On Twitter I find the most wondrous things, including the #bookaday challenge which starts today. I’m not kidding myself that I’ll write a full blog post for every day in June, but I will attempt at least to Tweet my answers to the challenge. After all, what could be more appealing to me than “forcing myself” to stop each day and think about what books mean to me? It’s what I do.
It just so happens that I’m struggling right off the bat with “Favorite book from Childhood.” How can I choose just one? And, which part of childhood? My favorites evolved quickly from my early grade school love of Amelia Bedelia and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle to my obsession with “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. My discovery of Narnia moved on to my early teen collection to Sweet Valley High books. I’m sure I read (and re-read) every book by Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume in childhood.
Childhood favorites have become even more complicated now that I’m a mom. My mind is jumbled with the favorite books I’ve read to (and with) my sons. David Shannon’s Duck on a Bike and Margaret Wise Brown’s Big Red Barn top the pile, but I could choose from dozens of well-worn titles.
You can see where I’m going with this, so I will make a choice. (It’s only a Twitter challenge, right?)
When I think of the book(s) that brought me the most hours of joy, that continues to resonate in my heart and mind and that I look back on with the most readerly affection, I have to go with Trixie Belden.
How did I become a Trixie fan? I thank my mom of course. She had read the series (first published in 1948) as a girl and found a few of them at a garage sale. I was instantly hooked, not just by the clever mysteries, but by Trixie and her best friends Honey and Jim. Despite the dangers and drama, they lived ideal lives to me. I wanted so badly to be a Bob White. I was 11 and I wanted to be Trixie — spunky, smart, brave and living a new adventure every day.
There was a hidden treasure. They had their own clubhouse. They traveled in a classy RV. And, by the end of each book, they had solved their biggest problems.
I think these books are where by love of intrepid young female narrators first began. To this day, whenever I begin the latest Flavia de Luce book, I think of Trixie. When I watch Anne of Green Gables declare Diana her “bosom friend,” I recall the bond between Trixie and Honey.
I still own a few hard-cover copies of these classic books which my sons, unfortunately, have never shown an interest in reading. I’m not sure why I hold on to them, except that they bring a smile to my face whenever I read them.
What more could you ask of a childhood favorite?
P.S. As I’m finishing my blog post, this is what’s happening across the deck from me…let the childhood favorites continue to evolve.