Yesterday I posted some of my favorite books from my childhood. Here are some from my early adolescence. I read many of these several times. As I ransacked my mind for this list, I remembered that a great many of my favorite books were from the Newbery Award book list. Interestingly enough, the only books I really remember reading and loving from this time period were fiction. Fairytales, many of them. Ella Enchanted and the Two Princesses of Bamarre. The first has been made into a movie (the book is better), though it is really the second that deserves to be made into a movie. Bamarre‘s main character, Addie, and I had a lot in common. She had a big sister who was brave and adventurous (and liked to act) and she was afraid of many things. When playing pretend with her sister Meryl, Addie was always the damsel in distress, but when her sister became deathly ill, it was Addie who had to be the courageous adventurer who sought the cure. And, of course, she meets a guy. Holes by Louis Sachar. This modern-day story of ancient curses and treasure is full of hilarious lines, like “You boys aren’t digging for treasure! You’re digging to build character!” He also wrote nonsensical stories I read when I was younger, like Wayside School Is Falling Down. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit: this one has been made into a movie, actually doing great credit to the book. The book asks the reader, “If you were given the chance to live forever, would you take it?” The Westing Game. This story is a riddle, and the reader is lucky if she can figure it out before the main character, a bright young girl, is able to do so. Poppy by Avi. My, how I loved this series. It is probably because of these books that I wanted to name a future daughter Poppy (Unfortunately, my husband thinks she will get nicknames “poopy” and my mother reminded me that the poppy is the source of the drugs opium, morphine, and heroin). The books in the series are Ragweed, Poppy, Poppy & Rye, Ereth’s Birthday, Poppy’s Return, and Poppy and Ereth. The stories are about the adventures of some field mice and a porcupine who find friendship and love. completely charming. I love Karen Cushman books, especially these three. Cushman showed me what life for a girl might look like in middle ages England. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. The reason I liked this story so much was probably because I recognized it as a retelling of an old Grimm brothers fairy tale with the same name. Taking a story from 7 pages long to novel length was delightfully done. (Plus the princess has super powers)
Man, I loved these books. And now that I look at them, all but Holes has a female protagonist.