Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 kid/tween/teen books that I’d love to revisit


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Top 10 Books From My Childhood (or Teen Years) That I Would Love To Revisit. Putting together this list is a little bit harder than I’d first thought. Since it’s all about books that I want to re-read, I’m going to rule out books that I’ve already revisited with my own kids… making my brain work a bit harder to remember my childhood favorites!

Books I loved as a kid/tween/teen — and which I should surely revisit one of these days:

1) Tall and Proud by Vian Smith: A girl, a horse, polio, bad guys, a dramatic rescue… is this book really as amazing as I remember it? Or did it just perfectly suit 11-year-old me at the time?


2) Light a Single Candle by Beverly Butler: Anyone else remember this book about a 14-year-old girl losing her eyesight, learning Braille, and getting a seeing eye dog? In my tween mind, this was the best thing ever.

Light a Single Candle

3) Merry Rose and Christmas-Tree June by Doris Orgel: It took me years as an adult to track down a copy of this childhood favorite about a girl separated from her beloved dolls. I remember this book as being awesome. I did not remember that the illustrations are by Edward Gorey!

Merry Rose collage

4) Mustang, Wild Spirit of the West by Marguerite Henry: Despite never taking a single riding lesson, I went through the standard-issue young girl horse phase, as evidenced by my obsessive reading of the works of Marguerite Henry. I loved them all, but Mustang, Wild Spirit of the West was my absolute favorite:


5) The works of Judy Blume, especially Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and Deenie. Judy Blume was THE way to learn about bras, boys, periods, and scoliosis.

Blume collage

6) The All-of-a-Kind Family books by Sydney Taylor: I absolutely wanted to be one of the girls in this large, rambunctious family. Somehow, in the books, living in a cramped apartment on the Lower East Side of New York in the early 1900s sounded so glamorous!

All of A Kind Family

7) Lisa, Bright and Dark by John Neufeld: Another tween/early teen obsession: Reading about teens with all sorts of physical and mental illnesses. I remember thinking this one was SO GOOD, but maybe it was just because of the main character’s name…

Lisa Bright and Dark

8) Knight’s Castle by Edward Eager: I had no idea what this book was called for many, many years. I just remember loving a story about a group of kids who kept ending up inside the imaginary worlds that they set up in their playroom each night. Finally finding this book as an adult was a major achievement!

Knight's Castle

9) The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare: I’d love to read this one again! I remember utterly loving it.

Witch of Blackbird Pond

10) And finally, two childhood classics that sparked fantasies and countless short stories focused on running away from home to exciting destinations: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg and My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George.

Kidbook collage


Which childhood (or tween/teen) favorites would you most like to revisit?

Share your links, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

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24 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 kid/tween/teen books that I’d love to revisit

    • It makes me laugh a bit to see some of these. I thought Lisa Bright & Dark was SO powerful at the time… but I wonder if I would appreciate it at all if I read it as an adult. Some books really resonate because of the when we read them, I think…

    • I missed out on the more kid-oriented Judy Blume books (Blubber, etc), but boy, did we love these adolescent exploration books! I remember one summer at camp when everyone was passing around Forever — we felt very grown-up!

  1. Witch at Blackbird Pond and The Mixed Up Files are both ones I read as a kid, though I didn’t think to put either on my list. A couple of horse books made my list, though. That genre must have been popular when we were kids. 😀 Great list. Happy Tuesday! My TTT

  2. You won’t believe it…but I’ve never read any of these books, never mind that many of them are considered childhood staples. Maybe it’s time to visit the Children’s Section again.

    • Even though I’m a full-grown adult, I still love visiting the children’s section of the bookstore! And there are a few childhood staples that I really need to read finally, especially Anne of Green Gables. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I read so many Marguerite Henry books as a kid.
    I also read My Side of the Mountain a few times. That book made me want to get a falcon. Sadly, my dad said no. 🙂
    This is a great list. Thanks for sharing!

    • LOL, I love that you wanted a falcon! I made up such elaborate stories about running off to the woods after reading that book. I remember I even wrote up a packing list! (My mother said no. Parents — so restrictive!) I’m so glad to meet another Marguerite Henry fan! Those books were so amazing.

  4. hahaha I went through a horse phase when I was young too! My mom actually did put me in lessons though but I actually hated it so it changed my mind quick. lol I did read Stormy though, pre-lessons of course. Wow, I haven’t even heard of some of these! Love finding new books, especially when they’re favorites. Will have to check them out. 🙂

    • Lucky you, at least you got lessons! 🙂 (Quite pathetically, my friend and I used to just gallop around the backyard on our pretend horses…)

  5. I loved Witch of Blackbird Pond when I was a teenager. My recollection later was just that the main character had two boys interested in her, which I must have thought was terrific at the time. Imagine my surprise when years later my son was reading it in sixth grade for social studies. The book I’d enjoyed was educational. That kind of ruined the memory.

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