These were some of the books I read as a child. Some of them are quite boring and only have one or two parts that I remembered fondly instead of the title, and others remained in my head like bricks to help me build my character. As I grew, I would have times that I would remember a book plot piece out of the blue and couldn’t remember what the name of the book was. And unfortunately I didn’t have access to the internet to look up the small synopsis of plot I had, much less find a website that gave you a list of books based on your plot line. I call these books, “the Ghost Books.” They are there in my head but the details are fuzzy. It took me years to remember the titles of books that I read in between periods of time when we moved around from place to place. And funny enough, they were right there in my brother’s room; he usually had a copy of some books I’d be reading. Case in point: “The Magician’s Nephew.” He owns a lot of C.S. Lewis. I remember reading “The Magician’s Nephew” but I could not remember the title of it. Probably because the second book, “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” came out when I had just turned 11. But now, let’s look at some of the books that I believe, helped define my character.
C. S. Lewis helped me carve out a sense of wonder with his amazing and heart capturing adventures through the wardrobe. His tales sent me jumping into puddles hoping they were new and mysterious worlds.
And he especially taught me to be kind to people who are different, because those are usually the best kind of people.
“Julie of the Wolves” taught me to be gentle hearted, grateful and down to Earth. “Trouble’s Daughter” taught me about grief, adapting to unfortunate circumstances and living with violence in your past. The FableHaven series taught me to be imaginative and go searching for magical worlds that I couldn’t find in my every day surroundings. There were so many more great books I could have and should have read, but at least the ones I did choose gave me a real love and appreciation for things I would have probably learned the hard way otherwise.
For example, I think its boring for people to just concern themselves with the world here and now. Isn’t it more fun to think every once in awhile at least, that there is some sort of conspiracy or group of hidden passages hidden somewhere just within reach of your daily routine? Of course it is. Is it practical? Only if you use your imagination responsibly and not let it take over your life, depressing you and not allowing you to progress forward in any way.
“The Secret Garden,” for example, I read over and over. I always wanted to move into a house with a gated back yard and a big forest surrounding us. Maybe there would be a secret society hiding there or some locked door I would have to find the key in the house for. But these stories usually require a miserable orphan that is put in the custody of a great uncle and I was happily situated with my birth parents.
I felt this way about “A Little Princess” as well. I tried to use my imagination and bring great ideas to life just like Sarah, but alas I was still in my room with a blanket tied around my neck instead of a long cape. The tiara on my head was just a hat and I was just a little girl, and not hero. But the books made me feel like I was. The books connected me to these heroes and made me part of their lives. I may have been living in 2005 America, but it felt like 1930’s England.
Do you find, looking back, that some books defined you? Or still do to this day? What were they? Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew? James and the Giant Peach? Charlotte’s Web? Because of Winn-Dixie? Tell me what it was and why! Don’t remember the title? Here’s a list of children’s books A-Z.