Saturday, April 14, 2007

Childhood Favorites

The question I've always wanted to be asked and surprisingly never have been is "What is your favorite book?". I suppose it is best that this question has never been asked because I'm not sure what it would be. But there are a few books that I get all tingly over when patrons at the library check them out. I feel excited that they will soon be experiencing what I consider to be the greats. Not necessarily wordsmiths like Shakespeare but those authors that stuck with me as I grew up. Basically, no "adult" book could ever be considered a favorite. Favorite status is restricted to those titles that have shaped my life. Books like the ones below.

Anne of Green Gables--L.M. Montgomery
Ah, the beauty of Prince Edward Island. The absolute best book if forced to choose. Anne with an 'e', Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, Gilbert Blythe, Diana Berry, Rachel Lynde....they are like family to me. I have my own relationship with each and every character. Such kindred spirits! On splendid mornings, I've even developed the habit of re-naming ordinary landmarks. Who doesn't want to live in a world with the Lake of Shining Waters or The White Way of Delight. Ready for a little secret...I've never actually read beyond the first two novels of the series. Don't tell! They'd banish us you know.

Little House on the Prairie--Laura Ingalls Wilder

I don't have this particular set but I do own a boxed collection bought for me by my grandmother. I've shared the adventures of Half Pint and her family at least once a year for 20 years. Definitely a must read for every little girl.

Look back over my favorites, I discovered that I had a real thirst for pioneer stories. Living in Oklahoma, I always felt familiar with wide open spaces. Given the opportunity to settle a new territory like these characters I would have been found severely lacking even with the lessons learned from them. Good thing I was born in the 20th century.

Strawberry Girl
--Lois Lenski

Every title by Lois Lenski is a true classic. This particular title won the Newbery Medal in 1946. One of my fondest memories is hurrying to the L's to find the next title in her regional series. I still have the book report that I wrote on one of her other titles, Cotton in My Sack. It is so amusing to look back at your childhood handwriting. Sadly, these titles are in storage at my local library and no child can serendipitously discover this great author and illustrator will browsing the shelves.

Addie Across the Prairie--Laurie Lawlor

Another pioneer story fit for lovers of Little House. The entire series follows the journey of Addie and her family as they travel to their new homestead. I bought a little porcelian doll much like her Eleanor at an antique fair as a child. Weird, I know.

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