Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish I'd Read as a Kid

The Broke and the Bookish hosts Top Ten Tuesday, a great meme for people who love lists (like me). This week's topic is Top Ten Books I Wish I'd Read as a Kid. I chose books that I missed out on for different reasons. Some weren't published until I was an adult. Others because I was the wrong age when they came out. And then there were those I just plain never knew about at the time or never got around to reading. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Spinky Sulks by William Steig
A champion sulker myself, I would have adored this picture book that gets sulking exactly right. "The world was against him, so he was against the world..."

2. Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel
My favorite beginning reader. I wish it had been around when I was first learning to read.

3. The Witches by Roald Dahl (and practically every other book written by the master)
I saw The Witches in the movie theater and then ran home to read the book (way better, especially the ending).

4. Ordinary Jack by Helen Cresswell (and all other books in the Bagthorpe Saga)
This series would have been right up my alley. It features an eccentric English family who drive one another bonkers with their shenanigans. Every year or so I reread them and laugh all over again.

5. Which Witch? by Eva Ibbotson
I just found out about Ibbotson when I read her obit last year. What a great writer! I would have devoured her books as a kid. Which Witch? is a humorous and ghoulish fantasy about a prince who holds a contest to choose a wife. I'm currently making my way through the rest of her novels.

6. Oddballs by William Sleator
Another book that is hysterically funny, this one a memoir of the author's childhood by a noted fantasy YA writer. It opens with Sleator and his sister in the family car's back seat playing their favorite game--telling their life stories as excrement. His sister likes to imagine the beginning of her existence "as an Oreo cookie or a Hostess cupcake, eaten by Queen Elizabeth at a royal banquet in Buckingham Palace." What kid wouldn't love this?

7. The Goats by Brock Cole
I was never big on overly realistic books as a kid. I preferred fantasy. But I'm sure I would have made an exception for this gripping novel about two misfits, a boy and a girl, stranded on an island by their fellows campers for a cruel prank. Oh, and they are both stripped naked. How they connect and join forces is truly amazing.

8. Owl in Love by Patrice Kindl
A fourteen-year-old girl who not only is in love with her science teacher; she's a shape-shifter to boot and keeps watch over him at night, perched in a tree as an owl. A fantasy that is both wonderfully strange and humorous.

9. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
My all-time favorite movie, I am embarrassed to admit I never read the book or any of the others. I hang my head in shame.

10. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Another book I have never read, although I have memories of my mother reading bits of it to me and my sister when we were little little.

I'm sure I'll think of many more before the day is over, but here's my list for now. What are the books you wished you read?


  1. +JMJ+

    The Goats sounds intriguing! I haven't heard of it until now.

    I learned about Eva Ibbotson when I was in uni and believe I would have loved her, had I discovered her as a girl. Which Witch? is actually the first of her books that I read. Then came The Secret of Platform 13, which I really should reread soon . . . and one I can't remember about a household of ghosts. She's a great children's storyteller! =)

  2. Just checked out The Secret of Platform 13. Can't wait to read it!

  3. Ah, cool post!! I actually just blogged this morning about influential books in my childhood but this presents a whole new question. I'd have to say that any of the Narnia books would have been up my alley, yet I never read any of them.