During this year of being a Deb, I’ve gotten to interview a ton of authors. One thing a lot of folks have in common is being avid readers as kids. And by avid, I mean flashlight-under-the-covers, reading-while-walking and will-read-cereal-boxes-if-nothing-else-is-around sorts of readers.
Me too! One of my funniest childhood reading memories is being suddenly startled to realize I was all alone in our school library. I’d become so engrossed in a book, I didn’t notice when my entire classroom of kids was ushered out the door.
I’m excited to talk today about books I loved as a young person. The first set of books, discovered in my Grandmother’s home, was the Wizard of Oz series. Now there was a world where anything could happen! Sawhorses and jack-lanterns could come alive, people might have wheels for limbs or detachable heads, and girls and women lead countries, armies, or small bands of travelers. Such fun!
Not too long after, I went through a mystery phase with all those characters we know and love like Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew, and the Hardy Boys. But my favorite was Trixie Belden. Anyone remember her? I liked it that, like me, she was the only girl in the family and I wished I had as much spunk as she did.
A book I read in my tweens that really stands out is The Boyhood of Grace Jones. Grace had this fabulous inner life and love of language and poetry that seemed mysterious and grand. She had such an interesting journey in figuring out the people in her life who were admirable (or not). And I loved her inner commitment to create herself in her own image although I was a little disappointed when she ultimately traded in the tomboy persona.
Finally, I’ll talk about Cynthia Voigt’s incredible books. I discovered Homecoming at a Kmart when browsing the book section as my mother shopped. By the time she was ready to go, I was hooked and bought the book with my own money to keep reading. I was inspired and touched by the story of a young girl, not much older than me, who took on so much responsibility and succeeded against the odds. I became a lifelong Cynthia Voigt fan from that point on.
What books did you love as a kid?
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