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Author Topic: Books You LOVED as a Kid
docmagik
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Those are the rules.

1. You had to have LOVED it. No mixed feelings or semi-strong feelings. No, "Oh, I liked it pretty well, was glad I read it." I mean the kinds of books you would go out and proselyte for when you were done. If you were ever tempted to hold it the way you'd hold a stuffed animal, that would be the book.

2. You had to have BEEN a kid when you loved it. Not a kid's book you read when you were old enough to "get" it, not a book you wish you could have read as a kid that came out after you were in college. Not a teen, not any older than, say, 12.

That's it. No other rules. Doesn't have to be a classic, and don't overthink what book you want it to be. It's totally cool if it was like book 9 of the Magic Treehouse or something.

What were the books and why did you love them?

*******

Here are my couple:

Mr. Mysterious and Company by Sid Flieschman

He's the guy who wrote The Whipping Boy but I liked Mr. Mysterious and Company way better. It's the story of the family of a traveling magician in the old west who go around getting into trouble and dealing with outlaws while they put on shows.

Re-reading it now, it seems so much less sophisticated than it did then, and the climax more ludicrus than impressive (Spoiler: the trick rope-thrower throws his lasso all the way over a crowd to catch the bad guy, who is standing way in the back). But at the time, the sense of transport and wonder were totally immersive.

Danny Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

I loved everything by Roald Dahl, except (for some reason I still don't understand) James and the Giant Peach. But this book, about a boy who lives with his father, a poacher, totally blindsided me with how much I loved it.

I found the Dad as clever as his son did. Instead of just looking for pheasants, or shooting them, he'd soak rasins to make them plump, then sow them up with powdered tranquilizer inside. It just seemed brilliant.

*****

What about you? What books did you love back then?

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AchillesHeel
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The Last Herald-Mage by Mercedes Lackey, I dont know how many times I have read it but out of all the books I own it is still the only that faces me when I am at the computer. Lackey has a superior ability to make a world feel real, her fantasy is not campy or just a copy and paste of whats been done but a genuine creation to itself. You begin to love her characters as they love themselves and love each other, as a matter of fact the relationship between Vanyel and Tylendel is what helped me have a healthy open-minded opinion about just exactly what love is regardless of situation. Love seems to be a very adamant theme is most of her books even though she is more fantasy than romance in every way. Ive have read many of her books, The Last Herald-Mage was the first and is definatly the greatest love story I have ever known.
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fugu13
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Have you read Roald Dahl's short stories? They're where he honed his craft; they aren't aimed at kids, and it is very interesting seeing the ways his twisted mind adapted his approach for kids in the contrast.

As for me, I'll say the Great Brain books and pretty much everything by Gordon Korman (at the time I was reading), such as "Who is Bugs Potter?", "Beware the Fish", and "No Coins, Please".

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Itsame
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Before 12? The entire Dragonlance series, Calling Dragons series, the Hobbit... that's pretty much all I read at that age.
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0Megabyte
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Hmm. Before 12. I was very fond of the Animorphs right about then! I read a looooot of them. Also Goosebumps books. Read lots of those, too. Monster Blood was my favorite of those!
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ClaudiaTherese
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Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series was one that hit me in the gut. There was this intense sense of reality to it for me: the way she could describe just sitting under a tree in the sunshine, the looming foreboding of currents of power, all of it.

Harriet the Spy. Oh dear me, did I want to be Harriet. I wrote in a notebook and everything (and we know how that worked out!). The book addressed kids and adult in what felt like a realistic way. I loved it. It was a friend.

For many years, I reread The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings every summer break. This story became bone and blood -- I knew it so well, could amuse myself by recalling paragraph after paragraph, word for word, when I was bored.

Bridge to Terabithia was a another gut-sock, even if I didn't reread it as often. It's one I'm almost afraid to reread now, because I don't want it to have changed. I didn't see the movie for the same reason.

---

I'm sure more will come to mind. Good question.

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LargeTuna
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The Beasties by William Sleator.

that book even had me tearing up at times. After reading it now, it's a little preachy (about saving the environment) but it's still wonderful. This will always be one of my favourite books of all time, and when I was younger I red it about 5 times.

Also, i did read so many Goosebumps I can't remember which I liked the most. There was one about somw kid that could fly that I always found fun. But I liked a whole lot of goosebumps books.

