Top Ten Tuesday: Books From My Childhood

50ab0-toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday, participating book bloggers blog about their top ten lists.

I’m going to slightly twist the prompt because I’m still in highschool. Instead, I’m going to make it include the most memorable and important books and authors from my elementary school years. These are going to be the books that shaped me as a reader. These books are what made me really begin to realize what genres I liked to read.

Clearly, some of these books aren’t going to be appropriate for a teenager to read but that’s okay. I still look back on some of them with fond memories.
Below, I have included the books that were most important to me. I could name so many other authors and books that I enjoyed reading. There’s Jerry Spinelli, Andrew Clements, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, Junie B. Jones, just to name a few. But none of them really made me who I am as a reader today as much as these books did.
Also, this post is a monster. It’s gigantic and filled with my nostalgic childhood stories. Approach with caution.

1. Margaret Peterson Haddix

Grade When Read: 4th Grade

This woman wrote some of the most fantastic middle grade and children’s chaptered novels EVER. I loved her Missing series and her other books. I once tried to read every one. Turnabout was great (I WANTED A SEQUEL). Double Identity was fantastic. Running Out of Time was such a unique and different idea. The Always War was read at the tail end of my Haddix obsession during middle school. But what really stood out for me, was the Shadow Children series. It was one of my first forays into dystopian fiction and had one of the creepiest covers (to me). I was terrified of reading that book because I thought I’d be snatched (which is dumb because I’m a firstborn not thirdborn XD). Nevertheless, her books are definitely one of the first things I’d recommend to younger readers.

2. Warriors Series

Grade When Read: 2nd Grade

I started reading these books when I was in second grade. I sat across from a girl that would always have a copy of a Warriors novel and a bottle of ice blue Gatorade (don’t ask me how I remember these weird details). Everyday, I would eye the book, wanting to read it. So when I finally went out to the bookstore…. well I was dumb kid. Instead of buying the first book like any other normal person, I PICKED THE BOOKS BASED ON HOW PRETTY THE COVERS LOOKED. Screw all logic. I picked the books from the second series, not the first. I read them out of order because when I started reading them at home, I picked the books based on the cover. I seriously don’t know what I was thinking. I read the fourth book first. Imagine the disappointment I felt when I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS HAPPENING. So I dropped the series, never to reignite my attempts at reading the Warriors series. At this point, my dislike for animal fiction also began. I didn’t like reading about cats. I didn’t care about them. Even to this day, I will not read an animal fiction novel.

3. Walk Two Moons – Sharon Creech

Grade When Read: 3rd Grade

Sharon Creech was one of my favorite authors as a child. I think Walk Two Moons is the first true contemporary novel that I read. I read Ruby Holler in early middle school and The Great Unexpected in 8th grade. But my enjoyment of her books began in elementary school.

4. Twilight

Grade When Read: 3rd Grade

Okay I know what you’re probably thinking. Twilight? Who let her read Twilight in third grade?

Well my parents didn’t really understand that Twilight was a teenager book that more than likely contained more mature themes. It’s a good thing that I didn’t understand sex or any of the other weird themes in the book because I finished the entire series in 3rd grade. I was instantly a Twiheart. My obsession lasted at least two years. I watched the movies and read the books. I had these special Twilight-themed journals. Funnily enough I never really picked Edward or Jacob. I didn’t like either of them. But by the time the movie adaptation of Eclipse released, I was more than done with my Twilight obsession. People had begun to show Twilight fans a lot of hate. I acknowledge that Twilight isn’t the best series out there. I know that the movies aren’t that great. But really, what can you expect from an ignorant 3rd grader? I take my experience in stride and I’m proud to admit that I liked the series. So what?

5. Harry Potter

Grade When Read: 4th Grade

I was really hesitant about reading this series for a long time. My mom had encouraged me to read this series because of how popular it was. But I was really intimidated by the humongous size of the book and the length of the series. I picked up the first book in second grade and I couldn’t get past the introduction. But when I tried again in 4th grade, I flew through the entire series in three weeks. Not bad for a kid. I never experienced the extreme obsession that most readers did, but I can safely say that Harry Potter spent a good chunk of time as one of my favorite series.

