Monday, September 21, 2015

Childhood Book Tag

I mentioned last week that I was really excited to move forward on this blog having a bit more fun! 
One of the things that I really love are tags. 
We used to do them all the time in the blogging world but I haven't seen one in a really long time. 
However, they happen all the time over on YouTube. So I decided that I am going to start doing some of the YouTube tags that I find. The reason I love tags so much is that you find out so many things about a person through their answers. Some of the things you already know, but some you don't . It really is fun to see what people pick for their answers to the questions and think about what you would pick. 
So, without further ado, I am starting with...

The Childhood Book Tag

1)What were your favorite books read to you as a child? Why?

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is the first thing that comes to mind. 

I can remember gathering around my mom at night and having her read to us. We read many books this way, but this one was my favorite. A few years ago Abigail and I went on a road trip to the east coast with my parents and we stopped off at Orchard House.

(You can see that post on our old blog here.  )
 While there my mom decided to buy a new copy of Little Women. When she did this I asked her if I could please have her old copy because it meant so much to me.

 I love that I can now read Little Women to my little women out of the same book that my mother read to me. I love the cover, the dark blue lined pages, and the many illustrations throughout the book (full page color like the one above as well as smaller black and white drawings). 

2)Do you have any special memories or traditions associated with these books?

This would just be what I have already mentioned- sitting around my mom in our jammies listening to her reading to us. It is one of the reasons that reading out loud to my daughters, even though they can both read, is so important to me. 

3)What were your favorite books or series when you were old enough to read and why? 

I will start in the order in which I read these. 
First, my favorite childhood books as a small child were....

*The Berenstain Bear books by Stan and Jan Berenstain. 
I absolutely adored these books. I have continued collecting them my whole life.

When I was in second/ third grade I started reading a new series. 
*Sweet Valley Twins by Francine Pascal

I really liked these books. I related more to Elizabeth than Jessica because I didn't care about clothes and popularity and most of the time I didn't even like Jessica much. But I really liked reading these books. I never collected the entire series but I have quite a few of them. 

In third grade I read a book that would forever change me. It would become a part of who I am. 
The author would become so important to me that I even have an entire bookshelf related to her (not to mention other parts of the house)

*Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

I still remember exactly when I started reading this. We were driving home to California after visiting my grandparents in Utah. I couldn't stop reading this once I started. I had never related to anyone, fictional or non fictional, the way I did to Anne Shirley. My middle name is even Anne (with that E!).
I quickly gobbled up the rest of the series and the mini-series on television. 
This copy is the very same one that I read that very first time. It is so beat up... as are most of her books that I own and I really want to buy a new copy that is prettier but I know I will never get rid of this one. 

I was also really in to the Archie comic books. 
I used to buy these all the time. 
I remember putting on sock puppet plays of the short stories inside.

As I moved into fourth grade there were three books that became instant favorites: 

*The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

I loved the play on words that are spread throughout the book. I found it fun, clever, and interesting. 
It definitely fed my imagination. 

*The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

I adore this book. It is so clever and well written and I can't even tell you how many times I have read it! It is such a fun mystery and has great characters, especially Turtle. 

*The Family Nobody Wanted by Helen Doss

This one was slightly strange for a fourth grader. It is an adult non-fiction book about a couple that have trouble having children. They end up adopting children from all sorts of different ethnicity's in a time when people just didn't do that. They basically took in the kids that "nobody wanted". It is inspiring and so wonderful. 
I loved it so much that when we had to do a book report cake for school and everyone else was doing the children's books, I themed my cake around this book. 

As I got a little older, going into fifth grade, I became a little more "edgy". Or at least that is what I thought. 
My most read books were these three: 

*The Pistachio Prescription by Paula Danziger 

I related to the turmoil this girl was feeling even though she was much older than me. I also had an older sister that was really fashionable and cool. It bothered the girl in the book more than it did me... but I still related. There were things going on in my family that were hard at the time and I felt like this got me through some of it. 

*Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade by Barthe Declements

Obviously, the characters were the same age as me and dealing with the same kinds of things at school that I was. It had a lot of "unfair" things in it that I also thought were unfair so it was a perfect fit for that time in my life. 

*Who is Bugs Potter by Gordon Korman

Bugs Potter was the first "bad boy" that I loved. He was a drummer and would sneak out at night to play as a guest drummer in night clubs. Nobody knew who this drummer was that just kept showing up and played so well. So it became this big mystery. Bugs was kind of a clueless dude just having fun. 

4) Who were your favorite book characters in these books? 

I won't go through all of them but just some of the more important ones to me. 
I loved Jo from Little Women the most. I was writing all of the time and had dreams of being an author as well as the fact that I felt like I was always just a little bit different than everyone else. This also can apply to Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. I never felt like I really fit in anywhere. (Still don't for that matter. Recently I did those personality tests and found out that I am INFJ which is apparently the most rare brain type and leads you to feel like you don't fit in anywhere. Go figure.)
My favorite character in the Archie comic books was Betty. 
And as already mentioned, it was Turtle in the Westing Game

5)What was your favorite book in a childhood series?