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The Rabbit
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The Hobbit

Anne of Green Gables

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

Where the Redfern Grows.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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Misha McBride
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I read and loved most of the books already mentioned, (Roald Dahl, the Great Brain, etc) and I was such a prolific reader that I have a hard time remembering. The books of my childhood sorta blend seamlessly into my middle school years since I was never restricted to young adult or children's books. I would have to say my absolute favorites while still a "child" would be Misty of Chincoteague, and Stormy, Misty's Foal by Margurite Henry.
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dkw
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The Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was outraged the first time I saw an episode of the TV show that they were doing things that weren't in the books! Not only that, they contradicted the books. How dare they! I wanted to write to the TV station and explain all the things they got wrong. I never did, though.

Also A Ring of Endless Light.

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Kwea
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A Wind at the Door by Madeligne L'Engle, along with A Swiftly Tilting Planet.

All of the Great Brain Books (good call, fugu), and The Hobbit. I also started reading LOTR at that time, but probably only got half of it. I loved it though.

I probably checked out King of the Wind 20 times at that age too, or a little younger. It is a book about the first Arabian horse. [Big Grin]


I also liked The Dark is Rising series, and Lloyd Alexander's Prydan books. Taran Wanderer and The High King were my favorites in that series. [Big Grin]


As you can tell I loved books. [Big Grin]

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Cookie Crisp
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I have a couple (probably because there was a book glued to my hands at all times when I was young).

The Golden Compass This is the first book series that I read and couldn't wait to get my hands on the sequel and was excited to run to the library each week to check if it had arrived. I really really wanted a daemon!

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader I loved the creatures and the transformation of Eustace into a dragon. My copy is so worn out it looks like my Chronicles of Narnia set has a random second-hand book in it. None of the other Narnia books captured my imagination quite the same way.

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Kwea
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I liked LWTW and The Last Battle more than the rest in the Narnia series, but they were all cool. [Big Grin]
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Amanecer
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I absolutely loved the Mind Trap by G. Clifton Wisler as a kid. It's about an alien boy with special powers who goes to a school for the "gifted". There was a definite pattern in my favorite books around that age, but I don't think I read Ender's Game until a few years later. [Wink]

I just went to look up the author of the book and found out the series is out of print. [Frown]

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Armoth
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Castle in the Attic - Elizabeth Winthrop

The book made me fall in love with anything miniature. Seriously made my imagination come to life.

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Achilles
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I'm still a kid, but....

The Runaway Robot by Lester Del Ray

A romp across the solar system. Pathos, loyalty, and love of an inanimate machine. Good Stuff. My first real SF novel.

Fantastic Voyage by Issac Asimov

If you've never read this classic, a puppy is dying for every minute that you don't. Just stop procrastinating and read it!

Islands in the Sky by Arthur C. Clark

I had to hunt this novel down so my child could read it. Orbital habitats and space cadets: what's not to like?

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Strider
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I also absolutely adored the Prydain Chronicles.

That and The Neverending Story.

I loved lots of books as a kid, but those were the only ones that I can think of that I LOVED, and that I re-read regularly.

Though I do remember re-reading Castle in the Attic, Magic in the Park, and a few others. When I get home I'm going to look through my children's books and see if anything else strikes me.

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Kwea
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The Incredible Journey was another favorite, as was My Side of the Mountain. [Big Grin]
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DDDaysh
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Wow, I didn't remember how many books I loved until some of you mentioned them.

Two that haven't been mentioned yet are:

"Kristina Katarina and The Box" which is a book I loved to be read as a small child.

And the "Double Trouble/Triple Trouble" series about identical twins who also have an identical cousin.

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Lisa
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  • No Flying in the House, Betty Brock
  • Escape to Witch Mountain, Alexander Key
  • No Such Thing as a Witch, Ruth Glass
  • The House of Stairs, William Sleator
  • All the Kerby stories (The Lemonade Trick, The Limerick Trick).
  • Have Space Suit Will Travel, Heinlein
  • The Adventures of Isabel, Ogden Nash
  • Any Supergirl comic

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August
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"Island of the Aunts" and "The Secret of Platform 13" by Eva Ibbotson. Her language was just so delicious. And I absolutely loved all of the Magic School Bus series; I wanted to be Ms. Frizzle when I grew up! I read anything by Roald Dahl, and Joan Aiken (The Wolves of Willoughy Chase was my favorite). I also remember reading the "Little House Series" by Laura Ingalls Wilder over and over again.