6. Wendy Mass

Grade When Read: 4th Grade

4th grade was marked with the fantastic discovery of Every Soul a Star on my teacher’s shelf. Instant love and appreciation for realistic fiction and young love. I was a romantic even then and the friendships in that book were really inspiring to me.

7. Magic Tree House

Grade When Read: Kindergarten/1st Grade

This book series was the it-series of my school. In kindergarten, my teacher would read a chapter of a chapter-book every day. One day, a kid brought in Lions at Lunchtime, book 11 in the series. From that day on, every book that was read out loud, was a Magic Tree House book. Each time Jack and Annie went in the treehouse, there would be the same words. And all of us little kids would say it together with the teacher, in a dramatic voice. It was fun and it was how I began to read chapter books.

The wind started to blow.

The wind blew harder.

The tree house started to spin.

Then everything was still. Absolutely still.

8. Unicorn Fantasy Series I Don’t Remember the Name of

Grade When Read: 2nd Grade

I remember this series primarily because it was the one book I had to dress up for. My teacher had a project day where we would all have to dress up as the main character of the book. I always hated this type of stuff.

Anyways, I don’t actually remember the name of the series. I just remember that I was seriously obsessed with the books.

9. American Girl Doll

Grade When Read: 1st Grade

I was so jealous of the girls that would talk about how they had five American Girl Dolls. Any time we had a sleepover day or something, they’d all bring their dolls and I’d be left out because I didn’t have one. I read all the books though (which is probably more than I could say for them). I think my favorite doll was Josephina or Samantha. I don’t even remember.

10. Mary Downing Hahn

Grade When Read: 4th Grade

Like Among the Hidden, I was terrified of reading these books. They had simultaneously the most interesting and most terrifying covers. My first experience was Wait Til Helen Comes, which had a cover of a ghostly girl standing in a dark yard. Terrifying to a young 8-year-old. Of course when I finally got over my childish fear, I realized that the book wasn’t scary at all. Hahn remains as one of my favorite children’s authors.

Honorable Mention: Percy Jackson Series

Grade When Read: 4th Grade

I technically didn’t finish the series until middle school.

In 4th grade, there was a boy in my class that was obsessed with the Percy Jackson Series. I can accurately say that he is the reason that these books got so big in my school community. He came in and my friends began to get interested. There was a line for us kids to borrow his books to read. And I began to feel the stress as a slower reader. Out of my friends, I was never the smartest kid. I’m not dumb by any means. I actually read faster and do pretty well in school compared to others. But compared to my friends? Not as fast. So when it got to my turn to read, I would read it rather slowly, and my pushy friends would tell me to hurry up. It became a sort of competition to see who could finish the series the fastest. So with me, I just gave up. I didn’t like feeling as if I had to read the books as fast as possible just to beat a friend. It took the enjoyment out of my reading. I ended up not picking up the books again until middle school, when most of the hype about the series had died down. I know I’m getting a little TMI or too emotional about this but it’s something that I’ve discovered about myself while looking back. Maybe I’ll write a post about it someday but I can just say that I discovered the ugly side of competition and popular books.

For me, elementary school reading was when I discovered my reading habits and genres. What childhood books shaped you as a reader?


  1. Yes for Walk Two Moons! That one is on my list too! 🙂
    I never had an American Girl doll either and was so jealous of all my friends! My favorites were Felicity and Kirsten.


  2. Yes! Walk Two Moons is a book that I always think of when I think of books to recommend to kids. I read Ruby Holler by Creech a lot later but I still liked it a lot.
    Felicity was great too! I remembered I didn’t really care which one I got as long as I could get one. But obviously it never happened.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t thought of Sharon Creech in forever but she was definitely one of my favorites in elementary school!


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