I will go with the Anne of Green Gables series for this one since it was my favorite. 

I love every single one of these books. But I think my favorites have to be the first and last because they start and end the series. 
Anne of Green Gables introduces us to the world and the characters we will come to love. 
Rilla of Ingleside is mainly about Anne and Gilbert's daughter Rilla, though the whole family is in the book as well. There are some really heartbreaking moments in this book but I really, really love it. I thought about Rilla as a middle name for one of my daughters. It was vetoed. 

6) Did you ever dress up like someone from a favorite book? 

Yes. For Halloween in fourth grade I dressed up like Heidi. 

And NO ONE knew who I was. I was so frustrated. When the kids at school asked who I was and I said, "Heidi", they would then ask, "Who's Heidi?" I couldn't believe it. At that time in my life I guess I was ignorant to the fact that not every one spent the majority of their times in books. 

7)Was there a movie adaptation of any of your childhood favorites? If so, what were they?

Yes. I LOVE these adaptations. 
Anne of Green Gables and the sequel were out when I was a child and I loved them instantly. Even though they aren't exactly like the books they really kept the feel and soul of the story in them. Gilbert Blythe (Jonathan Crombie) was my first love. 
I like to pretend that the third one and the prequel that Sullivan entertainment has made since then don't exist because they were just SO bad. 
Little Women is one of my favorites as well. In fact, funnily enough I just watched it yesterday. They really kept the feel of the book with this adaptation and the casting is spot on. I always feel a little bad about Jo and Teddy not ending up together but this is the only adaptation that made Professor Bear believable as someone she could fall in love with (at least in my opinion). 

8)Have you read any children's series as an adult that you loved? 

Yes. Lots of them. I do feel like a lot of the books that I think are children's books could be young adult so it is a little hard to decide which ones fit this category but these are the ones I have read as a teen and adult that I think fit into this category and I love: 

*Harry Potter
Of course, Harry Potter. It is one of my absolute favorites.

*The Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins
Just like with her Hunger Games series, Suzanne does a good job showing what war really does to characters. Happy endings that aren't necessarily happy.

*Brandon Mull
I think most of these books by Brandon Mull would be categorized as young adult but I would say that Fablehaven is a children's series. And I really enjoy it. 

*The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
I didn't read these until I was an adult and I think I would have loved them when I was a kid. 

*Emily of New Moon series by L.M. Montgomery
I didn't read this series until I was a teenager. I didn't think I would love any of her books as much as her Anne books but I love this series just as much. 

*Icefall by Matthew Kirby. 
I would almost classify this as Young Adult but I bought it in the children's section so I am including it. I LOVE this book. I never hear about it from other people and that surprises me because I think it is SO good. 

*Shannon Hale

Once again, a lot of her books can be classified as Young Adult but I think the Goose Girl and Book of a Thousand Days were bought in the children's section. They are my two favorite Shannon Hale books. 

There you have it. 
I hope you enjoyed reading about my favorite childhood books. 
This tag was created by KathleenKouture and you can watch her original video here.
I tag any of you that are reading this that have a blog, YouTube account, or anywhere that you can do it! 
Let me know if you do the tag by linking it in the comments!


The Kings said...

Wow...what an entry!! Thank you so much for mentioning my reading to you when you were little! I loved that too and am so glad I took the time with you kids to read so many of the classics. And I love it that you have made that a big part of your girls share good books and instill in them a love of reading!
I enjoyed reading when I was little but can't remember all the books I read but I do remember "Little Women", "Heidi", "Black Beauty", and "The Five Little Peppers".
I love so many of the books written now...all of Lucy Maud Montgomery's books (Anne of Green Gables and the Emily books), Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Fablehaven, Narnia, Ice Fall, Goose Girl, and A Book Of A Thousand Days. I think we like many of the same authors and books!! I introduced you to many books when you were little and in the past few years you have introduced me to many of my new favorites!

cheryl said...

I hope you enjoyed reading it!
You are welcome! I love that you read to us and that reading is still important to you! Those were some great memories.
I have The Five Little Peppers. It is a really old copy so I wonder if it was yours? I just know I've had it since I was about Abi's age. You'll have to look at it next time you are over.
You are right! First you did the introducing and now me. Well, mostly. You still do some of it too! Love that we share so many of the same likes and dislikes.

Donna said...

Oh my goodness, I love everything in this post. The books, everything. The picture of your Sweet Valley Twins books in particular brought back very sweet and vivid memories!

cheryl said...

Good! I am glad you enjoyed it. Isn't it funny how many memories something as simple as a book cover can bring! I felt that way looking through all of my books. I just finished scanning all of my books into a new app and so I had just spent time last week going through every single book and I had so many of those moments from books that I have had on my shelves forever but hadn't looked at in so long.

Seth and Julie said...

We started out in life with very similar taste in books. I love The Westing Game, and the first few Anne books, and I read all the Sweet Valley books, and you even hit Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade and The Pistachio Prescription. I also loved (and still love) Homecoming and Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt. I loved the Ramona books and if we want to go way back, the Frances books by Russell and Lillian Hoban. One author that I missed as a child but have come to love as an adult is Lois Lowry.