I love this week's Top Ten Tuesday theme, hosted each week by The Broke & the Bookish. This week they are revisiting their first ever TTT by asking us to list our childhood favorites. I spent my earliest childhood in a small mill town in Wisconsin and then later in a small town in MS. We didn't have a lot of money for books but Wisconsin had an excellent library, which my mother encouraged, and I was lucky to have adults in my life who gifted me with books once I moved to MS (where the library was a joke, sadly).
In no particular order, here are the books that defined my childhood. I'll use the sixth grade as a rough cut-off point between childhood and adolescence. Looking back on these now, it's amazing to me that my mom found as many books with strong girl characters as she did back in the 1970s and early 1980s--all the more impressive since she has never, ever self-identified as a feminist.
2. The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The first book was also set in Wisconsin, which I loved, and I went on to read all of them, even the icky First Four Years with all of the romance and wedding and baby stuff. A grandmother figure gave me the entire boxed set on my birthday, which I treasured.
3. The Pippi Longstalking books by Astrid Lindgren. Talk about strong female characters--Pippi was literally the strongest person I knew. I might have loved the South Seas book best of all.
4. The Trixie Belden mystery series by Julia Campbell and Katherine Kinney. Lawd, I loathed Nancy Drew, but Trixie was a tomboy whose mystery solving I could really relate to.
5. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. I loved the next two books in the series, too.
9. The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. I still remember the one-sentence description on the back of my edition: "How Aslan, the noble lion, saved Narnia from the White Witch." I was instantly smitten. The same grandmother figure gave me the entire boxed set for Christmas one year, which I read until they fell apart, but the first book was always my favorite.
10. Not sure what book should go here since nothing else is a clear favorite. I'll go with Edith Hamilton's Mythology, but it could have easily been Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Maybe some of Walter Farley's The Black Stallion books.
How about you? What books are on your list? Harry Potter would surely have made my list if they'd been written a couple of decades earlier!
NB: I've got a Lauren Oliver giveaway for her forthcoming book, Pandemonium, if you want to click here to enter.