Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved Waaaayyyy Back in the Day

It's Tuesday again, time for my favorite bookish meme.  I always look forward to this weekly event, especially now when there are so few ways to distinguish one day from all the rest!  How's everyone doing this week?  Are you surviving the quarantine in good spirits or starting to go stark raving mad?  Are you whipping through a book a day or finding it difficult to concentrate on reading when the outside world is still in chaos?  We're doing okay over here.  All of us have cabin fever, but we're being as cautious as we can by staying home, social distancing, washing our hands, etc.  We've had excessive heat warnings here in the Phoenix area—it's supposed to be in the upper 90s and low 100s all week.  Oh, joy!  I'm not a fan of hot weather, but at least I have air conditioning and a backyard swimming pool.  I really can't complain (I mean, I can, but I shouldn't).  For now, I'll just continue reading, cross-stitching, blogging, and attempting to keep my house from becoming a complete shambles.  I hope you all are doing well and keeping you and yours safe and healthy.

Today's Top Ten Tuesday topic is a nostalgic one—Top Ten Books I Wish I Had Read As a Child.  I don't know about you, but I have been a voracious reader for my entire life.  As a kid, there was nothing I loved more than visiting our town's teensy tiny library.  When I couldn't convince my mom to drive me into town, I made the two-mile round trip on my own two feet.  The walk down wasn't so bad since it was all downhill, but the hike back up was a killer, especially in the summer heat with my arms full of all the books I could carry!  Needless to say, I was thrilled when I got my driver's license.  Not only could I drive myself to town whenever I wanted, but I could also cross the bridge into Oregon and check out books from a nearby town that had a much larger library.  I inhaled so many books in those days that, besides the Harry Potter series (which didn't come out until I was in my late 20's), I couldn't think of any that I wished I had read as a child.  I could, however, think of many that I loved back then, so I'm going to twist the topic du jour and list the Top Ten Authors/Books/Series I Loved As a Child.

Before we get to that, though, I have to give a shout out to Jana, our Top Ten Tuesday host.  If you want to join in the TTT fun, head on over to her blog, That Artsy Reader Girl.  You can find all the info you need on her lovely site.

Top Ten Authors/Books/Series I Loved as a Child (in no particular order)


1.  The Berenstain Bears series by Jan and Stan Berenstain—As a kid, I devoured this beloved picture book series about a bear family that lives in a quaint treehouse.  I was so caught up by the idea of dwelling in a tree that I spend many happy hours designing my own treehouse home on paper.  Funny enough, when I started reading the books to my own children, I found them wordy, didactic, and a bit dull.  My kids enjoyed the PBS television series based on the books, but never cared much for the written version.


2.  Shel Silverstein—My family owned several of Silverstein's books of poems.  Some of his verses aren't very PC and would probably be frowned upon in today's more sensitive climate ("[Sister] For Sale" comes to mind), but his poems are fun, silly, inventive, and wholly entertaining.  My siblings and I loved them.

3.  Dr. Seuss—Like most children, I adored books like Green Eggs and Ham and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.  I'm glad to see that these classics have endured and are still being enjoyed by today's kids.


4.  Choose Your Own Adventure series by R.A. Montgomery—Oh my goodness, did I gobble these books down!  I had so many wild adventures through this series.


5.  Amelia Bedilia series by Peggy Parish—I loved this series about a very literal-minded housekeeper and her many adventures.  Parish died in 1988 and her nephew, Herman Parish, continued writing Amelia Bedilia books starting in 1995.  I haven't read any of the newer books, but I loved the older ones.


6.  The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder—I was mad about everything Little House on the Prairie when I was a kid.  I devoured both the books and the t.v. show, which appealed to my love of history and pioneer stories.


7.  Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene—Even as a young'n I loved mysteries.  This famous female sleuth was my absolute favorite!



8.  The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner—These simple mysteries were also among my favorite reads as a child.  I've re-read some of them as an adult and although they're written in a very basic way, I can still see why they're so appealing to kids.


