Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Older Books I Don't Want People Forgetting
There are a lot of books I don't want anyone to forget, but this list is just for the older ones, the ones that have been around for a while, that may not be as popular today as they once were, or are just older and should never be forgotten.
1. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
It's a very imaginative story.  The toy comes to life right in front of the kid's eyes!  A magical cupboard brings to life a plastic Indian (Native American).  We read this as a class in second grade.  We listened to the book on tape in sixth grade.  I think kids today should read this book, see the movie, and read the rest of the series. 
2. The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin
This was my favorite series growing up.  These girls were awesome.  I wanted to be a babysitter, too!  I hear they've reprinted these books in an updated form.  I'm not sure I quite like that. There's something about the 80s and 90s feel to the series that I don't want taken away.  I wanted these girls as my friends and I want girls to experience all their adventures.  They did so much on top of running a succesful babysitting business at the ages between 11-13.  There were so many characters to either love or hate.  There's someone for everyone.  That's the big connection.  It's easy to find the character you connect with.
3. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The original 19, forget the rest.  Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Ben.  The Boxcar Children.  They ran away from the orphanage and survived in a boxcar in the woods.  I wish I still had my copies of the series.  I would love to go back and enjoy their time in the boxcar and then the mysteries that they encountered in the books after.  They were a fun group to read.  As a 7 and 8 year old my neighborhood friend and I would play Boxcar Children.  The series was an important part of my growing up years.
4. The Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Don't judge this by the Little House on the Prairie TV series which I don't particularly like.  Judge it by the books, which I do like.  They do give insight into life on the fronteer.  Laura wrote the historical fiction about her family's life as pioneers.  They were pioneers.  They helped set up towns and move to uncharted places in the US.  They're easy and fun to read. 
5. Nancy Drew by Carolyne Keene  & The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon
I only read one Hardy Boys book and a few Nancy Drews growing up.  But, no one should forget our teen sleuths.  There's  nothing to compare them to in today's literature.  Nancy Drew could solve almost anything.  So could the Hardy Boys.  They're not like the characters of today that whine and cry about not being able to get with the hundred year old vampire.  They went out and did things.  They solved mysteries.  They were productive.  They were and are awesome.  They inspire children to do something, to be something.
6. Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
I loved this book so much!  I never had my own copy, but whenever I went to a new school I would check a copy out of the library.  The mother and daughter switch places.  It starts out because of a fight the two have, but the reasons and implications extending from it...it needs to be read.  Don't judge it by its movies.  The book is a thousand, a bazillion times better.  Also, lets not forget the sequel A Billion for Boris.
7. Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
Another book not to be judged by its movie.  I wanted to own penguins as pets after reading this book.  Of course, it's not feasible, but the way Mr. Popper and his wife take care of them made them seem adorable.
8. Ramona Quimby Series by Beverly Cleary
There was a movie out recently starring Jamie King and Selena Gomez as Ramona and Beezus so maybe the series is far from being forgotten.  Ramona was the annoying little sister.  It wasn't her fault.  She didn't mean to be!  She's just being Ramona!  I loved reading about her first day in kindergarten where she sits where the teacher wants "for the present." Waiting and waiting because she thought of the wrong meaning for the word present.  Wanting her dad to stop smoking she makes a sign which reads "Nosmo King."  Who is Nosmo king?  Her first day in her new bedroom, the extention built on because Ramona and Beezus are too old to share a room any longer, scares her because she's never been alone like that before.  Beverly Cleary created an awesome little girl in Ramona Quimby.
9. Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
One thing I learned from this book is how to spell friend.  OK, so I knew how to spell it before, but the pnemonic device Leigh uses is something that sticks with me: end at the end.  Leigh writes to his favorite author, Mr. Henshaw, because of a class project.  This is more than just about a kid writing to his favorite author.  It's about being the new kid in school and learning from what an author has to say.
10. My Teacher is an Alien by Bruce Coville
My brother owned this book for some reason I can't imagine since he didn't particularly like reading.  I would sneak into his room when he wasn't home and look at the small amount of books on his shelf.  Slowly, I ended up reading this book from beginning to end.  I didn't mean to, honestly.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and think of it as a classic in children's literature.  It's not to say that it's the best thing ever written or needs to be placed up there with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, but it is a good piece for children, especially those that think their teacher could be an alien.


  1. Oh, golly, this post brought back about a million memories! I'd forgotten, shame on me, about The Indian in the Cupboard, which made me think of The Plant that Ate Dirty Socks, which I'd also forgotten. But I remember Laura and Ramona and the Boxcar children and Mr. Popper and the Babysitters. Great list--there are so many fantastic books on here. :)

    1. I forgot about The Plant that Ate Dirty Socks. We read that in class, which grade I forget.

  2. #1 and #7 are particular favorites of mine, but all of your picks are stellar - thanks for sharing!

  3. OH! I almost put The Indian in the Cupboard on my list, too! Man, I wanted a cupboard like that so badly. And Mr. Popper's Penguins was amazing, so much better than the movie. Great list!

    My TTT: http://shelversanon.blogspot.com/2012/10/top-10-tuesday-top-ten-older-books-you.html