Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
This list was not easy to compile. Even now I’m questioning whether I should take some off and replace them with others. I think it’s pretty comprehensive, for the most part. And it features series more than individual books. At the end of the day, these are the reads of my childhood. And they’re very important to me.
10. Sweet Valley University by Francine Pascal
How I fell into reading Sweet Valley Univesity books is actually kind of a funny story. You see, when I was young my school used to do this thing where we’d get together late at night and do this sort of yard sale in the cafeteria. I can’t for the life of me recall why this was a thing, but I loved it because a lot of what would be sold would be old books from some of my classmates or kids in the older classes. Well, someone a fair bit older than me was getting rid of her massive collection of SVU novels and so I bought them all.
Irony of all irony, I was about eight at the time. So, at that young age, I was introduced to some rather adult topics by reading these novels. Fortunately, I was rather advanced with reading and frankly, considering my parents weren’t the best of educators, it set me up to be a much better person than I might have been.
9. T-Witches by H. B. Gilmour
I loved this series when I was little. I reread it a few years ago and was definitely a little disappointed. They just weren’t as exceptional as I remembered them being. But, honestly, I do see these books as immensely beneficial to my childhood. And I enjoyed every second I spent with them. The movies upset me, I won’t lie…but I think there’s something to be said for the fact that they deviated immensely from the source material. And while this can sometimes be a good thing (see: The Count of Monte Cristo), in the case of T-Witches, it wasn’t. And it’s a real shame because I think Tia and Tamara could have done wonders with a better script. And I actually still have these books hidden in the back of my bookshelf!
8. The Secrets of Droon by Tony Abbott
I wish I’d read more of these books when I was young enough to truly enjoy them. I remember being so proud of myself when I was able to finish three of these all in one day. Going back to these books is something that definitely leaves me feeling like I wouldn’t care to continue reading the series–maybe if I were reading them to my own kids? Unfortunately, my stint with these books was to have the first three and then a few out of order, which I ironically refused to read because I couldn’t bring myself to read them without going in exact order. And for some reason, I just never got the other ones? I still own these too, lol.
7. Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erikson
My second-grade teacher used to read these books to us for our reading hour. I was probably one of the few kids who actually sat down to pay attention and didn’t goof off like a doofus the whole time. I loved these books then. I still love them now. When my brother was about four, I went out and bought the first ten (which I still have) so, at fourteen, I could read them to him. And honestly, I just look at the Hank the Cowdog books with such fondness. It was also a way for childish me to practice my Southern accent, which I really enjoyed doing for some reason, while I read to my brother.
6. Spellfall by Katherine Roberts
So, Spellfall was a library book I borrowed and loved. And then I forgot about it. Years later this would be the book that I found myself frustratingly searching for because I recalled liking it but barely remembered what it was about, what it was called, or who had written it. And I spent years after desperately searching for this book, but never finding it. Well, the reason for that was my memory had told me the book was called Spellbound. Yay me. Anyway, I found it just last year! As an ARC of all things!
5. Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz
I don’t know if I could say these books shaped a huge part of my childhood or really influenced me much as a person, but damn if I didn’t love them. I’ve always been a fan of Anthony Horowitz and it was the Alex Rider series that really introduced me to him. Which is why, now that he’s writing more of them, I can’t help feeling incredibly annoyed that they haven’t been published with the old covers, which I own. I haven’t bought the new ones specifically because they don’t match my set. It’s so annoying.
4. Warriors by Erin Hunter
Believe it or not, I used to be a pretty big fan of cats. In fact, they were my favorite animal for a while. I think that’s got some sort of influence in how much I love foxes now because I basically think of them as cat-dogs. I would read just about any book that had a cat in it. I even had a ginormous encyclopedia of cats that eight-year-old me actually dragged in my backpack to a friggin’ birthday party. Warriors was one of those book series’ that drew me in and kept me attached for years. Somehow, I managed to lose all my copies in the big move my family made when I was thirteen, but you can bet that when I have kids I will be reading these books to them.
3. Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene
I’ve never been a fan of mystery novels. So it’s somewhat ironic that Nancy Drew has a place on my list. But these are actually books that I spent a significant part of my second-grade year reading. I can’t recall how many I got through, but it was at least half of the massive collection my mother had given me. You see, the books she had were from her childhood. She also had The Hardy Boys, but I never spent a lot of time with those. I stopped reading Nancy by third grade and moved on to other things, though. Still, one thing I’ll always remember about these books is that they’re how I found out my grandmother’s name was Georgiana.
2. The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
I always used to say that this book was for me and my sister. You see, I was born blonde while she was brunette. I was older, she was younger. I talked about adventure like crazy, but never went on any. She usually did all the cool things. If you’ve read this book, you’ll see where I saw the parallels. And when my mother read this book to us, it was at a point in our lives where my sister and I had a better relationship. It seemed very much as though these two princesses could be us. It’s not quite the same now, but there you have it.
1. Eragon by Christopher Paolini
This is the book I read the most in my childhood. I read it when I stayed home sick from school–something I actually remember quite vividly–and I read it sitting on the stairs during recess while I was at school. I read it under the desk when my teachers weren’t paying attention. I carried it around in my bag and read it so much that today this is the most beaten up copy of a book that I own (as referenced in a previous TTT). I lost it in a classroom once and lost my entire mind sobbing about it. I think it’s safe to call this my number one childhood read.
And that’s all for this week. I’m also very tired right now, so ciao until next time! Happy reading!