. I had truly grown up with Harry by my side.
What childhood books were your favorites? I cannot wait to hear your memories associated with them.
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