These Are a Few of My Favorite Things!

I could talk about the Hugo’s- the winners, the losers, and the No Votes.

Or I could talk about my favorite books growing up. My mother was a career librarian until she retired last year, so she always had the best recommendations.

I remember making my mother read to me the Caldecott Winning Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig many times. I remember feeling sad for Sylvester whose friends couldn’t recognize him and left him in the field alone, as a pebble. Happy when they were reunited. I’ve always loved the fantastic.

Sarah’s Unicorn by Katherine and Bruce Coville I read to myself and enjoyed thoroughly. I like the self-aware female protagonist who saves herself with twists on classic fairytale worlds. I don’t think I realized that My Teacher Is An Alien and the Magic Shop books were by the same author! But, I definitely enjoyed Bruce Coville’s work for older readers as well.

I’m an identical twin and always wanted to an author, so I had a sweet spot for the Sweet Valley Twin books and Elizabeth in particular. (Although, I was never that convinced Todd made a good boyfriend). I also read the Babysitter Club books and the Christy Miller books.

The Castle In the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop has a Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book award. I can’t remember if I tried gymnastics before or after I read this book the first time, but I loved it. It has hints of The Last Unicorn in it – (which I discovered on my mother’s shelf in college, never knowing she had it, just watching the movie every time I visited my aunt) – but they defeated the wizard by being clever and swift, not strong.

Newbury honorist The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper. My big sister gave my twin sister this during the Christmas of 4th grade. I can still recite the prophecy at will. I tore through the series. I think Greenwitch may be my favorite. Or maybe Silver on the Tree. Hmmm, hard choice.

R. L Stine – I was a regular reader of his works – some of the Goosebumps and definitely all the Fear Street books in the library. I won the summer reading club and my prize was dinner with the man himself and several other winners! (Although, I definitely had a soft spot for the more spiritual creepiness of Christopher Pike.)

The Secret Circle series by LJ Smith was my favorite of her works. For most of high school, I reread them every autumn. Outsider Cassie, the pagan powers, dealing with small town politics and cute boys, I loved it all.

The Last Herald-Mage by Mercedes Lackey was my introduction to Valdemar. Definitely an interesting spot to start, but I loved it. I carried the 3-in-1 book to school to keep reading, on more than one read-through. (Sorry Mom! Didn’t mean to break the spine. Books that size aren’t meant to be carried like that.) She’s still one of the authors I follow.

Did you read these books growing up? Did you love them like I did?

Any books I missed?


  1. I didn’t read any of these growing up, but I like your post. Very positive. And made me think about the books my son liked growing up, or even the ones I liked reading to him over and over again 🙂


  2. As far as series go, I was a HUGE fan of Encyclopedia Brown (Sobel). One of the first fantasy books that I enjoyed was Robin McKinley’s Beauty, and it is still an annual re-read. Rather than reading Cooper, I got into Kurtz’s Deryni series with my sister’s help, along with McKinley’s Hero and the Crown/Blue Sword. But if you want to talk about “Read it again, Mommy!” books, then I have to go to The Good Master and The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy. She had gorgeous illustrations and great stories.


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