(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. The above image was taken and altered by me for the purpose of this post.)
Today I’m going to be talking about the books I would want my future kids to read. I approached this Top Ten Tuesday topic a bit differently than I normally do. This time, I thought about each book and about which stage of life my future kid(s) would read. Than after that, I thought about the books and why they mean so much to me — so much so that I would want to pass these reading memories down to them.
With that said, the first three books I’d want my future kids to read, are picture books that I absolutely adore. In fact, one of these books, is my answer to the what is your favorite book?
For Early Readers
Whistle For Willie by Ezra Jack Keats
The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
All three of these books have shaped me and my love of reading in some way, shape, or form.
Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats has always stood out to me. Not only because it features a very cute weenie dog (which I just happen to love, and have loved since I was little obviously), but because it features Peter, a young boy who cannot whistle. Like Peter I share that trait. But more than that I loved how Peter kept trying. As a child, I was told by many a family member to try and to never give up.
The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers is a modern classic. Oliver Jeffers and his body of work has been a big inspiration for me as an adult. This book will forever hold a special place in my book-loving heart. It was the first Oliver Jeffers book I picked up. It’s just a beautiful story and it constantly inspires me to push myself, to work towards my ultimate goal of becoming an author one day.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak showed me from a very early age the importance of an imagination. Life just isn’t fun without one. I loved how this book inadvertently talks about feels and emotions, and how child express those feelings and emotions. Beyond that, I love how, to me, this book explores how children start to understand those complex feelings and emotions.
For Middle Grade Readers
Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland & Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
I remember the first time I saw Alice in Wonderland for the very first time. I was mesmerized. After watching it, I soon after read it, and became even more enamored with the trippy book about a young girl who falls down a rabbit hole to end up in this crazy, alternate world. I loved how this book transported me. It made me realize that books can do that – they can take me to new places I couldn’t even dare dream right from the comforts of my own home.
The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy – ever since I was little I’ve been fascinated with witches. That fascination was fueled by my love of learning as much as I could possibly learn about the Salem Witch Trials from a very early age, and my love of a television show than many people do not know of or do not remember: The Worst Witch. It was about a young witch, Mildred, who is really bad at being a witch – she’s clumsy, accident prone, and can’t seem to cast a basic spell. But she has heart, and she’s determined. I read these books much later but feel that they make, not only great reads, but great read-alikes to Harry Potter (but for a young set).
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis is another book that showed me that books can truly transport a reader to a different world. I liked how it was fantastical, yet super realistic. And I have always loved how it focuses on almost every child’s dream: to be royalty of a fantastical land!
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keys
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
All three of these books I read during my freshman year of high school. All three are special to me, because I read them in a Literature class taught by a teacher I adored. This teacher was awesome! He believed in his students, even when they didn’t necessarily believe in themselves. He challenged us to think outside of the box, to challenge and stand up for whatever it was we were passionate about. He dared us to read everything and anything. Admittedly at this point, I wasn’t much a reader. I read because I had to (for school), not because I wanted to. Through reading these books in this Lit Class I understood how great reading was, how rewarding it could be, and how it could life changing.
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Suzanne
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
Valley of the Dolls I read simply because I wanted to see why this book was considered the ultimate “trash” novel. I thought the book was a great read. I didn’t find it trashy in the least. Then again, I read it many, many years after its original publication date (1966). I found the book to be smart, raw and honest, and a portrait of a very specific time and the people who lived during that time. In many ways, this book was a study of the 1960s.
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn was a book my best friend said to me “YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!” It’s rare that she says this to me. Why? Because we are vastly different readers. But when she finds a book that she knows I’ll love, I listen to her. And she was right! It’s about a family of circus sideshow performers … and if you know me, you know I need to say no more. I love the sideshow, and specifically in terms of this book, I love how it dissected family dynamics and how each member of a family plays a critical part to the unit as a whole.
(All book cover images from GoodReads)