Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Chapter Books

Do you remember the books you read growing up?

Until I was a teenager my dad tucked me in every night and read to me. Bed time stories are one of my most fond and vivid memories of childhood.

Some nights he would read to both Lizzie and me together, but as we got older we occasionally got our own stories.

When I was pregnant with Jack I had a melt down after imagining my baby at age five saying, "Dad, can you tell mom not to read to me anymore?" Oh I cried!

Luckily, Jack loves being read to. Brown Bear, Brown Bear is still on the top of his fav list, as is a book with fuzzy dogs that he often will kiss. He now licks any pages that have food pictures and holds pictures of soft animals, such as kittens and ducklings, to his chest with a sweet, loving expression on his face.

As I have been moving furniture and rearranging the last month or so, I stumbled across one of my childhood favorites: "Sideways Stories From Wayside School."

Anyone? Anyone?

If you didn't get to enjoy this literary masterpiece in first grade, go out and get a copy from the library and as you read it, imagine how funny you would have thought it was.

I just finished reading nine chapters to Ellery (she's spending the night) and my throat is so scratchy. Not only was it a lot of chapters, she also requested the fan blow right on her so the whole time I was reading I was breathing in dry air.

Cough, cough.

But do you remember the books you loved in your childhood?

The Chronicles of Narnia
Encyclopedia Brown (I used to think that my dad made these up just for Liz and me, but then discovered that there are many E.B. books out there)
Stewart Little
The Littles
The Boxcar Children
Nancy Drew

We won't even go into Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High...

Oh happy memories.

I wonder what the book of the year will be when Jack is ready for chapter books.

If he's still letting me read to him at that time.

Keep your fingers crossed people. If he isn't, one of my dreams of motherhood will be dashed.

Let's not even talk about it.

So if any of you have even the slightest inkling to write chapter books for elementary school kids, especially ones that appeal to boys, get started now! Jack and I will be looking in a few years.

What books did you devour as a kid? Which would be worth stock-piling now (when I see them at yard sales)?

In other book news, I received a windfall of loaned literature yesterday and can't wait to get started. You can expect a full report when I have finished. And since reading is about all that I have energy for now, I would appreciate any other recommendations. Nothing too serious please.

Happy Reading!


Ellery said...

We used to read "The Happy Hollisters" and "The Bobsey Twins." I actually saw a Bobsey Twins book at Borders last time I was there. And they were dated when we read them!

For you I recommend Robin Hobb

The Farseer Trilogy
The Liveship Trilogy
The Tawny Man Trilogy

That'll keep you in trilogies for a while. They're long books too.

Michelle Ferguson said...

I LOVED the Baby Sitters Club. Oh yes. I found some of them recently in a used bookstore here and it is quite funny to go back and read what you've read in younger years and remember how enamored the younger version of you was with the stories, the characters, the escape into their world. I remember when a 13 or 14 year old neighbor girl said her mom had told her she was too old now to read the Babysitter's Club books. Please! I may have gasped in disbelief.

I don't regret this reaction.

Terrianne said...

If you finished the "Twilight" series, Stephenie Meyer's other novel "The Host" is very good too.

As a kid I liked a series about a family called The Stupids, by Harry Allard and James Marshall: "The Stupids Step Out" and "The Stupids Have a Ball" are the ones I remember best. Maybe those are the only ones?

As an adolescent I love the books by Paul Zindel: "My Darling, My Hamburger," "Pardon Me, You're Stepping on My Eyeball," and many others.

Ellery said...

We loved The Stupids too. My mother used to read them to us when we were older than usual reading age.

Emily said...

I remember The Stupids as well. I'm sure those will be a hit with Jack when he's ready!

Sarah said...

I like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. She's up to 15 of them and has published some of her earlier novels too. Stephanie Plum is a female bounty hunter who's car get's blown up in every book. They are pretty good. :)