Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Childhood Favorites. I had to go hunting to find the covers I remember from the 80s on most of these. I was a horse-and-dragon girl, so that’s what most of these books are!
The books that aren’t horses or dragons are books my parents read to us before bed every night. We worked through some advanced books and series this way.
One of my all-time favorites, and one that’s on my mind lately, is Misty of Chincoteague. My uncle gave me all of Marguerite Henry’s books, which I still own. This actually came up recently because the Beebe ranch from the book actually burned last week. All the horses were safe, but that’s a part of history up in flames.
The last horse books on this list are the Golden Filly series by Lauraine Snelling, a middle-grade series beginning with The Race. They follow a girl jockey as she fights to race her family’s horses and then through her father’s fight with cancer. I don’t know what happened to my copies – I may have given them to a cousin – but I loved them, all ten books.
On to the dragons!
Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher is a book I actually don’t remember much about other than I remember loving it. I should re-read it.
The Forbidden Door is a book I spotted in a grocery store checkout line (I know!) and somehow convinced my mother to buy. Two children find a dragon at the back of a seacave, crying because he can’t get back through the door to his own world. They’re able to open the door, and find themselves in a land of dragons, where the young dragon turns out to be a prince. Similar to Narnia, time moves differently on different sides of the door, and the kids go in and out of it a few different times. Loved that book.
The last of the books I personally read, Dragon’s Bait still occupies a magical place in my memory. It focuses on a girl ostracized from her community on suspicion of being a witch. They stake her out for the dragon, who finds her, shapeshifts into a boy, and offers to help her get revenge. Looking back on it now, this book helped form a lot of my desires in a partner. (Which is slightly messed up, as the dragon-boy is…not a very moral person.) I had this book out from the library in my early teens, and then years later finally figured out which book it was and bought myself a copy.
Books that I loved as a child because they were read to me:
I don’t remember in what order my parents read these books to us. So in no particular order:
Mom read us the Little House on the Prairie series – we had a box set, and I remember pretending to be Laura at my grandparents’ log cabin in the winter. I definitely dressed up as a Pioneer girl one year for Halloween.
Dad read us the four-book Tolkien saga, but The Hobbit is the one I really remember. It definitely started my love of fantasy. And perhaps dragons. (That might have also been Disney’s Sleeping Beauty though.)
The second series my mother read to us was Anne of Green Gables. I don’t actually recall a lot about the series, but it still occupies a comfort-food like space in my brain.
Lastly, Dad read us most, if not all, of the Chronicles of Narnia. Even though looking back at them, they’re rather heavy-handed on the Christian metaphors, they were still a childhood favorite.
Well that was a trip down Memory Lane, and I want to dig Dragon’s Bait out of my moving boxes and re-read it now!