Our Childhood Books

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Our Childhood Books

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abr. 6, 2013, 11:51am

I just noticed Homer Price on LT, and started to reminisce about books from childhood days. A previous thread discussed early influential books, but what childrens and YA (they of course weren't called that, back then) books did we enjoy?

Editat: abr. 6, 2013, 12:58pm

As a teen I read things like:

Seventeenth Summer - Maureen Daly
I'll Find My Love - Joan Dirksen
Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
To Nick From Jan - Julie Campbell Tatham
East Wind West Wind - Pearl Buck
The Good Earth - Pearl Buck
A Fall of Moondust - Arthur C. Clarke
Countdown for Cindy - Eloise Engle

*That last one is really interesting. While definitely a girly YA, with some romance thrown in, it was written expressly to encourage girls with the idea of someday going into space. And this was early...1960-ish, I think

abr. 13, 2013, 1:46pm

In my early and mid teens I readi;

Battle Cry, and Exodus by Leon Uris
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace
The Robe by Lloyd C. Lewis
The Egyptian by Mika Waltari
Twelve O'Clock High by Beirne Lay, Jr.
Beat to Quarters by C. S. Forester
Mutiny on the Bounty
The Bridges at Toko-ri and Hawaii by James A. Michener
Here to Eternity
The Good Earth - Pearl Buck
The Keys of the Kingdom by A.J. Cronin

Hum! I can see two thing lookkng at this list. Where my fondness for historical fiction comes from, and the influence of the movies .

abr. 13, 2013, 2:49pm

In my early teens through high school... at least the ones I remember:
- everything Edgar Rice Burroughs
- To Hell and Back
- The Hobbit
- Lord of the Rings
- Chronicles of Narnia
- The Big E
- Bruce Catton

And many, many more

Editat: abr. 29, 2013, 2:20pm

I can remember with fondness reading the Eloise series. I have collected them again as an adult hoping to someday have a little girl to share them with. Black Beauty and Lassie Come Home were big. One year my mother enrolled me in a book-of-the-month deal and I can still remember one book about a boy in Holland during the WWII who hid a paratrooper in the windmill. What amazed me was that he was so hungry he picked watercress out of the grass.

When I was a teen, Gone with the Wind was my default book. If I had nothing else I would pull it down, open to a random page, and read from there. I also enjoyed Michener, John Irving, Salinger, Mary Stewart, Leon Uris and others. The library in my area was miserable so I just ended up reading adult books that passed through our house.

abr. 29, 2013, 2:31pm

I took a trip down memory lane last week when I saw that The Bobbsey Twins had just appeared on Overdrive as ebooks! One of my childhood favorites (yes, I'm that old) but I wonder how popular they would really be in these times.

I went from those straight to Cherry Ames.

I spent most of my teens with my nose in classics.

maig 10, 2013, 11:04am

In my teens I read a lot of Victoria Holt; Jean Plaidy; Philippa Carr (all pseudonyms for the same author); Mary Stewart; Catherine Gaskin; Norah Lofts; Gwen Bristow. I haven't reread any recently except one of Bristow's I picked up at an antique mall for $1...Calico Palace a year or so ago. It was still a pretty good read. I credit Plaidy with my love of British history...minored in it in college.

Loved Cherry Ames...there was another series about a nurse but I can't remember her name, but I think she had red hair. Anybody?

Does anyone remember the Donna Parker series? Or Trixie Belden? I read those when I was in my tweens (although we didn't have such a word back then, lol). And there was a series about twins...Double Date was (maybe) the first in the series, I think there were 3 or 4 and ended with Double Wedding (again a maybe...the touchstoens aren't working for those titles)

maig 12, 2013, 7:14pm

I think the red-headed nurse was Sue Barton. I think we are of similar vintage, TEL, because all your mentions were exactly what I was reading too.

maig 14, 2013, 7:34pm

Sue Barton, that's her! I remember liking that series but liking Cherry Ames better. And my memory just got jogged, and I remembered the author of those twin books. It was Rosamond du Jardin, after a little research I found the books were Double Date; Double Feature; Showboat Summer, and Double Wedding. My sisters & I read them multiple times, as that was pretty much the extent of the "young adult" section of our public library, lol. Which explains why I went into adult fiction at a pretty young age. Touchstones still not working on most of those titles!

maig 18, 2013, 5:22pm

I think I read my way across the entire Children's and YA section of our public library, and a lot of "grown-up"" books, too. I had a lot more time in those days! The ones I re-read several times were Rosemary Sutcliff, Mary Stewart, Pearl S. Buck, Georgette Heyer, Erich Kästner. And Karl May, of course.

juny 9, 2013, 2:39pm

Your post reminds me of all those Landmark books YA biographies YA example, Francis Marion, JFK and PT 109. etc.

juny 9, 2013, 5:27pm

Yes! We had those too.

