Monday, November 21, 2016

Ten Books (or Series) That Helped Make Me a Bookworm

I'm linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for another Top Ten Tuesday.

This week is a Thanksgiving freebie, so I'm going to share books I'm thankful for because they contributed to my early and lifelong love of reading.

1. The Belgariad and Malloreon series by David and Leigh Eddings
My middle school English teacher introduced me to this series, before which I hadn't really read any fantasy. I read the whole series, the prequels, and even The Rivan Codex, which details the history and culture of all of the peoples in the fantasy world. The downside was that it set my expectations very high for fantasy, so when I tried Tolkien next I found it too boring and male-centric.

2. Daphne's Book by Mary Downing Hahn
I got this book from the library in fifth grade and loved it. I think I probably picked it up because the main character's name is Jessica, but then it ended up being this heavy story about child neglect and deciding whether to betray a friend's trust to save her life. I remember thinking it was such an adult book I had read, and I was disappointed when my middle school teacher's binder of the reading level of various books showed it was only at a fourth grade reading level!

3. Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
I don't think this was the first Christie book I ever read, but it was definitely one of the most memorable. I read this one for a book report in middle school and found the plot twists thrilling. By the end of high school I'd read 60+ Christie mysteries.

4. Heckedy Peg by Audrey Wood
This may be my favorite picture book of all time. I loved that the kids were named after the days of the week, the rhythm of it, and the riddle at the center of it all, in which the mother shows how well she knows each of her children.

5. Matilda by Roald Dahl
I loved Dahl's books growing up, and this one most of all. As a precocious child who was pulled out for gifted classes starting in grade school, I resonated with Matilda's feeling of being out of place and the importance of having a teacher willing to make time to challenge her.

6. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
This was another middle school read, and one of the first books where I simply LOVED every page. The wordplay completely tickled me. I don't know if I found another book I loved in this same goofy way until I read The Mysterious Benedict Society as an adult.

7. The Ramona Quimby series by Beverly Cleary
My mom started reading these books to me when I was pretty young (I want to say 3 or 4, about the same age Ramona is at the beginning), and that must have been the first time I followed the same character's story across chapters and multiple books. For some reason I found it scandalous when they showed Ramona's mom pregnant with another baby near the end of the series!

8. Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sacher
This book and its sequels amused me as a grade schooler with their satire of school and their jokes related to words and logic. While I am generally not a fan of absurdism, some books, like the Wayside School books and The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, just hit the sweet spot for me.

9. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
This was my favorite book for a while in grade school, and I finally reread it as an adult not too long ago. Apparently the weirdness of a romance between a 12-year-old and a 22-year-old was lost on my 9-year-old self, but I can definitely understand why I related to the narrator, whose curiosity and constant questions get her into trouble.

10. The Usborne Puzzle Adventure books
There are a lot of books that fall into this category, but I would be amiss if I didn't mention them as a contributor to my love of reading from a young age. I think it was a precursor to my love of mysteries that I liked these books where you had to contribute to the story by cracking codes and solving logic teasers.

Which books helped you become a bookworm?

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