Well, I’m having so much fun reading other Weekly Geeks’ lists of childhood favorites that I thought I better post one of my own after all. I am going to try to list only books that I haven’t already mentioned in other posts. So no Joan Aiken, no Louisa May Alcott, no Arthur Ransome, C.S. Lewis, Susan Cooper, Lois Lowry, Madeleine L’Engle, Lloyd Alexander, Noel Streatfeild or Elizabeth Enright, and no obscure German authors in translation. (Yikes! Who’s left?)
Anyone remember Lotte’s Locket by Virginia Sorenson? I would love to get hold of a copy of this. Little Danish girl goes on an ocean voyage (what is it about me and ships?) and comes to America. I think it was America. She wrote letters to her best friend back home. I loved this book and I wish I could remember it better. I think I read other books by the same author but this was my favorite.
When I was in sixth grade I discovered Lois Duncan. Down a Dark Hall and A Gift of Magic were my favorites — oh I would love to read those again. And, in the same genre, A Candle in her Room, by Ruth M. Arthur, along with every other book by her that I could find. Oh, and Jane-Emily by Patricia Clapp. They were all creepy gothic horror stories and I ate them up.
Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George. My first wilderness survival story. My grandmother gave it to me for my birthday, inscribed “To Julie (no wolves)” — but I would have loved this book even if the main character didn’t share my name. That is, I loved the part where she was out on the tundra with the wolves; the other parts of the story (her “husband,” etc.) were not so good.
Another favorite author: E.L. Konigsburg. I especially loved her two historical novels: A Proud Taste for Scarlet & Miniver, about Eleanor of Acquitaine, and The Second Mrs. Giaconda, about the woman who was the model for the Mona Lisa. The writing was somewhat dry, but the subject matter was fascinating.