I read the Great Brain books over and over...I probably could still finish quotes from them if the oppotunity arose.
I also loved the Matt Christopher baseball books, but those I didn't re-read as the years went by. Oh, and I always loved From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. And the Beverly Cleary books such as The Mouse & The Motorcycle and all the Henry/Ribsy stuff.
I'll stop now before I get completely out of hand...
I'll second the Matt Christopher books (I have a ton of them at home still) and Mouse and the Motorcycle. I'll add Mr. Popper's Penguins (which made me fall in love with those animals) and Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar- I remember reading that multiple times. And in student teaching, I've recently rediscovered the Boxcar Children books, which I read all the time in 2nd and 3rd grade.
I remember reading many (age-appropriate) baseball/football biographies/instruction books back when I was a pre-teen. As to fiction, I really enjoyed the Encyclopedia Brown (en.wikipedia.org) books (which, as I got older, grew into a love of fair-play whodunit mysteries, such as Ellery Queen and Agatha Cristie).
Choose your own adventures was a staple, my favorite was Vampire Express. That thing was just off the hook insane and I always thought would make for an interesting movie. The Bunnicula series was great. The first huge Hulk graphic novel was one of my favorite books. I pretty much read anything I could get my hands on at the time that looked like a good adventure. Secret of Nihm was first book were I read that I thought the movie was better.
My grandfather handed me a set of Mark Twain books for my tenth birthday. Hardback. I read Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn pretty quickly and eventually, all of them. My favorite is by far, the Prince and the Pauper.
I still read it every once in awhile
We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.
That the universe was formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms, I will no more believe than that the accidental jumbling of the alphabet would fall into a most ingenious treatise of philosophy - Swift
I was lucky enough to grow up in the early 80s, a heyday for children's literature and young adult books.
Some of my favorites:
- anything by Roald Dahl, but most especially "Boy", the autobiography of his early life.
- anything by Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, E.L. Konigsburg, Richard Peck, or Gordon Korman.
- Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea books.
- I didn't read them as a kid, but Terry Pratchett's "Wee Free Men", "Hat Full of Sky", "Wintersmith", and now, "I Shall Wear Midnight".
- Ellen Raskin's "The Westing Game"
- Julian F. Thomson's "Simon Pure", "A Band of Angels", "Discontinued"
- Alice Childress' "A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich" and Walter Dean Myers' "Fast Sam, Cool Clyde, and Stuff" are probably considered not appropriate for kids / teens anymore, but certainly gave my semi-rural whitebread world a shake.
- Probably a Canadian thing, but Scott Young (Neil Young's dad) wrote a series of books high-school hockey in Manitoba and particularly a young immigrant named Bill Spunska: "Scrubs on Skates", "Boy on Defense", and "Boy at Leafs' Camp". These may not have aged well.
- Katherine Peterson's "A Bridge to Terabithia"
- Madeline L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time" and related books.
I loved the Encyclopedia Brown books, too. Although there were still a couple that bug me to this day that he was going on too flimsy evidence (e.g. the one where the card game split up, the host went to go shopping, and the house was robbed, and he reasoned that the last guy to ask the host to buy stuff broke in, because he asked for enough stuff that the guy couldn't use the express lane--yeah, THAT will hold up in court!).
I didn't mention Bridge To Terabithia because it wasn't out when I was that young, but I read it when I took a children's lit course in college, and I love it. Can't open a page without tearing up.
"Cold River" by William Judson is pretty exciting. Here's a summery from Amazon:
Fourteen-year-old Lizzy Allison and her younger brother Timothy are stranded in the frozen Adirondacks during one of the worst snowstorms of the century. Battling the untamed perils of nature, they embark on a heart-stopping journey of courage, strength, and endurance against all odds.
Originally posted by tarnish - Ellen Raskin's "The Westing Game"
Forgot to mention this one. Read it in sixth grade, and probably twice since. Just an awesome mystery.
Pretty much every Ellen Raskin book ever. I love The Westing Game, but I think the Tattooed Potato and Other Clues edges it out just barely. I even love Figs and Phantoms and The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I mean Noel)
My real life adult job is as close to living an Ellen Raskin novel as I think you can get.
The Westing Game is still my favorite "fair play" mystery ever. It's very hard for a writer to pull off that kind of "aw hell, how did I miss THAT?" reveal.
I was about as far from an athletic kid as possible, but I still liked Matt Christopher, and was also a fan of Encyclopedia Brown, The Great Brain, and Choose Your Own Adventure (and its multitude of imitators). When I got older, I moved on from Encyclopedia Brown to Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators.
Oh, and I had a complete set of the Tom Swift Jr. books. Unfortunately, like a dummy, I gave them to another kid when I got older.
Lloyd Alexander's Prydain books and Susan Cooper's Dark Is Rising series were staples of my childhood as well. And Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth, which I give to all my younger relatives when they're around 10 or so.
My best friend growing up was a girl, so I ended up reading plenty of "girl books" too -- Judy Blume, Ellen Conford, Paula Danziger.
"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?"
Long-time readers probably already know that on my West Coast pilgrimages, I usually include a Jack in the Box stop where I take time to carefully order my Ultimate Cheeseburger without ketchup and mustard and WITH extra mayo-onion sauce so that I get it ...