Top Ten Tuesday. My Childhood Classics


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish.  This weeks theme is Top Ten Classics I want to read/have read.

Okeedokee so here’s the thing, I’ve been thinking a lot about children’s books lately. And while I’ve read a plenty of classic classics which are often gloriously FREE or very cheap on kindle (The Bronte sisters, Austin, Dracula, Portrait of Dorian Grey and A shit ton of Shakespeare are among my favorites). There are infinitely more on my TBR list (20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, War and Peace, Anna Karenina, Fahrenheit 451…honestly this list goes on forever.). Yet when I started contemplating this week’s topic I couldn’t help but think about all the classics from my childhood.. or at least all the books I consider my own “classics”.

Because really, why do we read the classics?? To me the answer is simply; they teach us something about life and literature, remind us where we’ve been and help us figure out where to go next. That being said I can’t think of a better way to fill this list than with all the books that have done that for me.



Eloise: Kay Thompson “An egg cup makes a very good hat” I just love this book (still) because Eloise is  full of life and mischief and imagination. She may be a bit of a brat but she’s an extraordinary one.

Miss Rumphius: Barbara Cooney “You must do something to make the world more beautiful.”  That’s the message in this gorgeously illustrated book. Sweet and simple but it’s a lesson I think of often as I forge ahead into my adult life.

Grandfather Twilight: Barbara BergerGrandfather Twilight lives among the trees.” Basically this book is just plain beautiful. Stunning imagery that gets more and more gorgeous as the story unfurls.

The Big Orange Splot: Daniel Pinkwater “My house is me and I am it. My house is where I like to be and it looks like all my dreams.” To this day this book remains my mother’s all time favorite story and life motto. And while the story is pretty outrageous what it boils down to is nothing more or less than “Be yourself.” Pretty classic life lesson if you ask me.

Where the Wild Things Are: Maurice Sendak “Let the wild rumpus start!” Ummm isn’t this on your childhood classic list?? Who wasn’t a bit like Max from time to time?

NEWBERRYS (Apparently I was a pretentious child.)



Island of the Blue Dolphins: Scott O’Dell This is the first book I became truly obsessed with. I ran around for months in my backyard trying to make clothes out of nature and pretending I was all alone in the world. I even tried to make my own bow and arrows…fortunately for the local wildlife, I was unsuccessful. I still have my original copy, which is an actual ORIGIONAL copy that I inherited from a library book sale. I think I will love this one forever.

A Wrinkle in Time: Madeline L’Engle I’ve mentioned this one before but I just couldn’t leave it off this list. A Wrinkle in Time had a HUGE and far reaching impact on my life. It ignited my imagination and encouraged my to ask extraordinary questions and believe in impossible answers.

Bridge to Terabithia: Katherine Paeterson. This was the first book that ever broke my heart. While it’s full of endless summers and rich imagination it’s probably the reason I STILL can’t face books like The Fault in our Stars.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond: Elizabeth George Speare This one found me at a time when I really needed to hear exactly this story (Somewhere in middle-school where I was the quintessential social outcast). Books have a way of doing that ya know? It’s why I never assume someone is joking when they say a book saved their life.

The Egypt Game: Zilpha Keatley Snyder Are you noticing a theme here?? I was kinda a fan of imaginary worlds and playing pretend… This is a gorgeous book, rich in imagination and plenty of tough questions. Every time I read this book (which I still do regularly) I am blown away by it’s amazing brilliance.


Well there you have it… I know I might have cheated a weeeeee bit but that’s my list. If you were going to make a list of your childhood classics what would they be???











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17 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday. My Childhood Classics

  1. gwenkate says:

    I love how you added picture books to your list too! I totally agree with Miss Rumphius (love that book!) and Island of the Blue Dolphins, which I added to my list too. I never read the Egypt Game, but I know it is one of Kate’s favorites! ~Gwen

    • lilajune says:

      Miss Rumphius is a book that means more and more to me as time goes on. My sisters are readers too and we reference Miss Rumphius regularly.
      The Egypt Game is an amazing, amazing book!! Definitely one your should borrow from your sis!!