9.  Christopher Pike—I read a lot of Pike when I was in middle school and even high school.  His mystery/thrillers kept me up way past my bedtime on many nights in the late 80s and early 90s.  My young heart was absolutely crushed when I wrote him a gushing fan letter and never received a response! 


10.  Mary Higgins Clark—My dad introduced me to Clark, his favorite mystery author, when I was a teenager.  Her clean mystery/thrillers kept me up late on numerous occasions, turning pages far into the night.  I enjoyed her books more as a teen than as an adult, but I have great respect for Clark, who continued to write bestselling novels until she died in January at the age of 92.  

There you go, ten authors/books/series my child/teenaged self couldn't get enough of.  Were you a reader as a kid?  Which books did you love back in the day?  Which do you wish you had read then?  I'd truly love to know.  Leave me a comment on this post and I'll return the favor on yours.

Happy TTT!

73 comments:

  1. Great list. I am a die hard Shel Silverstein fan. And my Nancy Drew books and Little House books were extremely worn out by the time I was an adult.

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    1. We used to die laughing over Silverstein's poems. They were unique and silly and fun. I should read some of them to my kids - they'd probably love them, too.

      Thanks for coming by, Cheri!

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  2. Great list! You've got a lot of my favorites here, especially Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein. And I loved the Choose Your Own adventures and Nancy Drew. You've brought back a lot of good memories!

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    1. Creating this list brought back a lot of warm memories for me as well :) I know not all of the old books translate well for today's kids, but man, I loved them when I was a kid!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I love the Berenstain Bears and Amelia Bedelia!

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    1. Such fun books! I haven't revisited Amelia Bedelia as an adult. I wonder what I would think of her now?

      Thanks for coming by!

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  4. I know we are not supposed to like them, because they "romanticize genocide" (yeah, I recently read that in a book), but I loved the Little House books, and remember them and the show fondly. Nancy Drew was another big part of my youth, too.

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    1. I'm sure there were a lot of un-PC things about the Little House books, but I didn't notice any of that back in the day. I just loved the stories. Same with Nancy Drew. I don't know how I'd feel about the books today, but back then I could not get enough of them!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

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    2. There were a lot of books that are un-PC now that seemed totally normal in the day. That doesn't mean we can't say we enjoyed them at the time. And read them with open eyes now, they can still tell us a lot about the times.

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  5. I don't envy your heat, but I know Texas is not far behind you!

    I loved reading the Encyclopedia Brown books when I was a kid. I guess I've been a mystery lover from the very start!

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    1. At least it's a "dry" heat :) Texas humidity probably makes the heat a million times worse. Ugh. I basically hibernate in the summer - that's how much I hate the heat!

      Same here on the mysteries. I adored Encyclopedia Brown.

      Thanks for stopping by, Ethan!

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  6. I read a ton of Boxcar Children books as a kid! I really loved Shel Silverstein too. I used to have some of the poems memorized because I read them so many times.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I had some of his poems memorized, too! Lots of them are short and funny, so it's no wonder we enjoyed having them in our heads!

      Thanks for coming by, AJ!

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  7. I remember loving Amelia Bedilia. Seeing it here kind of makes me want to dig them up and do a reread.

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    1. Me too. When I was writing about the series, I realized I couldn't remember a thing about it except that I ADORED it. I'll have to do a reread as well. I wonder what we'd think of it as adults??

      Thanks for stopping by, Alicia!

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  8. I spy Nancy Drew!!! πŸ™ŒπŸ˜πŸ™ŒπŸ˜

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    1. I've seen her on lots of lists today! She's a popular gal :)

      Thanks for coming by!

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  9. I look forward to Top Ten Tuesday for the same reason! Plus, it's always fun to see what everyone comes up with each week. It's sort of like catching up with friends. :)

    The beginning of the physical distancing was hard for me because I have seasonal affective disorder and was already depressed by the end of winter. But I'm doing a lot better now.

    May you enjoy that wonderful swimming pool!

    My TTT .

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    1. TTT is definitely the highlight of my Tuesdays! Honestly, I haven't done much else today. The dishwasher isn't going to load itself, so I should probably get on that ...

