Kids today want to read Spongebob books and Captain Underpants. And there is nothing wrong with that - whatever gets them reading! But, as teacher, I feel it's my duty to expose them to some classics. And, by classics, of course I mean books from my childhood! Ha!
This post is a trip down memory lane to the books I used to curl up with as kid/middle schooler.
Here we go!
1. The Bear in the Bathtub - As a small kid, this was absolutely my very favorite! Every single time we went to the library at my grandma's house, I chose this book. In fact, my family still teases me today about my love of this book! Ha! But to my little four-year-old self, this book was pretty amazing.
2. Go, Dog. Go! - This was another book that I loved as a little kid. All these different kinds of dogs are traveling all over and then you find out at the end that they're all going to a huge party. As dogs do, naturally. I remember learning to read with this book!
3. The Monster at the End of this Book - Oh, man. This book was awesome! The whole book, Grover is telling you not to turn the page because there's a monster at the end. And, of course, because you were a three year old dare devil, you just had to do it. And the giggles would ensue as Grover warned you again and again. Really, this book taught you to not listen and just do what you want. And I would think that after the first time you got to the end, the book would lose some of its appeal. But, apparently not! Because it was read in my house about 14 million times!
4. Little Bear - This was back before Little Bear was a tv show. The adventures of Little Bear and his friends were perfect to read when you were just starting out reading on your own. In first grade, I read every single Little Bear book and became the proud owner of many of them. They were just simple, cute little stories that I loved every minute of.
5. The Berenstain Bears series - I'm pretty sure I had at least twenty of these books. I was obsessed. Now that I'm a teacher and sometimes read these to my class, I realize that every one contained a practical lesson about being a good kid. But, back when I was a kid, I just enjoyed reading about the antics of Brother Bear and Sister Bear. Sure, I realized they were often kinda bratty, but I didn't realize those zany Berestains were teaching me how to be a good person! Sneaky, sneaky...
6. Little Critter series - We loved these books in my house. I think they were my mom's favorites because she always wanted to read them for bedtime. Which, looking back, was probably not due to their riveting storyline but moreso due to their short storyline. I'll have to ask her about that...
7. Care Bears series - I had a ton of these Care Bears books. Back in the late 80's when I was 3 or 4, the Care Bears were everywhere. There were lunch boxes, tv shows, movies, etc. So it only makes sense that they made some books, too! Each book featured a different Care Bear. There were always lessons to be learned, of course. Notice the theme?
8. Donkey-donkey - I'll be honest. I remember nothing about this book other than my undying adoration of it. I had this book at my grandmother's and since she babysat me while my mom worked, she read it to me a lot! A LOT. My grandpa recently gave it to me and I added it to my classroom library because I couldn't bare to part with it. Ha!
9. Where the Sidewalk Ends - In elementary school, I remember us begging our teachers to read these poems to us! Begging! And I remember every time I went to the school library, I tried to check this out but it was always already checked out. One day, I got it and it made me soooo happy. I ran back to my classroom to show all my friends, ha! Those little poems were a riot when I was a kid. Whyyyy were they so entertaining?
10. Sister of the Quints - I was a little older when I read this. Probably fourth grade. But, I read it a bunch of times. This girl's father and his new wife have quints and she moves into their house. At first, she feels left out and cheated and everything. Then, one day, one of the babies gets kidnapped (or something equally frightening) and she realizes how much she loves her brothers and sisters. I've always liked babies, so as a kid, I loved this book. Having quintuplet brothers and sisters sounded like a dream to me!
11. The. Ramona series - Everybody knows about these books. In fact, I read the one pictured above to my class this year and last and both classes have LOVED it! Ramona's family is just like your family: they fight, they aren't rich, they have problems. I read every single Ramona book as a kid and loved them all. Ramona was the original Junie B. Jones: spunky, precocious, and always a little sassy.
12. Blubber - this book was about a little girl who was kind of fat. That's all I remember. But, I know enough about Judy Blume to know that it wasn't necessarily the story that sucked me in as a 5th or 6th grader, it was how impeccably it was written. We all know Judy Blume was the best. This wasn't the only book of hers that I read, but it's the one that stands out most in my mind.
13. Superfudge - Here's another Judy Blume classic! In fact, I'm reading this to my class right now and they are obsessed! They can't wait for the last ten minutes of the day when they get to curl up and here the latest adventures of Peter, Fudge and Tootsie. I'm actually considering reading another book from this series to them because they're enjoying it so much! And I have to admit, I'm enjoying it too because it reminds me of my one childhood. I was always thankful that Farley Drexel Hatcher, aka Fudge, was not my brother! Whew!!
14. The Babysitter's Club and Little Sister series - I started off with the Little Sister books and first got to know Karen and Andrew. And, then, when I got a little better at reading, I moved on to the hard stuff! Ha! When I started reading them in fourth grade, I became obsessed. I read them ALL over a few years. I would harass my mom to take me to the library and I would get about 6 Babysitters Club books, 2 Judy Blume books and Sister of the Quints. Every. Single. Time.
15. Popcorn - I always enjoyed this book about a little Bear who makes too much popcorn and it takes over his house. It always made me hungry for popcorn, too!
16. The Poky Little Puppy - I adored pretty much all Little Golden Books. I had a ton of them. But this is the one I remember the most. That cute little puppy made quite an impression in my mind, apparently!
17. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - Ohmygosh. Y'all. These books were so good! This old lives in a neighborhood full of children and they all love her. Every chapter focuses on a different family whose children are suffering from a common childhood problem: like, never wanting to go to bed or talking back. These mothers just don't know what to do so they call Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and she gives them practical advice. If they don't want to go to bed, let them stay up all night, every night. So these weary parents do what she says and hilarity ensues until those pesky children finally give in and behave themselves. I loved these books, and there were several. I read this one to my class last year and they loved it, too!
18. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark - I was never a fan of scary stuff. Still aren't. But, I liked this book. It was perfect for sleepovers! One story stands out in my mind, about a girl with a red ribbon tied around her neck. She finally unites it one day and her head falls off. I,told that story at every camp out I ever attended, ha!
19. The Outsiders - We read this in 8th grade. I'm including it because it stands out to me. My reading class absolutely fell in love with this book. Our teacher told us NOT to read ahead and I think every single kid in the class read the whole book WAY before we finished it in class! We were all talking about it. It's just one of those books that makes a lasting impression on you. If you can't get attached to characters like Ponyboy and Sodapop, there's no hope for you as a reader...
20. Pippi Longstocking - Here's another one that I've read to my class this year! Notice a theme? Ha! They loved this, too! As a kid, Pippi is just so whimsical and silly! I will say that, as an adult reading this aloud, I thought it was very weird and boring. But, my kids were engrossed. And I adored it as a kid. And that's all that matters.
Honorable Mentions: Corduroy, The Chocolate Touch, The Twits, Clifford, The Boxcar Children, Little House on the Praire and Where's Waldo.
I hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane! I know I did! If you want to read more of my Blast from the Past series, click on the tab to the right under the Labels sign.
Thanks for stopping by!!