Top 10 Books from My Childhood

A while ago, when my girlfriend had barely started her blog (which is great and you should go read it), I challenged her to make a top 10 list of what she considered were the hottest cartoon guys.  Today, I decided to let her challenge me.  Since I’ve been playing Pokemon Platinum recently, the original challenge was to pick my top 10 favorite Pokemon.  As I was putting together that list, I realized something.  I’m not a big enough fan of Pokemon to make a list like that.  So she issued me a different challenge.

I’ve stated a few times before that I love to read.  This love of mine started when I was very young.  As such, I’ve been challenged to make a list of my most beloved books of my childhood!  A few of these books may be recognizable.  Most of them are probably really obscure.  Nonetheless, this is my list.  Have other picks for your favorites?  Feel free to let me know in the comments!

10.  Pure Dead Magic by Debi Gliori

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The best way I can describe this book is the Addams Family if it was weirder.  Yes, weirder.  It follows the antics of the Strega-Borgia family as they deal with electronic rats, witch nannies, and kidnappers.  The sole reason this is so low on this list is that I can’t remember much about it.  But I do remember loving it because it was so weird.  I even still own it.  Maybe it’s time I give it a read again.

9.  Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe

It’s one of the most famous bunnies of all time, Bunnicula.  This book hit every note perfectly for me when I was a kid.  It’s a tale of a vampire rabbit told from the perspective of a dog.  While I believe it was intended to be a bit creepy, I couldn’t help but find it funny when I was a kid.  I mean, come on.  It’s a vampire rabbit.  Unfortunately, again, this is one I can’t remember a whole lot of, but I do remember it kept me intrigued the whole way through.

8.  The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

This is the very first mystery novel I remember reading.  And how appropriate that it’s a bit of a murder mystery.  An eccentric millionaire dies leaving behind a game for his friends and family.  Whoever can follow the clues and solve the puzzle gets “a cool $200 million.”  This book had a perfect atmosphere.  Every character had a distinct personality and all of them were after something other than money.  In fact, one of them may be a murderer.  To tell any more would spoil a good read.  Even if it’s a kid’s book, I still recommend it to all ages.

7.  Chocolate Fever by Robert Kimmel Smith

I am a chocoholic.  I love the smell of it, the taste of it.  I’m almost obsessed with it.  And the main character of this book is too.  He’s so addicted to chocolate that one day he finds himself covered in what at first seems to be chicken pox.  However, these dots smell like a different delicious chocolate to everyone who smells them.  He finds himself being kidnapped and hijinks ensue.  I loved this book because I could sympathize with the main character.  Chocolate is just too good not to have all the time.  I even had an apparently rare chocolate scented version of the book.  Okay, I’m making myself hungry.  Moving on to the next one.

6.  The Witches by Roald Dahl

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This is the only Roald Dahl book I ever read as a kid.  And, man, was it ever a good read.  You follow a little kid who’s turned into a mouse by a group of evil witches.  He needs to find a way to turn back to a human while also thwarting the plot of the witches to turn all kids of the world into mice.  This book was a great fantasy with suspenseful bits, funny lines, and a fantastic sense of adventure.  It’s brilliant use of magical elements are probably what got me to pick up books like Harry Potter.  It’s a real witchy good time.

5.  Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess

Let me make this clear.  This isn’t the best book by Dr. Seuss.  This isn’t the most well told story of Dr. Seuss.  But it is my favorite of his.  Why?  Purely sentimental reasons.  When I was a really small child, my mom would read this book to me every night before bed.  She made funny voices for the characters, she made me laugh with every line.  She gave the book a personality that you just can’t get if you read it yourself.  I love this book because it reminds me of my pure childhood.  Plus, I love the message of trying new things even if you’re a little scared or stubborn to do so.

4.  The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

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This was my first real superhero book and I loved it.  I loved its sense of humor, I loved its characters, I love its immaturity.  I love everything about it.  We follow two boys named Harold and George as they accidentally hypnotize their school principal into thinking he’s a superhero they made up, Captain Underpants.  I call this book a guilty pleasure, because it’s so immature.  There are poop jokes, fart jokes, and underpants jokes galore.  This book revels in its own immaturity and loves every second of it.  And that’s why it’s so enjoyable.

3 Holes by Louis Sachar

The best thing about Holes is that it’s so complex of a story.  There are about 3 different stories that intertwine and the reader is sort of forced to keep them all straight.  And they all intersect in very interesting and mind blowing ways.  We follow Stanley Yelnats who has been sent to a sort of prison camp where the prisoners dig holes in the desert all day.  Why?  Now that’s a twist I just won’t give away.  The story is the most interesting part of this book.  Some of the characters are forgettable, but what will stay with you always are the twists.

2.  The Wish List by Eoin Colfer

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Within the first chapter of The Wish List, the main character dies.  And that’s just the beginning of the story.  Bad egg Meg Finn must help the last person she wronged in order to get to heaven.  But it’s not going to be easy.  And if she fails, there will be Hell to pay.  What I love most about this book is that it doesn’t talk down to its readers.  It starts with a death and at no point is that fact supposed to be lighthearted.  The consequences are real and played out fully.  This was also my first book by one of my favorite writers Eoin Colfer.  And it’s a masterfully put together story.  It’s a fight between heaven and hell for one soul, showing us that sometimes one good deed is all that matters.

1.  Goosebumps.  Just all of Goosebumps by R L Stine.

You may call putting an entire series as my number one spot cheating.  I say to that, this is my list and I can do what I want.  Goosebumps as a series has defined my taste today.  It’s a fantastic children’s horror series.  It has laughs, it has scares, it has great lessons.  Because of Goosebumps, I love anything scary.  I love to explore the spooky.  Horror as a genre is my favorite genre.  If I had to pick one as my favorite, I’d say it’s Let’s Get Invisible, about a young boy who finds a mirror that can turn him invisible for a short time.  It was my first ever Goosebumps story and it got me absolutely hooked.  Goosebumps, any book that’s part of Goosebumps, is simply a must read series for any kid now and forever.

I have to say, I have loved going down memory lane.  I’m finding myself wanting to dig through old boxes to find these books and read them again.  I’m sure to talk about a few of these books/series again on this blog.  But for now, I hope you enjoyed reading my list.  Until next time, this has been my Top 10 Books from My Childhood.  Feel free to tell me some of your favorite children’s books in the comments.  Now how to end this post… Ah yes.  And I read happily forever after…

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