I remember reading so much in elementary school that, when it was time for our 30-kid second grade class to learn math, I would sit in the back of the rug and read my way through the bookshelf. I never learned subtraction, but I acquired a great vocabulary! My family read at mealtimes, and I distinctly remember reading while walking more than once. I read 24/7.

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scholarette
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Several that have already been mentioned I loved, but not mentioned: The Forbidden Door, Little Princess, Witch of Blackbird Pond.
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fugu13
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I haven't seen The Indian in the Cupboard mentioned yet.
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Darth_Mauve
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As a small child I loved the "Encyclopedia Brown" detective books. I haven't seen them recently. Are they still out there?
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Shanna
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Journey to the Center of the Earth was my absolute favorite book as a kid. I could probably put the entire blame for my poor eyesight on having read this book so many times in the dark and under the covers with a flashlight.
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Uprooted
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All of the Black Stallion books, A Wrinkle in Time.
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The Rabbit
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I read To Kill a Mockingbird and The Lord of the Rings when I was 13. Can I count them any way?
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Uindy
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My favorite books were: Number the Stars by Louis Lowry, A little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and The Secret Garden also by Burnett.
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Uindy
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My favorite books were: Number the Stars by Louis Lowry, A little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and The Secret Garden also by Burnett.
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Kwea
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Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. [Big Grin]
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Chris Bridges
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Encyclopedia Brown, Little House on the Prairie, The Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, A Wrinkle in Time, Swiss Family Robinson, Heidi. I checked out "Stowaway to the Moon" about 30 times.
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fugu13
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Oh, the Mushroom Planet books, also.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
Oh, the Mushroom Planet books, also.

Oh, yes!
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
Several that have already been mentioned I loved, but not mentioned: The Forbidden Door, Little Princess, Witch of Blackbird Pond.

I only read The Forbidden Door because of Escape to Witch Mountain. But it was totally worth it.
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Ginol_Enam
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quote:
Originally posted by 0Megabyte:
Hmm. Before 12. I was very fond of the Animorphs right about then! I read a looooot of them. Also Goosebumps books. Read lots of those, too. Monster Blood was my favorite of those!

I also read a lot of Animorphs and a lesser extent of Goosebumps. However, I was always a little... I don't want to say "embarrassed" by reading them, but I think I knew they were strictly for children. If I went back and read them now I could only enjoy them for nostalgia, not true quality.

However, two books that I absolutely loved and remembered were The Bridge to Terebithia and The Giver.

I've actually only ever read Terebithia once, but that was enough. I still get teary eyed when I think about Leslie's death. Geez...

The Giver, however, I've ready several times and enjoy it every time. Its amazing.

I liked a lot of things when I was a kid for the fun factor, but these two books haunted my thoughts. It was more than just fun.

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Drifter
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I was rarely without a book in hand as a kid, so most of those already mentioned feature on my list.

I'll add the Narnia series and Elyne Mitchell's Silver Brumby series. I read and reread them countless times.

quote:
Have you read Roald Dahl's short stories? They're where he honed his craft; they aren't aimed at kids, and it is very interesting seeing the ways his twisted mind adapted his approach for kids in the contrast.
I'll always remember the look on the school librarian's face when I queried 'Switch Bitch' as being suitable for 8-12 year olds [Eek!] She had ordered a bulk lot of Dahl books and had somehow never realized Dahl wrote adult fiction as well.
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August
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Yes, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and Encyclopedia Brown were the best!
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rollainm
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Ender's Game (of course)
TCoN: The Magician's Nephew and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (loved them all, but these were my favorites)
The Hobbit
LotR: FotR (read this one long before the other two)
My Teacher is an Alien
My Side of the Mountain
A Wrinkle in Time
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Around the World in Eighty Days
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
Frankenstein
Carrie
Christine (Yep. I was 9, I believe. Loved it.)

Every Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, and TTI book I could get my hands on, including the SuperMysteries with Nancy Drew

And so many more.

I kinda lived in my books up through middle school. I *loved* practically everything I read. As long as it offered an escape from reality, I was happy. Case in point: when my parents grounded me, I wasn't allowed to read.

