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Today’s Top Ten Tuesday Topic: Favorite Childhood Books
1. My Bible Friends by Etta B. Degering: Originally published as a set of ten volumes with two stories per book, these were probably my most favorite story books as a child. I loved them since before I can remember, and my mother tells me that she would take one or two of them to church each week, and I would – at age 2 – sit and page through them quietly during the sermon, looking at the pictures (which were stellar). I eventually memorized many of the stories. I still have my original set, which (I hope) will become some of my son’s favorite books too.
2. Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories by Arthur S. Maxwell: story books with a moral. I remember many an evening listening to one or another of these stories read by one of my parents to my brother and me. We loved them.
3. The Bible Story by Arthur S. Maxwell: Favorites as I grew out of My Bible Friends and into longer stories. These, as with the selections above, were three popular book sets published by the Seventh-Day-Adventist publishing house Review and Herald, and they were especially popular among SDA families.
4. Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder: I always loved that I shared a name with Laura Ingalls, especially (perhaps) because I could so relate to her. These books were high on my list of favorites both to read on my own and to listen to. I’m sure I read them more times than I can count.
5. Biographies – I can’t point to any one biography or author that I particularly remember, but I do recall our school library having quite a nice selection of this genre geared for elementary & middle schoolers. I read every one the library had, perhaps more than once, and loved them all. I’m sure some of the esoteric pieces of trivia that I know came from these books, and I’m hoping as my kiddo grows, he will find these books as enthralling as I did.
6. Heidi by Johanna Spyri: A book I remember reading many times as a child, and never getting tired of it. I don’t remember any details, but I do still have a warm, familiar feeling when I think about it…a feeling I have about many of my childhood favorites.
7. A Girl Called Tommie, A Nurse Called Tommie, A Wife Called Tommie by Thelma G. Norman: Some of the sanctioned SDA fiction that I read as a child, and these were undoubted my favorites of all the SDA-published fiction that I read (with the exception of the Uncle Arthur… stories).
8. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare: My most favorite of all my childhood favorites. I have fondly remember this book because I so identified with Kit, and I admired her for being strong and finding friends in a lonely place where she didn’t fit it. Having reread childhood favorites as an adult and found them wanting, this one stands out for being exactly the opposite. I appreciate it as much as an adult as I did as a child, which is a rare thing.
9. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: As with The Witch of Blackbird Pond, this one was a favorite and remains so to this day, because of it’s huge appeal to both child and adult readers. It is a terrific story, beautifully told, and will remain in my heart forever.
10. Spellsinger series by Alan Dean Foster: My first foray into sci/fi and fantasy, and Alan Dean Foster hit it out of the park with this series. My brother actually turned me on to these books, and I will forever be grateful for the fantastic introduction to alternate realities, talking animals, and a little magic to go along with it all.
BONUS #11…The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain: Years before I read (or even knew of) Huckleberry Finn, I read Tom Sawyer. And l-o-v-e-d it. And read it again. My brother (again) was the one who found this book first, and I am (again) grateful for the experience. Written before Huckleberry Finn, and certainly meant to be read first, it provided an excellent back story for one of the greatest books ever written, and certainly one of my top ten faves of all time.