(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish. Want to join in? Clicking the image will take you to this week’s post. Happy listing!)
This one was tough for me. A quick Google search for popular children’s books yielded several good lists…of books I’ve already read (many of which I remember vividly). I had to do lots of brain wracking, but I’ve come up with six good books I wish I’d read as a kid.
1. Anne of Green Gables – I enjoyed reading it as an adult, but I think that a lot of the magic and meaning of the story is lost on grown ups. I didn’t feel as much of a connection to the story as I thought I would; maybe reading the novel as a child would have made me feel more partial to Anne Shirley and her antics.
2. (More of) The Chronicles of Narnia – I mentioned awhile back that I gave up on Chronicles because I hate being bombarded by allegory. I’ve read the first two books in the series, and finally listened to an audio presentation of Voyage of the Dawn Treader on a road trip last year…but I’m just not loving it. Maybe if I’d read it as a kid, I would appreciate the series more.
3. The Phantom Tollbooth – I remember picking this book up at some point in elementary school, and I don’t remember why I never finished it. The plot sounds really cool, so I’m guessing that I was too young to understand, or got distracted. Either way, I’m sad to not have enjoyed it as a kid.
4. James and the Giant Peach – I read The BFG as a kid, and was obsessed with Matilda, but I never got around to reading about James and his adventures traveling inside an enormous piece of fruit. The movie really scared me, but Dahl’s writing is great, and I think this book would have been one I liked.
5. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret – A story that deals with a young girl’s struggle with religion, self-identity, and the changes puberty is causing to her body. These are things that loom large in young peoples’ lives, and I wish I could have read the novel at the right age. It may have helped me know that I wasn’t alone in the confusion and strangeness of young adulthood.
6. Winnie the Pooh – Although I know that these stories are fantastic for any age reader (and they’re making a new movie — yay!), I wish that I’d read them as a kid; it would have been even better if my mom and I could have read them aloud together. They’re such sweet characters and stories, and I wish I could have experienced them as a child.
What books do you think your younger self missed out on? Does reading a children’s book later in life mean that some of the magic of the story is lost?
12 thoughts on “Top 10 Books I Wish I’d Read as a Kid”
When I read Jane Eyre for the first time last year my first thought was, Why didn’t I read this when I was 12! I would have loved it. It’s the kind of book that can be appreciated at many ages.
I think I knew the basic story of Jane Eyre in middle school (I think I saw portions of the movie), but I didn’t read the actual novel until my senior year of high school. I’d say it’s a great read for any age, although the guys in my class weren’t thrilled about having to read it! 🙂
I’m amazed that you were able to put The Phantom Tollbooth down! I drank it all up in one gulp! If you ever get the chance to read it again, perhaps it will prove your interesting. =) (Tollbooth is on my own list–and is popping up on lots of others.)
Like I mentioned, I can’t remember why I stopped reading it. I’ve always had the habit of picking up books that are beyond my age level, though. I read Animal Farm in third grade because it sounded interesting; of course my teacher didn’t see me pick it up, and so no one ever told me that it was an allegorical story. I didn’t discover that helpful fact until I re-read the book for high school English — until then I just thought it was a dumb story with pigs that walked on their back legs! Maybe I picked up The Phantom Tollbooth when I was too young to understand/appreciate it, and so abandoned it. I need to get a copy soon, though, and rectify my mistake.
I read Animal Farm really early, too–though not as early as you did–and picked up on the satire, if not the allegory. I think that’s why I still like it better than Nineteen Eighty-Four. =P
I didn’t read 1984 until high school, when I was old enough to be scared senseless by Big Brother and all the horrible things that happen. In truth, I think reading that novel is what turned me off to dystopian literature — I just don’t like books that have unhappy endings and deal with unpleasant futuristic societies. Although I know that often the point of such novels is social commentary, I just can’t stomach it most of the time.
I have Winnie the Pooh on my list as well. I wish I had a chance to experience it as a child. The Phantom Tollbooth was a great book. Seeing it on so many lists makes me want to read it again.
I remember watching one of the Winnie the Pooh films on VHS when I was really small, but I never had any of the actual books; I’m sure my mom would have bought them for me had I expressed an interest. I’m really looking forward to the new movie, though — maybe it will give me a second chance to enjoy the characters and their (mis)adventures.
omg read nearly all of the ones on ur list. LOVED THEM 😀 and btw thanx for dropping by my blog! 😀
As I looked at other people’s lists, I often spotted books that I read as a kid. It’s also amazing to think about the books that aren’t on anyone’s lists — I love that most people have read some Blume and Dahl. I was sad to see that several people said they hadn’t read any of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books…they were my favorites when I was growing up. Still are, really.
I read “Are you there God” over and over again. Judy Blume books were my favorite as a kid.
It’s a good point about Narnia and other books on your list. I’m guessing in some cases the books would feel more magical if we read them as kids.
It’s fun to reflect on these children’s classics.
I read a lot of Judy Blume as a kid, and read Forever… back during Banned Books Week (September). I think that she writes a lot of things that other authors are afraid to write: about puberty and sex and bullying and all these things that are still causing controversy today. I love brave authors. 🙂