Childhood reads still favoritesFebruary 15, 2008
I have been using the Hastings Public Library ever since I can remember. Back in middle school, before I could drive, I would beg my parents to take me to the library so I could get new books. I had spare time to read, and read I did. Now that I am in college, however, my reading-for-pleasure time has been severely shortened because of the reading I am required to do for class. The books that I read when I was a child, however, still remain as some of my favorites. I wish to share some of these favorites here, in hopes that someone else will be able to love them as much as I.
Before Junie B. Jones there was Amber Brown. She was spunky and wild, which made reading about her wacky escapades a true treat. The first book, “Amber Brown is Not a Crayon,” finds Amber’s best friend moving away, and as the series progresses Amber has to deal with moving from third to fourth grade, her parent’s divorce, and the everyday stunts that 3rd and 4th graders pull.
While Gilbert Morris is well known for his extensive adult fiction writings he has also written for children as well. Bonnets and Bugles, and The Seven Sleepers are both Christian fiction series. Bonnets and Bugles delves into the historical fiction realm; the series takes place during the Civil War, starting off with “Drummer Boy at Bull Run,” which finds two best friends fighting on opposite sides of the war. The Seven Sleepers, on the other hand, is a fantasy adventure series where the Seven Sleepers must battle evil at every turn. Start with “The Flight of the Eagles,” and you will find yourself hooked.
Another author who writes in the historical fiction realm is Gerald Morris. As an adult Morris fell in love with the tales of King Arthur and the Round Table, and decided to re-tell the adventures in a series for children. Thus The Squire’s Tales was born. The first in the series, by that same title, finds a young boy, Terence, becoming a squire for Gawain, and accompanying him on his search for a stag that an old woman sends them on.
My all-time favorite childhood mystery author, though, was John Bellairs. His mystery and magic books were great suspenseful reads, and hooked me from the first one. The library owns three different series by him; “The House with a Clock in Its Walls” is the first in the Lewis Barnavelt collection, and one of the most well-known of Bellair’s work. It finds Lewis orphaned at age 10, and going to live with his uncle, who happens to be a wizard, in his mansion. Lewis and his uncle discover that inside the mansion a hidden clock is ticking down the minutes until doomsday, unless Lewis can find it in time!
Find these and other great children’s fiction titles at the Hastings Public Library!