      I'm glad the brighter days are helping you feel better. I never understood SAD until I had a college roommate who had it. Winters in Utah were super rough for her. I'm glad you're feeling better. I hope that continues :)

      I'm waiting for a new swimsuit that I ordered to come. If this heat continues, I might just jump in fully clothed.

      Thanks for coming by, Lydia!

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  10. The Boxcar Children were one of my favorites as well. You have so many great books on this list!

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    1. Thanks! I keep thinking of more I should have added :) Even though we didn't have as many books to choose from back then, I feel like there were some really good ones available and I'm glad I was able to read them as a child.

      Thanks for stopping by, Deanna!

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  11. Great list! I used to love the Goosebumps choose your own adventure books when I was little - Give Yourself Goosebumps, I think they were called? - and looking back I'm surprised I didn't read more like them.

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    1. What?? I have never heard of this series. The Goosebumps books were after my time, but I loved ghost stories when I was a kid - a CYOA Goosebumps book would have been right up my alley!

      Thanks for coming by, Jess!

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  12. Hi Susan, great list! I thought about doing a list similar to this, but couldn't settle on what age books to include. Yours was the perfect mixture of children's to tweens! I loved so many of these, too, but especially Shel Silverstein! I loved him! Great list!

    My TTT

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    1. Honestly, this list could have been at least double as long as it was. Once I started thinking about books I enjoyed as a child, others kept popping into my head!

      Shel Silverstein was a treasure, wasn't he? I've never been big on poetry, but I loved his. It was perfect for kids - short, quirky, and funny.

      Thanks for coming by, Leslie!

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  13. Love your list!! I love the Little House books and Amelia Bedelia is a must in every household in my opinion! LOL!
    I hope the weather cools down for you!



    https://www.musingsofasassybookishmama.com

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    1. It's supposed to cool down a teensy bit toward the end of the week. After that, it will be heat, heat, heat until November when it will finally start cooling off again. Central Arizona weather is rough on a heat-hater like myself :(

      I agree on the Little House and AB books, although none of my kids ever showed any interest in reading the former. My 11yo just watched the LH t.v. show for the first time and she liked it, so there's hope for her yet :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  14. All of those would be on my list as well (except Pike, whom I have never read). Reading all these lists is bringing back happy reading memories!

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    1. Pike wrote thrillers and horror, which I loved as a teen. I'm not so much into the latter these days, but you know I still love the former!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Helen!

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  15. What a different world it was to when we were kids! The library was my go-to for finding books to read. I was fortunate enough to have my mom drive me a lot, she was an avid reader, too, so she picked up books. Plus, she loved to cook and would pick up cookbooks for new recipes. She taught me how to cook and I have fond memories of picking out recipes with her.

    I worked my way through Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys as well. Loved Amelia Bedilia, too. I almost added Little House on the Prairie on my list. Great TTT and thanks for visiting my TTT! :)

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    1. That reminds me how different it was to find recipes before the Internet! It's so easy these days to find recipes and cooking instructions as well as reviews. Cooks these days are so spoiled!

      Sounds we liked a lot of the same books as kids. No wonder - they're great ones.

      Thanks for stopping by, Rachel!

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  16. This TTT topic is nostalgic! I loved the Berenstain Bears, Shel Silverstein, Dr Seuss, Amelia Bedelia and the Little House series. Here's my Top Ten Tuesday List!

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    1. SO nostalgic! It's been fun to look at other people's lists today and see so many fun old children's books. Not gonna lie - it's made me feel really old, though :)

      Thanks for coming by, Lectrice!

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  17. I enjoyed so many of these as a kid. I'm still a fan of mysteries.

    Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog today.

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    1. Me, too. Mysteries are probably my favorite genre these days. My love for the genre definitely came from my parents and the mysteries I read as a kid.

      Thanks for stopping by, Cheryl!

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  18. I loved Clark too... Still do if I am being honest.

    Thanks for stopping by my post :)

    Be Safe!