Editat: juny 27, 2013, 2:45pm

Alice in Wonderland I re-read this every few years, but usually Annotated Alice edition edited by Martin Gardner
The Five Find-outers Series by Enid Blyton led to my interest in detective fiction
Roger Lancelyn Green's retelling of the King Arthur myths
Malcolm Saville's Lone Pine series
But the title that had the biggest influence on me was Alan Garner's Owl Service...it led me to the Mabinogion and thence to Celtic literature and history.
Rebecca was my obsession during my teens, I read it over and over.

juny 27, 2013, 2:52pm

Funny you'd mention Rebecca. I just saw the movie (again) last night and was trying to remember if I ever read it.

I read all the series books--Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Cherry Ames--mostly in their 1950s versions. My aunt gave us some vintage 1930s Nancy Drew books and I remember trying to puzzle out what a "roadster" was. Other things, too, but it is the mystery of the roadster that has stayed with me.

I read the Bobbsey Twins too, in the 1930s versions, I think. The idea of taking the train on an "excursion" to the beach seemed very odd and exotic.

jul. 2, 2013, 4:13pm

I remember reading the Nancy Drew series, Donna Parker, Heidi, Little Women, Freckled and Fourteen, Young Miss, Fifteen, The Great Gatsby, The Jungle, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Red Sky at Morning, Lord of the Flies...

My mother encouraged me to read the Grace Livingston Hill books.

jul. 28, 2013, 10:18pm

Some of the reads I can remember were The Bobbsey Twins series (I still have about 30 of the books), Heidi, Little women, Gone with the Wind, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Victoria Holt (Jean Plaidy), Black Beauty, Jack London books-The Call of the Wild and White Fang. I also read a lot of James Mitchner (Hawaii, Texas, Chesapeake, Alaska) and also The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone. Love Story (about 3 times!), and if the Godfather came out in the 60's, I read that then, also.

jul. 29, 2013, 11:26am

I remember the excitement when the new Scholastic Book Service flyer came home every other month or so. My parents were pretty indulgent. I was in the "Arrow Book Club" IIRC. I read Homer Price and Encyclopedia Brown and various others that I can't remember. There was one about a tunnel through time, and one about an enormous egg. Plus some collections of jokes and brain teasers. Wish I had kept them. My sisters liked other things, but I wouldn't know about them. Icky girl stuff.

Beyond those I remember Narnia, Make Room for Ducklings, Curious George, The Once and Future King, and the Hardy Boys books.

ag. 9, 2013, 4:27pm

I grew up in a rural, very poor area. There was no money for books, except maybe a book on my birthday and/or at Christmas. Thankfully, my elementary teachers kept their own mini-libraries ,and that kept me going since our elementary school did not have a library. In the summer, thank God for the bookmobile! It came once a month and stopped about 1/4 of a mile from my house. My mom would tug all 3 of us kids to the bookmobile and we would check out the limit, which was 4 books each. However, once the bookmobile lady saw how much I read, I was permitted to check out 10 books at a time....even at that, I had to choose wisely and not read them all up in 2 weeks! She would even have a stack of books that she thought I would like for me to check through. Loved that bookmobile lady!

ag. 9, 2013, 6:39pm

They used to bring a bookmobile around my just-barely-in-the-city neighborhood in the mid 1950s. I remember once--must have been the summer between first and second grade because we moved soon after--finding a book in that library that I'd remembered reading. It must have been one of the first books I read by myself because it made quite an impression on me. It was about a basset hound, I think :-)

Anyway, I checked it out so I could have and savor again the experience of reading it. Was I disappointed! It was so...so...baby! I could not understand what I had found so interesting in it before. Much later, I realized that what had made it so special originally was the breakthrough experience of connecting the marks on the paper to words in my head, all by myself. That made the book unforgettable.

I still wonder, if I were to see it again, if I would recognize it.

ag. 9, 2013, 6:48pm

There were two non-series books that made a big impression on me as a little girl. I still remember the name of one of them, Si, Si, Rosita. I remember it so fondly, I should catalog it in my Read but not Owned collection. (Actually, I thought I had, but apparently not.) Funny how you remember things.

Around the same time I read a book about a little girl in ancient Egypt. That made a huge impression on me, too, though for this book I can't remember the title or even plot specifics. Still, I often wonder if it might have been that book that sparked my love for ancient history.