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rollainm
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quote:
I've actually only ever read Terebithia once, but that was enough. I still get teary eyed when I think about Leslie's death. Geez...
I was quite pleasantly surprised by the movie.
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cmc
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Where the Wild Things Are

I remember distinctly a Christmas when I was about 8 getting two stuffed animals from the book. I STILL remember how happy I was to get them. I love that book. One thing that brings me such joy in my life is the fact that my daughter, who's about 1 and one half, also loves it. When we turn to the page that Max gets to their land, when his boat is juuuuust getting there and the one that is in the water appears, she growls. She started it on her own, and it's about the cutest, coolest, neatest thing I've experienced yet.

I also loved the Sisters books by Marilyn Kaye. I can't guarantee that I wasn't over 12 when I read them, but I'm sure I read them for the first time before I was. : )

Nice call, Kwea, with the Piggle Wiggle books, too. Once you mention them, I did love them. I might not have thought of those on my own, though.

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sinflower
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I loved The Chronicles of Narnia as a child. I lovedlovedloved them. In third grade, we'd do reading journals where we were supposed to write about a different book for each entry, but I wrote about Narnia for about 10 entries straight. All the teacher's comments were "great, but can you write about another book now?" But I couldn't, because I had to talk about Narnia.

I also loved Ivanhoe. My copy is battered and the spine is broken in 3 places and taped together. I definitely didn't get parts of it though, and some of those were pivotal parts. For instance, I thought it really was just love that Bois Guilbert wanted from Rebecca.

I think I read a lot of Magic Treehouse and something else... Chronicles of Doone? But they weren't books that I reread obsessively. I can't think of any other books that I reread truly obsessively at present, but I'll think about it some more.

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martha
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Picture books:
Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney
The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, by Dr Seuss
Many Moons, by James Thurber

Chapter books:
Witch of Blackbird Pond
My Side of the Mountain
Tom's Midnight Garden
The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet
the Narnia books
The Enormous Egg

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Fishtail
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Walter Farley's Black Stallion books.
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imogen
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I also loved Little House on the Prairie. (Still do!)

And the Encyclopedia Brown series. Oh, and Trixie Belden!

I remember being given The Wizard of Oz when I was about 10-11 and just being enchanted.

A Little Princess and The Secret Garden are also up there.

Edit: Oh, oh oh - The Malory Towers series by Enid Blyton. I loved them wholeheartedly, and read them 100 times over. My Dad decided I couldn't possibly be reading them properly, I was reading them so fast - so he read them with me and made pop quizzes. I got 100%. The nice end to that story is my Dad is an English Literature professor, and after that experience he included Malory Towers in some of his lectures. Goodness knows how he made it relevant, but the 8 year old me thought it was awesome. [Smile]

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Teshi
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Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce - a young girl disguises herself as a boy to become a page at the palace. This is the book that got me into fantasy.

This Time of Darkness by L.M. Hoover - Two children live in a dystopian underground city. One of them claims that not only is there an "upstairs" there's also an "outside"-- and he's come from there. This is the book that got me into science fiction and it's the absolute best "underground city" book. Sadly difficult to find.

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley - A young woman, a desert, a horse, a sword, a king and a n army from the north. The book that taught me to write.

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LadyDove
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Most of the books I loved have already been mentioned. One I don't think was mentioned was "Harold and the Purple Crayon" by Crocket Johnson... I LOVE that book!
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kmbboots
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Many that have already been mentioned. Also, Johnny Tremain, all the Heidi books (especially the sequels), and the Pepper books, anything Louisa May Alcott or Lucy Maud Montgomery or Maud Hart Lovelace.

Huh. Could be I had a thing for authors with three names.

I never read Bridge to Terebithia but I swear that I read a short story that was similar in a Crickets magazine. Two kids, one was ill and they made up a secret land. They expect the sickly one to die and get to that land first and the healthy one to have to wait alone but, in a twist of fate, the healthy one dies in an accident.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Could be I had a thing for authors with three names.

But of course.
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natural_mystic
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The Jungle Book, The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights.

ETA: the Earthsea trilogy and The Prisoner of Zenda & Rupert of Hentzau.

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katharina
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Gone with the Wind
Anne of Green Gables
Trixie Belden
Ender's Game
The Hero and the Crown
The Westing Game

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