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Monday, November 27, 2017

Favorite Books of Childhood

by Joanne Rock

My bookshelf from childhood-- with my hamster
I’ve started Christmas shopping this week and that means hitting the bookstore. Long before I sold my first book, I enjoyed giving books as gifts. So much so, I think friends come to expect that from me—I am the giver of books. It’s a pleasure to share that perfect story you think will really capture a friend’s heart or imagination.

That goes doubly so for kids. I remember so keenly how wonderful it was to discover the magic of reading independently as a child, and I always hope that giving the gift of a book will open that gateway for a child. Do you remember the first books that really made an impression on you as a child?

Here in no particular order, are some of the books that really had a strong impact for me as a kid:

1-     Black Beauty- this was the first time I recall sobbing while reading. And I had the experience of thinking- it’s crazy to realize I’m sitting safely in my bed, in my pjs, and crying so hard for the hurts of a fictional horse. That was really powerful for me, as I had my first taste of the way books teach us empathy.

2-     Miss Piggy’s Guide to Life- a book that spoofs the diva life and made me smile

3-     Nancy Drew- I owned about half of them and read all of them. I shared my collection with a friend down the street and vice versa. This series made me realize how much fun it is to share characters and story,lines. Books make for fun conversation.

4-     The Ghost of Windy Hill- this book kicked off my long love of ghost stories and the paranormal, even though this one isn’t particularly spooky. Very atmospheric!

5-      When We Were Very Young- this book of poetry by A.A. Milne was the first introduction to poems I read on my own—sweetly memorable.

6-     Stories from a Snowy Meadow – Anyone else remember Mole, Mouse, Shrew and Vole? I liked the emphasis on an older character, and the idea that storyteller Vole could be so important to the next generation. No surprise that I like a storyteller as hero!

7-     Snoopy and “It Was a Dark and Stormy Night” –Snoopy writes a book and has a book signing. I loved this book so much and have thought of it often over the years in my career as a writer, since Snoopy gets writer’s block, has big ideas, and even feels the pain of a book signing where no one shows up. The perfect book for a young writer.


My January 2018 McNeill story
What about you? Any memorable books from your youth? Or any books that your eager to buy for the young readers in your life? Share with me this week and I’ll give one random poster an advance copy of Claiming HisSecret Heir, my January 2018 Harlequin Desire! In the meantime, please be on the look out for His Pregnant Secretary, my December story, in stores December 5th.

10 comments:

NoraA said...

What a surprise. I have that Snoopy book on my shelves.

Anonymous said...

I didn't get into reading when I was a kid but I remember having the Little Golden books. I had one that was about a gold kitten in 1st grade that I remember reading out loud. I still have my old Lassie, The Munster's, and The Monkees ,"Whose got the button"? books! I have them on my book shelf with my Desire books! I also came across a few yrs ago a book I never read and my Father in law found it in his garage! I must have let Doug's sister read it and never got it back!!!! Imagine my surprise when I opened this old book and seen my name and my writing in it!!! Pam Jones-Hamblin

Eileen A-W said...

In addition to those you listed, Dr. Seuss' books were some of my favorites. BTW, I am known as the aunt who gives books. My younger niece loves getting books from me. Sometimes she tells me what she wants but this year I gave her Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew. It's for younger readers than the regular Nancy Drew books.

dstoutholcomb said...

Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys ( I have some early ND books), Bobbsey Twins, Misty of Chincoteague, Little House series, Snoopy books, Little Women, Encyclopedia Brown, and I had (technically, they're in the basement in a box) a bunch of teen romances from the early 80s--Mom bought me those because I was reading her Harlequins... lol I have her copy of Peyton Place!

denise

Mary Preston said...

BLACK BEAUTY had quite an impact on me a well. I always loved the Enid Blyton adventure series.

Kristine *chaos* said...

I always loved reading as a child and some of my best childhood memories are of me curled up at my little book nook reading. Some of my favorite books are Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl, The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss and The Velveteen Rabbit is a children's book written by Margery Williams. I still own my original copies of these books that were all Birthday presents.

teresa deiter said...

my name is Teresa deiter . I loved reading nancey drew the best because I love mysterys so very much as I was growing up I read books a lot.


Teresa deiter..

teresa deiter said...

I loved to read nancey drew a lot even though I did not have them all then but what I did have read over and over I wished I had the hole set. they costed to much at that time I wish I had them al right now...


Teresa deiter...

Laney4 said...

Loved Dr. Seuss, then Enid Blyton's Noddy series, then Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy, moving on to Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys (liked Hardy Boys better).
I used to get the Raggedy Ann/Andy books mailed to my house (2 books per month) and read and read and read them, cover to cover. Imagine my ... what would you call it ... horror? disdain? anger? annoyance? anger? displeasure? irritation? ... no ... hurt ... when my mom donated every single book of MINE to our local library so that others could enjoy the stories too. Sure, I understand how it is good to share, but she should have talked to me about it for ME to make that decision. As an adult, I have come to realize that my mom only did things that she thought made HER look good, and this was one of those things. Kind of like smelling her homemade apple pies baking and knowing that they were ALL going to the local church (and I never did get to eat one of her pies)....

Joanne Rock said...

Congratulations to Teresa Deiter, winner of the prize!! Teresa, I will get this in the mail for you tomorrow after the long holiday weekend. Thank you everyone for visiting and warmest wishes in the New Year!! :-)