My Favorite Books

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.

Kindergarten Favorite:

madelineMadeline (©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:

katkongKat 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:

littlehouseLittle 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:

lion-witch-wardrobeThe 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:

matildaMatilda (©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-enchantedElla 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:

holesHoles (©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!

26 Comments

  1. Matilda and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe are favorites. Louis Sacher’s Holes is on my to-read list. When I was small, Peter Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh, The Wind in the Willows, and Make Way for Ducklings were very popular. Maybe that dates me?

  2. Madeline! I love that book. 🙂 I’m planning on introducing my students to this one; I want it to be a staple in my library curriculum, although I may do it with first or second grade instead of Kindergarten. It will depend on what kind of activities I can find to go along with it.

  3. I knew all your favs, except Kat Kong, so thank you for a new book on the radar! I especially loved Little House in the Big Wood, I always felt it captured the feeling and warmth of the series perfectly and got so overshadowed once the tv show began airing. Roald Dahl is such a master storyteller, he is one of those writers who transcends the reading age spectrum, and didn’t need vamps or werewolves to do so! Snark! Love your new look!

  4. I loved Matilda when i was younger! Roald Dahl is a really good author for younger kids, just in the way of how he tells the story. Other childhood favorites of mine include Madeline {for sure!}, Nancy Drew books, Cam Jansen books, and when I was really young, the Amanda Pig books. What a fun post! 🙂

  5. Very early favorites were Little Toot, The Little House, 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. Next were horse books galore (Walter Farley, etc.), dog books galore (Terhune, Kjelgaard, etc.), Oz books galore until I got to and loved Alfred Ollivant’s Bob, Son of Battle. Then on to all kinds of other books galore.

    • Thanks for your comment, Steve! I remember Little Toot, 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, and Oz (of course) but I’m not familiar with the others you mentioned. I will definitely look the next time I’m at the library!

  6. Wow, you have a great memory for what you read as a child. I remember loving Babar which my kids did not really like. And Nancy Drew (ditto on the kids). My kids and I both love the Frances books by Russel and Lillian Hoban and All of a Kind Family. I also loved the Black Caldroun series. Oh, and I LOVED the Wizard of Oz series too.

    • I LOVED Babar growing up (both the books and the 1989 tv series). Frances, too. I didn’t get into Nancy Drew as a kid (I was too busy reading American Girl) but I can appreciate them now that I’m an adult and I hope that I can convince my kids to read them.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. I picked up The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as a child because I loved witches at the time. Then I read the other books whenever they had a copy at the library, which meant I read them completely out of order. When I realised that, I begged my mother to buy me all seven Narnia books and I read the lot in just over a week. It was wonderful. I still have that set.

    I was also a Nancy Drew fan, and anything Enid Blyton. Also L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series, and Louisa Alcott’s Little Women. As a teenager I got onto Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.

  8. I love Madeline and Little House in the Big Woods. I had the boxed set, a few of the chapter books, and the picture books. I absolutely hated The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (apparently Tolkien did too). I still need to read Holes.

  9. Maggie, I read the same. I had the audio book for Make Way for Ducklings.

  10. Katie you’re bringing me back to my childhood memories 🙂 I especially LOVED Little House on the Prairie. I particularly liked how it was a series, so it felt like I was “growing up” right along with them. I hope my kids will devour books just as much.

    • I definitely intend on buying a boxed set of ALL of the Little House books for my kids. I got mine from the school library and they were missing some of the books, so I never got the full experience.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  11. I love the Little House books and Kat Kong looks hilarious! 🙂 Cute new blog design!

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

  12. Definitely some classics on that list. I laughed at your inclusion of Kat Kong – I had not heard of that one and then I saw who the author was! lol Now, I’m curious! I have heard so many great things about Holes but have not read it. I just went to the library and placed a hold on it, but I didn’t realize that it was a series. That’s just the first book. Have you read the others?

    Love the new layout by the way – looks great! 🙂

    • I think I need to do a post devoted solely to Kat Kong, since no one has heard of it!

      Holes is a fantastic stand-alone, but it isn’t really a series like it claims to be. ‘Small Steps’ isn’t a sequel, but is more of a spinoff. It stars one of the very minor characters from ‘Holes’ in a new setting.

      ‘Stanley Yelnats Survival Guide to Camp Green Lake’ is a companion book to holes, and was released the same year as the ‘Holes’ movie (can you say marketing ploy?). I read ‘Holes’ the year that it was released (1998) and luckily for me the other ‘Holes’ stories were released 5 and 10 years later, so they didn’t taint my experience with the original.

      To make a long story short: It’s not really a series. Don’t bother. 🙂

  13. These are all great! We love the little house series and Ella Enchanted too!

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