I can’t tell you the exact age I read these books but let’s just say between 8-14. I just thought this would be a fun post to put together. I get to recall my childhood while thinking back and writing about these books.
Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys
We went to a book sale once and emptied the shelves quite literally. I think we went home with 50 books from the Nancy Drew series. I devoured them. Nancy Drew was my hero while I was growing up. No investigator came close to Nancy Drew. I adored Carolynn Keene’s stories and they served as inspiration for the future mystery stories that I so loved writing.
One of my very first few fictional crushes while growing up were Frank and Joe Hardy. Haha, seriously, you can’t deny that they look pretty darned cute in your head. I even remember folding the very first page of a book where the brothers are introduced. Their stories leaned more to the supernatural and I didn’t have nearly as many books in the series but they were still really good.
Then one day there came an epic mash up – a Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys combined story. I was over the moon. I still have that book and I treasure it.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch
On a separate occasion, we attended a book sale and emptied the entire section of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. We were obsessed. The books are written by various authors so there are different writing styles. There were some that we liked more than others but the stories were always fun and refreshing. I particularly liked the book in which Sabrina was transported to ancient Greece. Tidbit: I was a Greek mythology nut for the longest time.
The Sabrina the Teenage Witch series is perfect for intermediate readers of both genders. They have a bit of everything – adventure, mystery, history, friendship, romance. I LOVED them. The covers were fun too – Melissa Joan Hart is so pretty!
The Three Investigators
Jupiter is my favorite – starry-eyed tween- because I found his name fascinating and in my head he was really cute. Then there’s also Pete and Bob who are also great characters. Correct me if I’m wrong but Bob is the nerdy one, right?
We only had ONE book from the Three Investigators series but it was all I needed. I discovered it by chance on the bookshelf one day and fell in love with it. It was the pirate story and I could NOT put it down once I started it.
Can you tell that I grew up as a mystery genre lover? At some point I even wanted to be a detective (haha) and we got a ‘how to be a detective’ book. Yeah, what great ambitions I had.
I love Harry Potter but not in the obsessive way some people do (somehow feel the need to say that). When Harry Potter first came out and they were 99 bucks (no joke), I tried reading them but I was a bit too young to understand much of what was going on.
When I read them at a later age, I was enraptured! They are so good! My favorite out of all seven books is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban because Remus Lupin and Sirius Black. Lupin and Sirius are, hands down, my favorite HP characters. Seriously, who doesn’t like Sirius Black? He is the most fascinating and wonderful character especially because he takes care of Harry like his own son.
Least favorite is probably Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I await bashing from those of you who love book #4. I just feel like it wasn’t as relevant as the rest and it wasn’t that exciting. I know a lot of people who still haven’t read all the books so I won’t spoil the story for you. Besides, if I tried to summarize the story, I’d probably have myself a 50 page thesis lol.
I would personally recommend reading the books before watching it because you get to let your imagination run. I imagined quite a few things differently than the way the movie portrayed stuff so yeah.
Roald Dahl If you’re not letting your kid read Roald Dahl or if you have never read Roald Dahl, you have no idea what you’re missing out on. Roald Dahl is brilliant. The illustrations are wonderful and the humor delightful but the storytelling is what kept me going. Some of the humor might be a bit ‘dark’ for kids but they probably won’t get the ‘dark’ parts until they’re older.
Some of my favorites include The Vicar of Nibbleswicke – a hilarious story about a pastor who has some strange form of dyslexia; The Giraffe and The Pelly and Me – a whimsical story of a boy who wants to open his own candy store; Fantastic Mr Fox – absolutely cunning; The BFG – because Sophie and the Giant are the cutest duo ever to meet the Queen; James and the Giant Peach – boy gets away from cruel aunts in a flying peach where he meets tons of new friends, who doesn’t like a story like that?; The Twits – laugh out loud awesomeness in pages.
St Clare’s school series by Enid Blyton
Oh, these were amazing. My mom actually read the St Clare’s series when she was around our age at that time and she had kept them. The pages were brittle and yellowed but I think that was what made us love them even more. I don’t know about you but getting to read the same book that your mom read years ago gives me a special feeling.
The story is about a bunch of girls who attend St. Clare’s boarding school for girls. All the midnight feasts and trouble the girls got into was fun to read about. There was always so much going on at the school which kind of made our school seem boring since we couldn’t have midnight feasts in the music room or run out to town to attend the circus or whatever.
What I love about most of these books is that you can’t put a specific label on them. They are comprised of multiple elements and even though in the bookstore they are classified in specific genres, I like to think of them as ‘open genre’.
Have you read any of these books? What did you read while growing up? Bookworm – yes or no? Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys? Favorite Harry Potter character? Book recommendations?