Aaah, the unofficial start to summertime and my desire to reach for familiar friends and reread while outside enjoying the squishy feel of grass and dirt beneath my bare feet. I admit Summer snuck up on me this year with the cool late Spring.
These are some of my favorites, both as a child and now as an adult. Some are held together with love and tape. Some had more gentle handling over the years. Some I didn’t read until an adult but I think I would have enjoyed them had I discovered them earlier.
Please do not ask me if book (title) is appropriate for your child, at age (whatever). I do not judge or advise, it is up to you the parent to decide how much you need to guide your child’s reading choices. I’m pretty sure I read some things that parents would say weren’t appropriate and I didn’t read others for years for reasons intended or not.
Alphabetical by Author. The photo is how they would stack nicely without toppling.
- Watership Down by Richard Adams, I’m not sure why I didn’t read this until a few years ago but I’m happy I finally did. It has joined the stack of beautiful summer reads. It’s not the book you think it is, but so much more.
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This is The Book that started it all. I lost the plastic slip cover years ago, but this is the copy I thought of while writing my What (Else) Would Madame Defarge Knit? essay and designing Ben Weatherstaff’s Friend. The illustrations in my book are by Kathy Mitchell (and © 1987) so I assume I received this gift in 1987 or 1988. I’m 99.999% positive I received it prior to that day in 1989. I don’t recall turning to this for comfort then, but I do know I reread it constantly in the years to follow…
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. I first read this book in college after a friend introduced me to it (and if I recall insisted we go to a bookstore right then so I could buy a copy of my own to read and then immediately reread.) As someone who went through the G&T, Honors, and AP tracks at school I enjoy and appreciate it. Yes, I’m aware of the upcoming movie. I’m cautiously optimistic.
- The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin. I wanted to draw dresses like Wanda (or actually Louis Slobodkin). I always felt on the outside of my classmates circles, even though we were completely American compared to several children who trickled in and out of my elementary school. I recall fashion plates and I would try to make pretty dresses. My fashion illustration skills haven’t improved much over the years even though I keep trying. I recently discovered a non-fiction revisit of this 1945 Newbery Honor winner. I’ve not read it yet, but it has definitely caught my interest.
- The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, illustrated by Jules Feiffer. Yes, the cover is held in place with packing tape. This was a 1987 birthday gift from my parents and was reread often (especially if it was a rainy day). I’m continuously surprised by how many have not read this classic. It took all my strength not to abandon drafting this post and reread it right away.
- Anne of Geen Gables by L M Montgomery. I discovered her in jr high and fell hard for my kindred spirit. Many classmates were surprised to discover I hadn’t read her books and kept making sure I read the next book, and the next book… This isn’t actually the copy I’ve reread zillions of times, I purchased it a few years ago to scratch my I need to reread Anne itch. I’ll find that copy someday.
- Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey. I have no idea why it took so many years for me to be introduced to this author and series, but I’m thankful it finally happened. While The Black Gryphon was my introduction to Valdemar, I enjoy this series and its characters best.
- Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey. Again, I have no idea why it took so many years for me to be introduced to this author and series, but I’m thankful it finally happened. I think Menolly and I would have gotten along quite well with high school reader me! I enjoy rereading all the Pern books, but the Harper Hall Trilogy resonates the strongest.
- Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling. I think this year I’ll be different and je prévois lire ce livre en français (and given the difficulty I had in writing that statement, it should be an interesting adventure. Where’s my dictionary?)
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, illustrated by Garth Williams. was a gift in November 1987. The beginning has always snagged me (as preemie) but I confess I haven’t reread this one in a while. It was in a grouping of books I brought home from my mother’s the other day that helped write this post.
“But it’s unfair,” cried Fern. “The pig couldn’t help being born small, could it? If I had been very small at birth, would you have killed me?”
Mr. Arable smiled. “Certainly not,” he said, looking down at his daughter with love. “But this is different. A little girl is one thing, a little runty pig is another.”
“I see no difference,” replied Fern, still hanging on to the ax. “This is the most terrible case of injustice I ever heard of.”
A queer look came ovver John Arable’s face. He seemed almost ready to cry himself.
“All right,” he said. “You go back to the house….”
- Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingles Wilder, illustrated by Garth Williams. I own a box set and I used to see how many times I could reread it each summer or before bed. I suspect one of these shabbat I will pull the box out of our special editions bookcase and read through the series in on go.
What books are you looking forward to rereading this summer? Is there one you love rereading and think should join my list?