Childhood Reads

Just as Harry Potter will become the defining read for a generation, we each have books that were the reads of OUR childhood.

Little Women, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Robinson Crusoe, Swiss Family Robinson, The Prince and the Pauper, Black Beauty, Little House on the Prairie; those were the books of my childhood. We didn’t have Young Adult books as such. We were given the classics to read. Alice in Wonderland, Hans Brinker, Heidi; those are the books I remember. Books with a lesson embedded in the story for you to think about long after the book was finished.

No Twilight with sparkly vampires, no Harry Potter with wizards and witches for us. Our stories featured what could be real children. Children lost on a deserted island in Swiss Family Robinson. Children trading places between a peasant and a future king in The Prince and the Pauper. A boy on a journey of discovery of life in Huckleberry Finn.

Those were wonderful books to read but I’m glad today’s kids get those plus a host of new books to remember their childhoods by. Today’s YA’s and Middle Grade books assume kids are a lot smarter than we used to be. The lessons are still there, but they are subtle and not over-preachy. Enjoy!! Read!! Doesn’t matter what, just read.

What books and stories define your childhood?  Jill James


8 thoughts on “Childhood Reads

  1. Thanks for the flashes of nostalgia. Heidi, Swiss Family Robinson, Huckleberry Finn, et all. I watched one of my grandsons, who was nine at the time, with his nose buried in Harry Potter. What a beautiful sight!

    • Vonnie, our family has adored Harry Potter. Our son discovered them just before the movies started. We told him if he wanted to see the movie he had to read the book. So at night we had family reading; each of us reading a few pages at a time aloud.

  2. Huckleberry Finn was my all time favorite. Then, the summer I turned 12 I read To Kill A Mockingbird, not exactly a children’s book, but it changed my life, and I loved Scout. Loved the mystery of the items left in the tree. Loved the book.

    I am pleased to announce that I’ve passed the love of books on to both of my children.

  3. I have to agree. There wasn’t Harry Potter or anything even remotely close to it. When I was growing up, kids books and kids were pretty much not a priority in life. Not that parents didn’t think that, but there wasn’t a industry based on keeping kids happy. We were to go outside and play. I use to ride our horse out to a field, climb a tree, with a peanut butter sandwich to read, because my grandmother said we didn’t need to be in the house. That was a pretty common practice, kids spending all day outside playing. Imagine that.

  4. Harry Potter came out when I was about fourteen. My Great-aunt Giovana, claimed I was going to burn in hell for reading it. Of course, she was always trying to send me off to a nunnery to save my little black soul. I was hooked. It came into my life, at the right age. Harry was a bit younger than me, but I loved it. Went to the first moving dressed like Hermione. With my hair all ratted out, which wasn’t much of a stretch since it’s been pretty much out of control since the day I was born, and looks that way all the time. I’ve read every book, and seen every movie. Waiting for the complete box set to come out, after this movie does it’s run. I grew up with the series, always daydreaming I had a wand to get rid of few bullies I knew. Yeah, right down the toilet…Or do a dirty trick on one of six siblings.

    • Cari, so thrilled to see you at my blog. I so understand about the wish for a wand to do bodily damage to some bullies I remember. My husband thinks the whole set of movies in Blu-ray will probably be on lots of Christmas lists.

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