This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is actually something I’ve thought a lot about: books I wish I’d read as a child. There’s something so completely different about reading a book as a child — really falling into the story and characters and making them your own. Reading as an adult simply can’t replicate that. There are a lot of great children’s and young adult books out there, so I’m constantly trying to catch up with those books I didn’t read as a child, or that weren’t around then. But it just isn’t the same.
My favorite books as a child were the Oz series, the Mary Poppins books, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Pippi Longstocking, and the books of Edward Eager and Roald Dahl. I loved anything fantastic, but there were real-life stories I gravitated to as well, like the works of S.E. Hinton, Judy Blume, and Frances Hodgson Burnett. I remember feeling, though, that there weren’t enough strong, adventurous girl characters and that I actively had to seek them out. I suspect (at least I hope!) that girls today have a lot more to choose from.
Harry Potter series: At the top of my list are the Harry Potter books, which came out in the late 90s – the first time I heard of them, the first three had been released in the U.S., which was around 2000. I wasn’t wowed at first, but I’m glad I kept reading as this series just got better with every book. These are books I would have adored as a child. Plus, the widespread popularity of these novels would have meant the world to me, as I felt like quite an outcast as a child. Fantasy wasn’t a genre that girls were expected to like, and no one in my family had any interest. I’m kind of envious today of all the kids that grew up with these books.
Anne of Green Gables: I know how many people love this series, but I didn’t read the first one until recently, and it just didn’t do that much for me. As a young girl, though, I think I would have really admired Anne Shirley, and I wish I’d been able to get to know her then.
Popular by Maya Van Wagenen: this book has so much to say about popularity and taking chances and getting to know people. It would have helped me so much as a girl.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo: I got really into writing sad poetry when I was about sixteen. I would have adored this book. I don’t remember anything like this (other than Sylvia Plath) when I was a girl.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: because it’s such a fantastic and important book, and because I understood so little about race as a teenager.
The Percy Jackson series: next to Oz, what I loved the most was Greek mythology. These books would have blown my mind as a child. I thought reading Edith Hamilton was fun.
The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett: because … everything.
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld: before everyone went crazy for The Hunger Games, I was loving this series. But I wish I could have read it as a teenager.
Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar: this book reminded me so much of my experience getting hit by a car when I was fourteen. Behar is so brave and so positive even though her experience was much worse than mine. I would have found her so inspiring.
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell: I remember this being a really beautiful book about first love.
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.