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Author Topic: Children's books that helped you as a child?  (Read 5797 times)
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« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2009, 01:23:16 AM »

Pippi Longstocking!
Greeneyed Girl
a.k.a. Cherry Sky
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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2009, 02:52:37 AM »

Oh, books! My favorite escape! Couldn't go to sleep until I replied to this one, though we have had similar threads before ( I always love the book threads) I loved "A Little Princess".  I read it over and over, acted scenes out in my room and with my Barbie dolls.  I still appreciate it today and still it moves me.  Also I loved "Anne of Green Gables."  I remember Anne's unorthodox prayer, "...And please God, let me be good-looking when I grow up" as this was my own prayer! I liked Judy Blume, feeling terribly sorry for Blubber and identifying with Margaret in "Are you there, God? It's me, Margaret."  Again, my prayers were like Margaret's as well as Anne's and I remember waiting for that great event- the monthly blessing which, in my case, turned out to be a curse but that is another thread!  Also loved "Little House" as I wished my family was so loving. I must mention "Jane Eyre" as the Lowood school horrors moved me to tears and Jane's defiance, despite the results, moved me to cheers.  And a "Tree Grows In Brooklyn"?  I think I kept it out of the school library more than any other student.  I envied Johnny and Francie's relationship and am still angry at Katie's cold favortism for Neely. I could go on all night, but I will close and let someone else share.  Great topic, my friends.
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When someone shows you who they are, believe them!

« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2009, 12:53:23 PM »

I still love to read, it's absolutely one of my favorite things!  What's crazy though, is that now I LOVE books by 'true crime' writers.  I guess it's because I'm so fascinated by the psychopathology of these, seemingly, normal middle class people who commit these crimes.  I read them and think "yeah, no one really truly knows what goes on behind closed doors do they?"  I especially enjoy the history they give of the growing up years of the perpetrators.  I guess, because of mother, I just really try to figure out what makes certain people tick and why they do the things they do... ?
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« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2009, 02:14:00 PM »

Interesting question!  I, too, was a huge reader as a child (and as an adult). 

Books I loved in elementary school:

"Mrs Piggle-Wiggle" (naughty children, inept parents and the incomparable Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle)

"No Flying in the House" (orphaned little girl, magical cat, dreadful relatives, fairy tale ending)

The "Little House" books (headstrong girl, compliant older sister, frontier setting)

"Ramona" books by Beverly Cleary (naughty little girl)

"Great Brain" books by John D. Fitzgerald (naughty boy and his siblings in 19th century America)

"Grimm's Fairy Tales"

I'm beginning to see a pattern among my picks featuring naughty children...
fleur d argent
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« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2009, 02:36:44 PM »

When I was younger - all the Babysitter's Club books.  I would read them one after another, over and over and over - I had 100 of them. 

"Anastasia, Ask your Analyst" by Lois Lowry - about a girl who gets a plaster bust of Freud and talks to it about her problems - I wanted a Freud to deal with my family drama!


"Are you there God, It's me, Margaret" of course.  Thank god for that book, so full of information!  That was all us teenage girls had, back before the internet!

As a teenager I read "The Mists of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley over and over.  It is quite a long tome - 900 pages!  I would just read it to get lost in it and felt comforted that it was so long.  It is the Arthurian legend told from the viewpoint of the females behind the throne.

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« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2009, 06:07:26 PM »

I loved the Babysitter's Club books because I felt that they (and eventually Sassy magazine as well), taught me how to be a girl.

My other favorites were Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon (orphan fantasy + girl becomes writer), Pippi Longstocking (orphan fantasy), Ronia the Robber's daughter (escapist forest fantasy), A Little Princess (orphan fantasy + defeat the evil mother figure + civil disobedience), retellings of any fairy tale with an evil stepmother who was not forgiven in the end, The Hero and the Crown (misunderstood awkward princess slays dragons, becomes hero, and has TWO boyfriends  shocked), and A Long Way from Verona  (snarky 12-year-old aspiring writer girl in England during WWII). I also loved The Changeling by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (girl from dysfunctional and poor family convinces herself she's a changeling and eventually moves away to become a dancer), and Gone-Away Lake (kids in the 1950's discover an abandoned resort town on a drained lake where two kindly old people who were children about 60 years earlier live--escapist adoption/idyllic nature fantasy). I guess all my favorites involved orphans, girl-overcomes-difficult-past, main-character-becomes-artist, and/or idyllic nature. Hmm...

This is off-topic, but this also reminded me of Little Women, which I generally liked a lot but I hated the part where Amy burns Jo's writings out of spite and is forgiven--it reminded me too much of ensis being groomed as mother's proxy to do similar things. On the same subject of quality-books-primarily-aimed-at-girls, there was another one called Adopted Jane about an orphanage-raised girl who has a chance to live with two families over the course of a summer. Mother loved this book, and I did too when I was younger, but I realized recently that the heroine does a lot of somewhat abusive self-talk that mother always upheld as an ideal to which I should aspire. Weird...
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« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2009, 09:03:39 PM »

Call of the Wild-I loved the strength and the ability to overcome anything

The Little Prince-the section about how to tame something was very interesting to me.
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« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2009, 10:32:49 PM »

I read the Babysitter's club books too, couldn't touch horror or dark thrillers as a kid, I had too many nightmares in general to deal with additional ones. & as a semi-amusing side note, last night I had a nightmare about having to find a Nancy Drew book LOL.

I also liked the Encyclopedia Brown books ^_^

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« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2009, 10:41:56 PM »

The only book I remember that might have helped me in my early youth was Laura Ingalls Wilder's 'Little House on the Prairie'. It probably attracted me because she had a loving family.

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« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2009, 11:00:10 PM »

I'm a little surprised that no one has said Matilda (Roald Dahl) yet! the movie with Danny Devito popularized the story, but the book is a bit different, as they usually are.

She's naughty, but her parents are ogres (not real ogres). To combat the mean adults in her life, she has magical powers that help her right the wrongs of the adults, or at least make them more bearable. Once she finds a save haven, the powers diminish.

Reading was and is my all time favorite hobby, for escapism and learning. (You'd think I would have a better handle on writing!)
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