Top Ten Tuesday is something that a blog that I follow, The Broke and the Bookish, does every Tuesday. I've always wanted to participate but normally missed it due to work or just being completely clueless as to the day of the week and such. This week is top ten gateway books/authors that were a big part in my love for reading, so how in the world could I turn down the chance to talk about the books I read that got me here. This is in no particular order at all.
1. Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
I was homeschooled as a kid, so this series not only was something fun for me to read, but it also worked in with some Social Studies stuff as well. I loved these books and read them multiple times. It was one of those I could not put down. It's possible I loved it so much because a lot of the setting was near where I grew up. It's possible I was very fond of reading books set in this particular time period. It's possible I was interested in the various things that were going on because they were things that I did not see in the 90's and 2000's. I'm sure it was a mix of all of those, but I absolutely loved these books and reading about life on the Prairie. It got me really into historical fiction and reading about families settling into new areas. It was a huge genre for me after reading this book, and I still enjoy them (if only I could find some good ones).
2. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Oh gosh, I loved this book. Unfortunately, it's been so long since I've read it that I can't pinpoint just why I was so in love with it. I think that I loved the world that surrounded this book. I loved what this garden did for the characters. It was one of those books that just made me so happy. I really should read this one again when I get the chance. I think that I would dive into it even more and pick up on more. I just remember that I was absolutely in love with this book and wanted to read more like it as often as I could.
3. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Ok, come on...who didn't love the Boxcar Children? I seriously loved them. I thought it would be so fun to live in a box car like they did. I used to imagine myself in their situation and the different things I would do if I livd in a boxcar. I was kind of a nerdy kid. I read quite a few from this particular series, though I can't remember all of them (because there are SO many). These were really fun adventure stories that kept pushing me into trying to find a series. I still recommend these to kids today.
4. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
It's quite possible this was the first book to make me cry. I sobbed when I read this one. I was so involved in this book it's insane. I think I was in 6th grade when I read it, and it was just the first one I got so emotionally invested in. It's what really got me to read Kate DiCamillo books. She is a fantastic author. This is another one of those books that I honestly don't remember too well. I am one of those that unfortunately has a hard time remembering what books where about past a certain point. I mean I know the basics, but sometimes I'll forget details and such. But I do remember absolutely adoring this book and have always kept an eye out for what Kate DiCamillo is doing.
5. True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
I read this one in school. I remember it was my first year in a public school and I was excited because I was placed in an upper level reading group. It was with two other people who I became pretty good friends with throughout my schooling there. I just remember LOVING this book. The language, the story, the journey the main character went on. I loved loved loved it. It's one of those that I also recommend to people all the time. Once again, can't remember all the details of this particular book but I loved it and it got me into reading more books like this with female characters, which is not always easy to find.
6. Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace
This was just a wonderful story about young friendship with a really great series that went along with it. I loved this book and the series so much (and I am so mad I never went to see the Betsy-Tacy houses when I was going to school in Mankato). It was one of those that was simple and fun and easy and I loved it. I think it gave me a good description of friendship. It also was another historical-fiction piece that I loved. It seems that historical-fiction was HUGE in my childhood.
7. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
Did you doubt that this series would make the list? This book really threw me into the world of fantasy. It was a book series that I waited and waited for each and every release date (most of the series that I was into in the past were considered classics and we just already owned all of them or they weren't flying off the library shelves) and then devoured once we got the new copy. It was the first book series that I watched come to life in front of me in the screen. I grew up with Harry Potter. I was immersed in his world and all that happened. I was CRUSHED when characters died and I was cheering them on throughout the entire series. It opened up a whole new world of reading for me, and I love it.
8. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
I read this book more times than I could count. Seriously, I devoured it time and time again. This was one of those books that threw me into the world of fractured fairy tales. I would read so many of her books, and this one got me into the rest of them. I recommend these to young girls (like 4th grade and up...maybe 3rd grade) all the time. They are just entertaining, and books that I would just finish in a couple hours. And don't be fooled, this book is NOT at all like the movie. The book is SO much better than the movie. Like a million times better. I mean I did find the movie light and fun, but it was not at all like the book. I would even read it now, again, if I had the chance.
9. Voyage on the Great Titanic by Ellen Emerson White
Oh my gosh, this book. I read this book many times and was obsessed with finding out more about the Titanic (I kinda read this when we had dial up internet though so my priorities when I got computer time kind of shifted and never to find out more about it). I would read so many other books about it, but this was my favorite one. I connected with a character on the Titanic and I think I cared about it more throughout this book than anything other. I loved the Dear America series. I read as many of these as I could. I loved the idea of connecting with one individual person throughout some event in history. It reminded me that these things were personal to people when they were happening. I mean we read about them in our classes through textbooks and don't look at what an individual might actually be going through. I loved these books so much, and even have my own personal collection of them.
10. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
This book.... I loved this book. I remember reading it for a few different classes at various points in my schooling, but the first time I read it I only read a preview. I remember it was part of our textbook in 6th (?) grade so we only read part of it. I immediately went to the library to find it and demolished this book. It was one of those stories I was not used to. It got me into reading more and more stories about the Holocaust, but it also got me into reading about people that were helping victims of the Holocaust. I for some reason really like to read books on this topic. I think it helps me remember things that I wasn't even alive for. It breaks my heart, but it reminds me that even during that dark time there was good in some people. This was one of my favorites. And it has been on my syllabus multiple times in my life between middle/high school and college. It's an excellent book.
Ah, that was fun. Kind of took me down memory lane and reminded me what I enjoyed so much as a kid. I am shocked to see just how much historical fiction really has influenced my reading in the past. That's something that I hope to get back to. I really liked doing this. Hope I can do it again next week!