Top Ten Tuesday | Childhood Favorites

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jana @That Artsy Reader Girl. Weekly prompts are posted on her blog each week and any blogger who want to participate can create their own list of 10, 5, 2, 1 or any combo of numbers in between in answer to that prompt. Do what works for you on your blog, and join in the listing fun!

Oh lord, childhood favorites! What a topic. I feel like this has the potential to really date myself, so I’m going to limit my choices to after publishing was moved from stone tablets and chisels to the ink and paper method that we all know and love today. 😉

Also, I’m going to apologize in advance if Harry Potter ends up on this list repeatedly, because when I was a kid a lot of my reading time was taken up by re-reading Harry Potter compulsively. I’m really going to wrack my brain though and hopefully come up with unique entries!

10 Childhood Favorites


THE STINKY CHEESE MAN (And Other Fairly Stupid Tales)
Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith

This was pretty much the book that I remember got me into reading for myself as a kid. I loved how silly the stories were, and the artwork was so engaging. This was one that I remember reading over and over again as a small child.

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE – JK Rowling

Out of all of the Harry Potter books this was far and away my favorite story when I was young. From the beginning, which was so full of energy with the Quidditch World Cup, to the actual TriWizard Tournament – there was just so much going on – in a good way. Plus, this one brought back Dobby, and more dragons! Pure awesome fun from start to finish.

SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK
Alvin Schwartz & Stephen Gammell

Perhaps this is where I actually began my love of the horror genre (books and movies!) from a very young age I’ve always loved being scared by the media I choose to read. There’s something cathartic about the experience of horror that other genres just don’t hit for me.

ANIMORPHS – KA Applegate

The Animorphs was probably my favorite middle grade series when I was in elementary school. I remember being so excited for Scholastic Book Fairs at school, or for trips to the bookstore/library just because I knew these books were going to be on the shelves. The idea of humans becoming animals was just so fun, and the larger plot of humans vs. the Yeerks was pretty much my first taste of many similar plots that are now explored in Middle Grade and YA storylines today.

WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS – Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein was my first introduction to poetry as a young child. I loved the minimalist artwork style coupled with the emotional dense poems. I still have very fond memories of this book as an adult and definitely would read a copy of this to my kids – if I ever end up with any of my own!

ELLA ENCHANTED – Gail Carson Levine

I personally blame Ella Enchanted for my love for all things fantasy. It was my very first introduction to the genre in book format (because of course I’d seen Disney movies at this point) and I absolutely adored it. I also think as an adult, it’s a great examination of traditional gender roles in fantasy, and the way women were often written in general at the time.

MATILDA – Roald Dahl

I absolutely cannot make a list of my favorite childhood books and not include Roald Dahl in it! Matilda (both the book and the movie) has a very fond place in my heart. I love the theme of the story – Matilda embracing her powers and using her intellect to save the day and to forever change her situation for the better. Plus, the wish fulfillment aspect of being able to move things with your mind is just fun for a kid.

GOOSEBUMPS – RL STINE

Goosebumps, like Animophs, was another favorite series of my childhood because they appealed to the burgeoning horror fanatic in me. I loved how spooky all of the covers were, and remember proudly displaying my copies on my bookshelf for all to see. I spent a lot of time with these books on summer vacations, and then even enjoyed that terrible 90s television adaptation of it as well!

THE TWO PRINCESSES OF BAMARRE – Gail Carson Levine

Gail, girl, how you gonna end up on this list twice? Why did these stories about female characters touch a young little gay boy so? Who knows, but for some reason I just love her writing style and the way she brought vivid fantasy to live for young readers. If I’m remembering correctly to, this was the first book to move me emotionally at the end.

Last But Not Least!

WAIT TILL HELEN COMES – Mary Downing Hahn

This was probably the first tried and true ghost story I’d ever read as a kid. Truth be told, I’ve forgotten the majority of this book, and for years I was haunted by the knowledge of a book I’d read as a kid about a ghost that lures children to drown in a pond. For the life of me I could not recall the title until I came across it on Goodreads one evening! I’ve got it shelved now, and really want to revisit it just because it clearly made an impact on me as a kid!


This was a really fun list to put together! Did you see any of your old favorites on here? Lets chat about them together down below!

xoxo

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44 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | Childhood Favorites

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  1. I totally forgot about Wait Til Helen Comes! I loved that book when I was a kid. I also loved Time for Andrew by the same author. This is a fun trip down memory lane.

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  2. I loved Harry Potter, Goosebumps, Matilda, and Where the Sidewalk ends. I did poetry in Forensics in grade school and every year I picked poems from Where the side walk ends. My favorite is Messy Room and Ations.

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  3. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was terrifying and pretty much an essential at every sleepover party. I’m so looking forward to seeing the movie next month.

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  4. Gail Carson Levine—YES! Omg, I was obsessed with her and Shannon Hale’s books in middle school. Ahhh, how did I forget to include a book by her on my list? She’s the reason I love fairytale retellings.
    Ahhh, I’m trying to remember some of her other books… Ever and Fairest? Did you ever read those?
    (Also, I’m forever mad that I loaned out my copy of Two Princesses and my friend lost it. I still need to replace it…)

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    1. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book by Shannon Hale. From time to time I like to journey back and read a middle grade book – so perhaps I’ll try one of hers eventually! But yes, Gail Carson Levine and her fairytale books were my jam back in the day!

      I don’t think I’ve read Ever and Fairest either! Now I feel like I’m missing out!!

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      1. If you ever decide to try Shannon Hale, I recommend The Goose Girl (I would describe it as younger YA- I think the MC is 16 but I think I first read it when I was 11 or 12)! It’s a retelling of the Grimms tale of the same name and honestly one of my fav books to this day!

        And Ever and Fairest were such fun reads! I loved Fairest especially because the protagonist had this awesome ability where she could sound like anyone and “throw” her voice anywhere in a room.

        ALSO I just looked up Gail Carson Levine on GR and apparently she released an Ella Enchanted prequel in 2018?!?! How did I not know about this??

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  5. Great list. A lot of these I remember from my childhood too. I was also of the Harry Potter era so that would be the top of my list too.
    Gemma @ Gemma’s Book Nook

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  6. You’ve really made me wonder about all the lovely stories I missed out on because they were printed on those stone tablets. Haha. Matilda is one of the few books I ever read as a child. Always wanted to give goosbumps a try when I saw kids from my school read it, but never actually gathered enough nerve to do so. Can you believe thriller/horror is one of my favorite genres now?

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  7. Animorphs! Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark! Goosebumps! YES YES YES. I wanted to add these to mine, as well, but no room :/

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  8. Being born and bred in Japan (and I’m native Japanese as you know), it is SO interesting to see everyone’s childhood favorites!! I only read Harry Potter and Matilda out of this list, but I totally enjoyed both of them! Fun list, Bentley!

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  9. The fourth HP book is my fav too!! I love it because the world expands in that one and so too the awareness of the characters. Romantic relationships develop, the gain insight into wizarding politics, Hermione becomes a social justice warrior 🙂 . It’s no longer limited to just Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.

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  10. Great list! You’ve got some really good stuff listed there. I still love children’s books. There’s just something magical about them.

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  11. Wait Till Helen Comes also freaked me out when I was young. I re-read it two years ago, and I was surprised at how non-involved the parents were. These kids were facing the ghost on their own!

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