Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Childhood Favorites

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week.

This week’s top ten topic is Top Ten Tuesday REWIND — pick a past topic you missed or one you want to revisit! Looking back at topics from before I found the wonderful world of Top Ten Tuesday, I decided to go with a list of the ten books (or series of books) that I remember loving the best, so long ago in the distant days of my youth…
Knight's Castle

1) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. In early readings, I wanted to be Beth (go ahead, psychoanalyze me based on that little fact!), then envied Amy her world travels, but finally came to appreciate Jo in all her prickly glory. Pop culture references to Little Women always make me happy — like when Joey read it on Friends. Classic, in so many ways.

2) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. It just never gets old. I’m trying to convince my 10-year-old to read it, mostly so I’ll have a good excuse for rereading it myself.

3) From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. Seriously, wouldn’t you love to run away to live in a museum? This books was responsible for my mad scribblings, throughout my youth, of a whole bunch of half-written stories involving running off to exotic locations and having crazy adventures.

10 kids 1

9 of my top 10 childhood favorites — I can’t believe I still have all of these!

4) Knight’s Castle by Edward Eager. I read this book as a kid and loved it — but years later, all I could remember was that it was about kids entering into an imaginary world throught their toy castle in the playroom. I had no idea about the title or author and was never able to track it down, until my daughter came home with Half Magic by the same author, and something just clicked into place.

5) The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I just adored these books as a kid, and didn’t know enough at the time to be bothered by some of the outdated attitudes. I loved Laura and her family, the crazy struggles for survival in harsh circumstances, and of course, the love story between Laura and Almanzo. Whoa, those blizzards! I still get cold thinking about the kids trying to get home from school during a wild snow storm. Brrrrr.

merry rose

Merry, Rose, and Christmas Tree June

6) Merry, Rose and Christmas Tree June by Doris Orgel. This story of a girl and her dolls just really stuck with me, and it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I finally tracked down a copy. The fact that it’s illustrated by Edward Gorey just makes it even more of a win.

7) The All-of-a-Kind Family series by Sydney Taylor. My sister and I could not get enough of these books about a Jewish family living on the Lower East Side of New York in the 1920s. Inspiration for many a game of make-believe at our house — we even asked to take on dusting chores so we could play the button game. (If you’ve read the books, you’ll understand).

8) Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White. Oh, come on, admit it — you cried when you read this one, right?

9) Tall and Proud by Vian Smith. I went through a phase where I read everything I could get my hands on about horses.* The only thing better than a horse book was a book about a girl fighting a dreadful illness. So what could be better than this terrific book (out of print now, I believe) about a girl with polio who learns to walk again for the sake of her horse?

*I felt like I should only include one horse book on this list, but it was a close call — so here’s my special little shout-out to the books of Marguerite Henry, most especially, Misty of Chincoteague, Stormy: Misty’s Foal, and Mustang: Wild Spirit of the West.


Horse books!

10) Light a Single Candle by Beverly Butler. In the same spirit as #9, this book about a girl dealing with blindness really resonated with my tween-self’s love of fictional heroines bravely battling illness, disability, or some other dramatic/tragic life event.

Light a Single Candle

I didn’t think I’d come up with ten, but now that I’m on a roll, it’s hard to stop!**

**I realize that I excluded Judy Blume’s books, which should certainly be on this list — but since I did a whole post about Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret last year, I figure I’m covered already.

What are your favorite books from childhood? Share your childhood reading memories in the comments!


23 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Childhood Favorites

  1. Little Women is such a fantastic, classic book. I loved it as a child and quite often revisit it as an adult. Great list!

    • I’ve reread Little Women several times as an adult (and once for a college class on women’s lit), but I haven’t read Little Men or Jo’s Boys since childhood. Maybe I should! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  2. Such a fun topic! I remember so many of these from my own childhood. I adored the Laura Ingalls Wilder series (and the t.v. show) as well as Judy Blume’s books, Charlotte’s Web, Little Women — SO many. Thanks for sharing!


    • This was a really fun one to put together, and I was actually surprised that between my own books and my daughter’s, I still had all of these in my house! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  3. Oooh, I love this topic, Lisa! It’s always nice to go back and revisit the books that initially made us voracious readers. The Little House series and Charlotte’s Web would’ve definitely made my list as well. I’d also have to add The Complete Tales by Beatrix Potter and old school Nancy Drew books.

    • I didn’t read The Secret Garden until I was already a mom. Sad but true! I reread the Little House books with my daughter and was surprised by the vivid memories I still had of those books.

  4. Oh I am right there with you on almost ALL of them!! I especially went through my Horse phase (did it ever really stop? Now it is just cowboys on horses lol) and have not run into too many people who have read Misty of Chincoteague too!

    We chose to share our Favorite Places to Read this week on Harlie’s Books. Come on over!

  5. I’ve actually only read Little Women from your list! It’s a good book – and, as it happens, a good movie adaptation, too (the one with Winona Ryder). Some of my childhood favorites are the Moomin books by Tove Jansson and The Lion,the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.

    • My son & I just started reading the Narnia series together! I’d read The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe years ago, but not any of the others. Fun! I agree about the Little Women movie — very good. 🙂

  6. I loved Charlotte’s Web and in fact still love it. While I haven’t read Little Women I plan to some day. I also went through the read horses book phase as a kid and have some of them still on my shelf today, though I don’t think I read Tall and Proud but now I want to.

  7. Lovvvved Little House on the Prairie! Little Women was a favorite book and movie when I was younger.
    I also loved the Anne of Avonlea series. This makes me want to go back and reread 🙂
    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    • I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never read the Anne books. I picked up Anne of Green Gables at a recent used book sale — now to find time to read it!

    • Somehow I missed out on Harriet the Spy when I was a kid. I know my older sister had a copy, but this must be one that she refused to let me borrow. (I used to raid her books pretty regularly, but whenever we had a fight, she’d snatch them back!). I thought the movie was pretty charming, but always felt like I should go back and read the book.

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