  2. Anne says:

    I should re-read A Wrinkle in Time. I remember it being a pretty rad book. One classic children’s book I enjoy is Ferdinand the Bull.

  3. lilajune says:

    Oh Ferdinand the the Bull was a great one!!! And yes, Wrinkle in Time is definitely worth a re-read! 🙂

  4. caitlinstern says:

    Matilda was a childhood favorite of mine, and pretty much anything by Bruce Coville or Beverly Cleary. Where the Wild Things Are is excellent, as well. Everyone needs a little running amuck now and then.

    • lilajune says:

      Oh Matilda!!! This list has made me remember all the books I forgot to put on it! All the suggestions are making me want to run down to the bookstore in the building and buy..everything…
      Thanks so much for stopping by!!! 🙂

  5. Mei-Mei says:

    Haha it was my childhood goal to read every Newbery book…still haven’t managed that! But many of them were so very good, including the ones you mention. I also loved the Chronicles of Narnia and all the Little House and American Girl books. They really cemented my love for fantasy and historical fiction.

    • lilajune says:

      I wanted to read all the Newberrys too!! There was a huge poster up in my elementary school library and I used to pick books Of course, like you, I’m still working my way through that list 🙂
      Chronicles of Narnia is one of my all time favorite series!!! So much wisdom packed into those small books!

  6. mrshbookworm says:

    I’ve never read A Wrinkle In Time but I’ve seen it on a few lists recently so I think I’m going to try and find a copy in the library. This was a lovely list!

    • lilajune says:

      Oh my goodness A Wrinkle in Time is one of those books that I find new depth in every time I pick it up. Madeline L’Engle once said ““You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”

      I have often found that to be true in my favorite children’s books and this one takes the cake for wisdom, physics and philosophy bound up a story for kids. Basically I love this book 🙂
      Thanks so much for stopping by!!!

  7. Your childhood reads are super-interesting! I’m glad for you, and a little bit jealous (back where I grew up, when I grew up, children books are limited to fairytales full of meek girls and princes; and a couple of humour/funny books). It’s amazing that these stories stay with you throughout all these years — one should really never underestimate the power of story.

    And yeah, you are right — our versions of ‘classics’ “teach us something about life and literature, remind us where we’ve been and help us figure out where to go next.” 🙂

  8. hellphie says:

    I also did a children’s classics list this week! Other than A Wrinkle in Time, our lists are totally different. I haven’t even heard of a couple of your suggestions.

    • lilajune says:

      A Wrinkle in Time is one of those books I can read over and over again and again. L’engle was just SO wise… I think its fantastic how many of us did “childhood classic” lists!

  9. Selecting kid-lit classics for the sake of childhood throwbacks… I totally have fond memories from like: a very hunger caterpillar, the giving tree, the rainbow fish, and each peach pear plum (among all the I Spy “books” I read during library class…but who’s judging?) I guess I wasn’t much of an hardcore reader back then haha.

    joey via. thoughts and afterthoughts

    • lilajune says:

      Oh I loved Each Peach Pear Plum!!! And of course The Giving Tree is phenomenal (I cant believe I left that one put!).
      Hahaha those spy books sound like fun. The way I see it reading is awesome no matter what it is! You won’t ctch me judging ; )

  10. Ashley says:

    I found Island of the Blue Dolphins at Savers for $0.50 and I was so excited! It was one of my favorite books in grade school, and I remember A Wrinkle in Time was another beloved childhood classic. I don’t remember much about it, and I’m actually surprised they haven’t turned it into a movie.

    I’m most excited to see The Witch of Blackbird Pond on your list!! I’ve heard rumors this was optioned for a mini series, but I haven’t found anything to confirm it. This is one classic I turn to every now and then for comfort. I would say it’s a security blanket of sorts.

    Great list!

    • lilajune says:

      A Witch of Blackbird pond mini series would be AMAZING!!! I’m glad someone else out there has fond and comforting memories about that book… it meant a lot to me when I was younger
      I think Wrinkle in Time might have been turned into a bad TV movie at some point ion the early 90’s…

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