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    1. I liked her books more when I was a kid, but I still appreciate the fact that she writes clean mysteries that are appropriate for all ages. At one point, I was reading her books as a teenager, my dad was reading them as a middle-aged man, and my grandma was reading them as a senior citizen. I love that all of us could read them and enjoy them.

      Thanks for coming by, Angelique!

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  19. Oh my gosh, the Berenstein bears! And Nancy drew and Choose your own Adventure -- so much lovely nostalgia for me!

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    1. Right? This topic has taken me on such a fun trip down memory lane. I love it!

      Thanks for stopping by, Verushka!

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  20. I loved Shel Silverstein as a kid as well!

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    1. He was a crowd pleaser! I remember his work being a big hit with my teachers and friends.

      Thanks for coming by, Lindsey!

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  21. I really enjoyed The Berenstain Bears, Amelia Bedelia, and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I haven't read the rest of Silverstein's books, but that last one holds a special place in my heart!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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    1. You should definitely read Silverstein's poetry collections. His poems are short, funny, and upbeat. You could read through a collection of them very quickly.

      Thanks for coming by, Nushu!

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  22. I loved many of these same books: the Amelia Bedelia ones, the Little House series, Nancy Drew, but especially those Choose Your Own Adventures books. They were my favorites for awhile. :D

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    1. Right? Those CYOA books were the best. Quick, exciting, fun to read - what more can a kid ask for?

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lark!

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  23. I didn't read any of the mysteries you mentioned other than a few Nancy Drew, but I've read most of this list as a child too. They're great books! :)

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    1. I agree! If we still remember them all these years later, they must have been good :)

      Thanks for coming by, Jaime!

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  24. Because I am so much older than you Susan, many of these were not around when I was a child. Dr. Seuss certainly was one of my faves and who didn't love Nancy Drew, although I was also a huge Trixie Beldon fan. Great list.

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    1. I don't remember being into Trixie Belden. It could just be my failing memory because I loved mysteries and would definitely have looked for more Nancy Drew-ish books. It seems weird that I would have missed out on those books ...

      Thanks, as always, for stopping by and commenting, Carla!

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  25. Oh, this is just as fun as the original topic. Berenstain Bears, Boxcar Children, Amelia Bedelia, Little House -- all among my faves too. Pike never could hold my attention the way R.L. Stine could, though.

    And Choose Your Own Adventure! My piano teacher had a whole wall full of her son's old books and I'd borrow a new one every week. It made the struggle of attending lessons worth it. (I got them out of the public library too, but she had Different ones!)

    I like your library story, too. Someone should have pointed out to my "I don't WANNA take the hard driving test to get my license" teenage self that I could have gone to more and different libraries/bookstores if I did...

    --RS

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    1. R.L. Stine started publishing when I was a young teenager, so I never really got into his books. I'm sure I would have if I'd been a little bit younger because I've always been a sucker for a good ghost story :)

      LOL. I took piano lessons as a kid, too, and it was torture. My teacher didn't have books to choose from, but she did have a cute son that made going to lessons a *little* bit more fun :)

      Yep, someone definitely should have brought up the driving yourself to the library perk! We lived about a mile out of town, so if I wanted to go anywhere I had to hoof it or beg someone for a ride. Being able to drive meant FREEDOM. I didn't even care (much) that I was driving a big, blue station wagon or that I was constantly running errands for my mom. I was just glad to be able to get places ALL BY MYSELF :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting!

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  26. Awww This post brings be back!!! I loved Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, and Amelia Bedilia <3

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    1. Ahh, the good ole days! I know Dr. Seuss is still popular today and the Amelia Bedelia series has been continued by the author's nephew, but you don't hear much about Silverstein these days. That's too bad. He was a treasure.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  27. Oh my goodness!! I loved Nancy Drew!!! I remember those and The Babysitters Club being some of my favorites! Happy reading!

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    1. Nancy Drew was the best! I never got into the Babysitters Club, but I know they were super popular back in the day.

      Thanks for coming by, Leslie!

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  28. Our weather has been all over the place from 40s to 80s but with a lot of rain so between that and my allergies I've been staying inside! Great books! I desperately wanted to love the Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid but I died every single time. I loved Little House and Shel Silverstein and could never get enough Berenstein Bears though!

