One Writer’s Journey

May 4, 2018

Children’s Book Week: Childhood Favorites

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:43 pm
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As writers, we are often inspired by our own childhood favorites.  I loved so many books.

The Boxcar Children.  The first non-picture book that I read time and time again was probably The Boxcar Children.  I’m not sure when I discovered it, but I remember checking it out again and again in fifth grade.  I’m not sure why the librarian didn’t just get me my own copy.  I loved that the kids were independent and that they upcycled so much.  We didn’t have that word for it, my grandmother would have called it ‘making do,’ but I loved that aspect of this book.

The Borrowers.  It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that this was actually several books because mine was a hardback copy of them all.  But again I love the idea of making something out of something else and the whole hidden world  aspect.

Little House etc.  My mother and I read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books.  Well, she started them with me and then I took off.  I was a voracious reader. We watched the tv show but I liked the books even better.  Yes, I saw the racist aspects but I saw racist people in the world around me so why would a book be any different?

The Meg Mysteries.  I adored mysteries and had to get special permission to check out the Nancy Drews from the book mobile because they were considered “teen” books.  But even more than Nancy Drew I loved the Meg Mysteries.  Not that I limited myself to these two series. I also read Trixie Belden and something to do with Alfred Hitchcock.  The Three Investigators, maybe?

Anything and everything by Marguerite Henry.  Put a horse on the cover and I would snatch it up.  Write a horse book based on fact and I’d knock someone over to get it.  The only fan letter I ever wrote was the Marguerite Henry.

The tricky thing with old favorites is that they inspire us but we can’t generally use them as mentor texts.  Why?  Publishing and literature have changed so much between now and then.  Be inspired by your childhood favorites but also read what is being published now.  Today’s children are just as hungry for great stories as we were.


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