Can you believe that I had never read a single Nancy Drew book while I was growing up? The same goes for The Hardy Boys. I’m not sure why, as I saw them every time I was in the library. Which was a lot.
What I was reading included The Boxcar Children, Encyclopedia Brown, and Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators. Throw in some Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume, and you get an understanding of how I spent my younger years.
I picked up 4 Nancy Drew books at my library this weekend; books 1, 3, 5, and 6. Of course books 2 and 4 were nowhere to be found. I’ll get those later if I come across them. I enjoyed reading these books. They are quick, and easy to read. I love the old-school storytelling and the nostalgia of the stories. No cell phones, internet, social networking, etc etc. All the things we cram our lives with now to make ourselves busier than we should ever be, are nowhere to be found here. I find a sense of comfort in these stories as well as the others I read while I was growing up. My very favorite book growing up? This one~
What was your favorite series growing up, and like me, do you go back on occasion and read them again?
Out of all 7 of the stories in The Chronicles of Narnia series, I think “The Magician’s Nephew” is my favorite one! I never read these stories during my childhood (I have no idea why!) but I have read them several times in my recent past. This is a series that I get to share with my girls, and they like it as much as I do.
Well, maybe not as much, but they like it none-the-less!
The Magician’s Nephew takes you through how Narnia came to be, along with Aslan, the White Witch, and Professor Kirke, or Digory Kirke in this story. The first tree that gets planted in Narnia has significance in future stories as well.
Digory is staying with his Aunt and Uncle, due to his mother having a severe illness. Extremely upset by this situation, he goes in the backyard, crying, and meets the neighbor, a girl his age named Polly. It does not take long for them to decide to start exploring the attics of the townhouses they live in. They are all connected through the roof, so they can get from one end to the other.
Leave it to Digory to sneak right into his own townhouse, and right into his Uncle’s secret room. This is where things get really interesting.
His Uncle sees Digory and Polly as the perfect pair to test out his magic rings. And let me be clear on this; these are real magic rings. As soon as Polly puts a ring on and disappears, Digory quickly sees what a coward his Uncle really is. Digory has no choice but to put a ring on himself and see if he can find Polly and bring her back.
Digory finds Polly, and they begin their amazing adventures into many different worlds. One world holds the White Witch, whom Digory and Polly end up bringing right back into their world.
The uncle is thrilled, Digory is furious, and someone had better figure out how to fix this mess, and quick!
I will not go further into the story with spoilers, but this is indeed how we got our Narnia. There are many situations that will test Digory’s morals, and with the help of Aslan, he attempts to put things right again. Or as right as possible considering he has unleashed the White Witch unto the world.
This is just the beginning of one of my very favorite series, and I have read these books to my girls until they were able to read them themselves.
One of the joys of having children, or nieces and nephews, friends with kids, neighbors with kids, or just knowing young kids, is that you get to introduce them to the stories you loved when you were young. I may or may not have used my kids as an excuse to go back and read all of my favorites, over and again. There were numerous trips to the library, and I have bookshelves full of stories I can pick up whenever I want a quick read to take me back to my childhood.
These stories are timeless; at least to me. I wish I could remember the first book I ever read that put me on the path of loving books. It does not matter now, but I would love to read it again.
The first series I recall reading was “The Boxcar Children“. Gertrude Chandler Warner wrote the first 19 stories in this series, but there are now over 130 titles! I am positive I have not read any of them written beyond Mrs. Warner’s stories, and am unsure at this point if I would want to go back and read further into the series when she did not write them. The series has its own website, and you can visit it here: http://www.boxcarchildren.com/content.cfm/boxcar-children-books
“Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators” by Robert Arthur is another series that I have read over-and-over again. I have not had the time to do it lately, but I would often go to the library and check out as many of these books as they would let me, and spend my weekend reading them for the umpteenth time!
There is a website dedicated to collectors and fans of these books, with a lot of other great information, including forums. If you enjoyed these books as well, be sure to visit the site here: http://www.threeinvestigatorsbooks.com/
If you loved The Three Investigators stories, you must have read “Encyclopedia Brown” as well. Donald J. Sobol had every young reader wanting to be the neighborhood detective. A fun series to read, for those of us who could just not figure out the solution, you could always find it in the back of the book. I know I had several “A-ha” moments reading these stories.
I have to admit that I never read the Narnia series of books by C.S. Lewis until I was an adult. I have no idea how that ever happened, but it is truly one of my favorite sets of books to read. I was fortunate enough to get to read Harry Potter right along with my girls, and J.K. Rowling is probably as responsible as I am for the fact that I have 4 daughters who truly love reading.
What books did you read as a child, and do you ever go back and read them now?