My Top Ten Favourite Children’s Books
Our EMC contributor Olivia delves into her childhood and reminisces about her favourite children’s books.
I can’t pinpoint the book that sparked my love of reading. When I think back to my earliest bookworm days, I recall numerous books that gave me chills and made my heart rise. So I’ve compiled a list of my top ten favourite children’s books. Do any of them sound familiar?
1. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
The story of four siblings and the magical world of Narnia that they find hidden inside a wardrobe. This book was introduced to me by my favourite teacher (Hi, Mr. Jones!) and it is the reason for my obsession with the delicious sweet, Turkish Delight.
2. The Giver by Lois Lowry
This book is set in a community that strives for sameness and equality, in a world that has successfully rid itself of war and suffering. Jonas, our 12 year old protagonist, becomes the new “Receiver of Memories”, and he starts to question whether his world is so perfect after all. I read this book more than once as a child, and I like to pretend the awful film adaptation never happened. No relation to the author, I might add.
3. The Natural Disaster series by Peg Kehret
This series follows different characters who experience the terrifying rage of natural disasters: Blizzards, earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis! This series even deals with time travel, and what kid doesn’t love time travel? I sent a fan mail to the author as a child and received a kind and thoughtful response.
4. The Red Dog by Bill Wallace
12-year-old Adam and his family lead a simple life on the rugged Wyoming Territory in the 1800s. Suddenly, they find themselves held hostage by cutthroat prospectors. Adam and his best friend, the family dog, escape. Will the prospectors find them?
There was never a dull moment in this book, and I remember my mother having to yell at me “Put down that book already!” … She still does that.
5. Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
This book is set in 1930s Mexico and follows the story of young Esperanza Ortega, her fall from riches, and her family’s flee to California. I loved the vivid descriptions that took me into the book and didn’t let me go until long after I finished it. This was a book that helped fuel my desire to learn the Spanish language. Me gusta.
6. The Animorph series by K.A. Applegate
A science fiction series about five kids who have the ability of turning into any animal they touch, and their secret war for the planet against alien invaders. I thought the covers of these books were the absolute coolest in the whole library, with children slowly morphing into animals, and lenticular covers were recently released.
7. The Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine
A particularly frightening and fun series of scary stories for children. These books used to keep me up at night but despite that, I kept reading them anyway! There is a Goosebumps television series as well that was first aired in the mid 1990s.
8. The Underland series by Suzanne Collins
Written by the same author of The Hunger Games, this series follows the story of Gregor and what happens after he falls down the grate in his laundry room and discovers the Underland, a world on the brink of war, and the unexpected role he’ll play in it’s future. I may or may not have gone into my own laundry room, and peered hopefully down into the grate. I did.
9. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
This children’s novel follows sister and brother runaways and the story of how they hide out in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, uncovering a mystery they’ll solve together. Another book that was read to me by a beloved teacher, and listening to this book at my tiny wooden desk was the always best part of the day!
10. The Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park
The series that follows the hilarious antics of Park’s character, Junie B, a sassy young thing with a mischevious personality. I have passed these books on to both my younger sisters, like a book worm’s rite of passage.
Perhaps the books we’ve read as children have helped shape us into the adults we are today. We are curious like Lucy Pevensie, brave like Gregor the Overlander, or sassy like Junie B. Jones. Our childlike brains sponged up these experiences, thirsty for adventure on a rainy afternoon.
What are your favourite childhood books? Let us know in the comments!