Editat: ag. 10, 2013, 10:37pm

I have always had a keen interest in nature and natural history. As a child, I read, and re-read The World We Live In and The Sea Around Us. I also cherished those small Golden Nature Guides by Herbert Zim.

ag. 10, 2013, 11:37pm

First books i remember reading for pleasure was
Ramona & Beezus (at least 6 of the series)
The Bobsey Twins (at least 2 of the series, maybe 3)
The Boxcar Children (at least 2 of the series, maybe 3)

As a young adult, I fell in Love with Jacqueline Susann. I read several times each
Once is Not Enough
Valley of the Dolls

Later, but still a teen, I read
The Godfather
Gone With the Wind

ag. 13, 2013, 12:58pm

I remember enjoying the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lindgren

Editat: set. 7, 2013, 9:00pm

I was digging in the Goodwill Outlet bin and came up with The Exciting World of Dinosaurs. I don't recall owning that as a kid. I noted in huge font, the original price, $1.95. No, it is extremely unlikely that I owned it.


Right next to it was a 4X7 inch pamphlet, entitled "The exciting World of Dinosaurs, Sinclair Dinoland."

A chill ran down my spine. I KNOW I owned that 8-page booklet, and read it over and over and over. I don't remember the Sinclair exhibit in '65, but I do remember my little feet burning from walking all over that damn place, and those waxy molded plastic dinosaur figurines, made to order!

Wow, that little pamphlet brings back very vague, tiny childhood memories...

set. 8, 2013, 9:04am

Going through a box of donated books to process for our library collection, I found a beat up copy of Emil and the Detectives, cover price $.45. It was too worn for the library, and rather than put it on the "giveaway" cart for students and teachers, I took it for myself. I remember Miss Maroney, my 5th grade teacher reading it aloud.

set. 8, 2013, 1:57pm

Two books that I still love to read: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and The Trolley Car Family by Eleanor Lowenton Clymer. They just fed my imagination in such a way that I will always love them.

set. 8, 2013, 4:47pm

Phantom Tollbooth was and remains a favorite.

I've read and reread the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

One of my first books was The Call of the Wild, and from that day on, I gravitated towards any book about dogs and wolves, or just animals after that. For example:

White Fang
The Jungle Books
Silver Chief series
The Incredible Journey
The Wind in the Willows
Black Beauty
The Cricket in Times Square
The Hundred and One Dalmatians
My Friend Flicka
And any books written by Jim Kjelgaard, Glenn Balch, Jean Craighead George, Marguerite Henry, Walter Farley, CW Anderson, Sam Savitt, Thomas C Hinkle, Rutherford Montgomery, Ernest Thompson Seton, Albert Payson Terhune and James Oliver Curwood...to name a few!

I discovered Joyce Stranger after grabbing a book out of the library's adult section because it had a dog on the cover, Rex.

I did read the Narnia, Prydain and Middle Earth series, but the animal stories were and still are my favorites.

abr. 20, 2014, 7:20pm

I just picked up a copy of The Wonders of Life on Earth. At 10 or 12 years of age, had I known of this 1960 Time Life book existed, I would have also read this one cover-to-cover, repeatedly.

set. 5, 2014, 10:01am

>25 theexiledlibrarian: I don't think I would ever have remembered that one on my own, but I remember loving it in grade school. Thanks for the mention!

set. 2, 2015, 6:46pm

I had a copy of Emil too; I wonder where it is?

set. 26, 2015, 9:37am

>25 theexiledlibrarian: I loved that book!

Editat: set. 26, 2015, 10:22am

(I don't really belong here, having passed out of this age bracket.)

I have lovely memories of travelling around Germany by train as a student with a copy of Emil und die Detektive. I was in a German course, and used the weekend trips to practice my conversational German. I would chose a compartment with a family already in it. When the train started up I would pull out Emil. The children would laugh at such a big girl reading one of their favourite books.

"Ich lerne Deutsch. Dieses Buch kann ich verstehen." (I'm learning German. I can understand this book.)

And that was the end of reading. Lovely conversations with the children and their parents always followed.

set. 29, 2015, 2:16am

Sounds like a lovely way to learn a language!

oct. 13, 2015, 4:10pm

>32 MarthaJeanne: me too. I decided we weren't assuming that the something had to be a single digit. So as I turn fifty-twelve I'm still here.

oct. 13, 2015, 7:45pm

I'm fifty-sixteen and I'm still here.

Another author from my teenage years was Betty Cavanna. I especially love Paintbox Summer.

maig 29, 2017, 12:28am

When I got into good chapter books I remember several favorites. Black and blue magic,. Sir Machinery, ' the tripod Trilogy' and It's a mile from here to glory