Growing up, I found myself with my nose in a book on a daily basis. I devoured every type of story, from fantasy to history, both classic and modern. I read stories about all kinds of people from different times and places.
Reading can transport a child to anywhere in this world and the next, and the knowledge and experiences last a lifetime. Below are a few of the most memorable reads from my young life. Hopefully I can inspire you to share some of these unforgettable tales with your child. I believe that each of these books is worth reading again and again.
Madeline (©1939) by Ludwig Bemelmans
Charming, humorous verse tells the story of twelve little girls at a Paris boarding school. The smallest girl, Madeline, is also the bravest and the spunkiest, and she keeps teacher Miss Clavel on her toes.
First Grade Favorite:
Kat Kong (©1993) by Dav Pilky
In this side-splitting spoof of King Kong, the residents of Mousopolis are being terrorized by none other than a giant cat! The amusing illustrations feature photographs of the author’s own pets, and the satirical storyline will keep any kid in stitches for hours on end.
Second Grade Favorite:
Little House in the Big Woods (©1971) by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Before her family headed west in a covered wagon in Little House on the Prairie, four-year-old Laura Ingalls lived in a log cabin with her family. Laura’s story is fun from beginning to end, and full of captivating details of pioneer life in the late 19th century.
Third Grade Favorite:
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (©1950) by C.S. Lewis
In the year 1940, four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy move to a country house in England. While exploring the house, Lucy, the youngest, opens a wardrobe and discovers that it leads to an enchanted world known as Narnia. When she returns from her first visit, Lucy’s sister and brothers do not believe her stories, but soon after all four children enter Narnia and embark on a magical adventure.
Fourth Grade Favorite:
Matilda (©1988) by Roald Dahl
Matilda is a genius cursed with mean-spirited, idiotic parents. She escapes into the world of literature, but when she starts school there is no escaping the cruel headmistress Miss Trunchbull. Matilda’s only salvation is Miss Honey, her kind teacher. In a serious of riotous acts, Matilda uses her massive brainpower to teach the wicked adults a lesson they won’t soon forget. I have enjoyed all of Dahl’s works immensely, but Matilda is by far my favorite.
Fifth Grade Favorite:
Ella Enchanted (©1997) by Gail Carson Levine
With a heroine named Ella and a charming prince named Char, the outside observer might expect a run of the mill Cinderella story, but there are no glass slippers to be found in Gail Carson Levine’s epic adventure. As a baby, Ella was given the “gift” of obedience by a misguided fairy. As she grows older, this gift becomes a curse: one Ella is determined to break.
Sixth Grade Favorite:
Holes (©1998) by Louis Sachar
When a perpetually unlucky teenager named Stanley is convicted of a crime he did not commit, he is sent to the vile Camp Green Lake, a fate worse than he could have imagined. The lake has been dried up for years, and the boys are forced to dig holes every day in the blistering sun under the orders of the intimidating warden. But when Stanley befriends Zero, a fellow camper, he begins a chain of events that could turn his luck around.
Have you read and enjoyed any of these great books? What were the memorable books of your childhood? Let me know in the comments!