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    1. LOL. The good thing about the CYOA books was that it was easy to cheat and look ahead to learn your fate so you wouldn't choose wrong! LOL.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Katherine!

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  29. Growing up in Brooklyn there was not a library in the neighborhood. I did not become aware of Anne Of Green Gables,Betsy Tacy and The Little House On The Prairie books. I read them as an adult. I did read Nancy Drew and The Bobbsey Twins series since my older sister had bought them at the 5 and 10 cents store when she was young. I still enjoy reading young adult and or children's books from time to time. My favorite series as a child was The Honey Bunch books. They were purchased at a 5 and 10 cents store.
    Marilyn

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    1. How sad that you didn't have a library! Ours was teensy, but it was possible to "order" books from the regional library - you had to look the books up on microfiche, then fill out a form, and the book would be sent to your home in the mail. It's crazy how easy it is to request books from the library now.

      I forgot about the Bobbsey Twins! I loved them, too.

      Thanks for coming by, Marilyn! Do you have a blog I can check out?

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    2. I do not have a blog. I do have a twin sister that is why I liked The Bobbsey Twins.
      Marilyn

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  30. Fabulous list! I LOVED the Choose Your Own Adventure books so much. and Nancy Drew (along with the Hardy Boy) are such a blast of nostalgia!

    Little House was the bomb.

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    1. I don't think I ever read the Hardy Boys books. I probably considered them "boy" books and stayed away. So sexist!

      Thanks for stopping by, Greg!

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  31. Thanks for your visit to my page.

    Most of the books you read as a kid were loved my my sons, as well. They loved "The Berenstain Bears, Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein ...

    Same as you, I decided to do a different TTT since I did a similar topic last year (Top Ten Books I wish I read as a kid). My TTT tthis week is an old one I missed (Books I'll Never Read).

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    1. I'm glad some of these "oldies but goodies" have endured to be enjoyed by the next generations :)

      Thanks for coming by, Marianne!

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    2. Always a pleasure, Susan. Have a good day.

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  32. I lived out in the country and it took an hour on the school bus to get to school so there was no way for me to go to the library on my own but I do remember my mom taking us once in a while. We did have a lot of books and we always ordered from the sheet that school sent home. I loved those Choose Your Own Adventures stories but seemed to always die. I still have my Little House on the Prairie boxed set from my childhood days. I had kids when some of the Harry Potter books were coming out but it sure would have been fun to grow up with those books.

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    1. An hour? Yikes! I'm glad you had books at home then. Books are so much easier to acquire these days and obviously, I have TONS at my house. Anytime my kids say, "I don't have anything to read," I say, "Gee, I wonder how you could possibly solve that problem in THIS house." LOL.

      My oldest was a toddler when the first HP book came out. I remember sitting on the floor of his room reading it while he played :) I agree - I would have loved growing up with Harry Potter.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carole!

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  33. I got very nostalgic reading through your list because so many of my childhood favorites are on it - Little House, Nancy Drew, the Berenstein Bears. Loved them all!

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    1. This was such a fun, nostalgic topic! I had fun reading through everyone's lists this week, although I was reminded, once again, of how OLD I am. LOL.

      Thanks for coming by, Suzanne!

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  34. Shel Silverstein is one of my faves! I recently bought Falling Up to read with the kids. Amelia Bedilia is another one I have fond memories of. Also, Hank the Cowdog and something about Mandie and her adventures... Great list!

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?😷 πŸ’¬

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    1. I hope your kids enjoy Silverstein as much as we do :)

      Thanks for coming by, Lindsi!

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  35. Ah, Where the Sidewalk Ends and Sister for Sale! Loved those.

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  36. I haven't read any of these, but me and my sister used to play the Nancy Drew computer games when we were younger, I think it was The Haunting of Castle Malloy and I remember being terrified of the banshee XD
    I definitely want to give the Nancy Drew books a go though, I've heard too many good things not to!
    Happy Reading! <3

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