BEDA: Day 24

24 04 2010

Favorite childhood books! Whoo! An easy topic 🙂

Basically, since I learned to read, I’ve been reading anything and everything I can get my hands on. By the end of kindergarten, my teacher was sending me down to first grade to pick up extra reading assignments because I was ahead of everyone else. In 4th grade, our spelling curriculum was based on most frequently used words, of which I missed 2 from the initial pretest of a couple hundred words. So me and Matt K. got to pick our own spelling words, which we frequently did by opening up the dictionary to different pages and picking words like Mediterranean and embarrassment. I know spelling uses different skills than reading, but when you read a lot and read often, you’re constantly exposed to words and language and even though I don’t have a photographic memory, I think the fact that I was a good speller is related to being a good reader.

My brother, sister, and I were the kids who brought books everywhere. We read in the car, we read in restaurants, on the bus, outside, inside, on vacation, you name it. My mom read to us just about every night after we were snuggled up in our beds– even when we were all past the picture book stage– she’d just read a chapter or two from wherever we were in whatever book we were reading.

We didn’t have a lot of books growing up– we were once a week library visitors who went in with a full backpack each and left with a full backpack each.

But here’s a few that I remember owning, reading, and loving:

This particular Mother Goose–the binding is broken on our copy, there are stickers and sticker goo on the cover, and I’m pretty sure there’s probably crayon on the inside.

My Shoe Book by Maida Silverman, its about a girl who goes to the shoe store and gets to pick out some new shoes for her and for her dolly.

Amy the Dancing Bear by Carly “You’re so vain” Simon. This was a Christmas present from an aunt. Basically I liked it because it was about dancing and the bear was named Amy. I was a complex child.

The Little House on the Prairie books. I got the whole set (finally!) from a book order in 4th grade. These books are the kind of books I reread almost every year just for nostalgia’s sake.

The Betsy Tacy books. I wouldn’t be a Minnesota girl if I didn’t know who Betsy, Tacy, and Tib were. Maud Hart Lovelace wrote these books based on the city of Mankato, and the state children’s award (chosen by kids) are named in her honor. My grandma signed me up to be a member of the Betsy Tacy Society, and I even have a Betsy Tacy Christmas ornament. My copies of the books are all paperbacks and falling apart. I would love to have nice hardcover copies (and not ex-library) of all the books someday. (Though, as they were published originally in the 1940s that might prove to be difficult).

I also read Sugar Isn’t Everything, a book about a girl who becomes diabetic an abnormal number of times as a child. Stacey in the Babysitter’s Club books was diabetic too, so I blame Ann M. Martin for my unusual interest in diabetes.

But I also read some Matt Christopher (sports), the Owen Archer books (adult mysteries set in the medieval times… darn you Karen Cushman and your Catherine, Called Birdy for making 12 year old me want to read only books set in the medieval times).

I’m so thankful that my parents weren’t the kind who screened every book I read or only allowed classics or who didn’t let me choose any books myself. I read all the books my brother and sister checked out that were obviously below my reading level, as they are 3 and 4 years younger than me. I was reading some adult books by the time I was in 4th grade or so. And I reading things that were meant for kids my age. And I loved them all. Reading has always been and will always be something I enjoy (except for 19th century Brit lit).

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One response

25 04 2010
Book Club Girl

There are new editions of the Betsy Tacy high school and beyond books -not in hardcover, but they do have Vera Neville’s illustrations on the covers. This fall Emily of Deep Valley and Carney’s House Party w/Winona’s Pony Cart are also coming back into print!

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