Great kids' books from your childhood (8-15 years or so)

I’ve made a habit of visiting the library with my son on Saturdays, and while I can’t remember any of the picture books from my youth, I occasionally see a familiar jacket from a favorite book. Hippy Jr. is 3, but loves to hear stories and read. I really can’t wait until he can read some of my favorites…

Henry Huggins series (especially Henry and the Paper Route)
Ramona series (I read these up until the 1980s - apparently Cleary wrote a few more in the 1990s. I seriously wanted to name my daughter Ramona for a while. :))
Freaky Friday, by Mary Rodgers
The Pinballs, by Betsy Byars
Space Station Seventh Grade, by Jerry Spinelli
Anastasia Krupnik, by Lois Lowry
All of Judy Blume’s books (I actually met her as a fourth grader, and she signed my copy of Superfudge!)
All of Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole books (granted, this was more in my middle school/high school years)

I used to think all I read as a kid were science book, but there’s a lot of novels I really dug. And I just learned that Space Station and Anastasia have sequels!

Hollywood is always hard up for movie ideas… so many of these books would be great films. I vaguely recall The Pinballs TV movie, and I know there’s a Beezus and Ramona flick that I’m mildly curious about. I didn’t really like Freaky Friday - somehow I had an image of the characters in my head and they didn’t look like Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsey Lohan - but it was cool to see an old book get some attention.

So what are some of your favorites that you wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to a young person? It would probably be good to know how old you are. I’m 38, and definitely a child of the late 70s - early 80s.

For a nice story with a good girl hero, there’s CADDIE WOODLAWN, written in 1935 by Carol Ryrie Brink. It’s about a girl on the frontier and it even has passenger pigeons!

As a city kid I loved the All-of-a-Kind Family books and the Melendey series (the Saturdays, the Four-Story Mistake, etc).

Gordon Korman’s early books (up to the mid 1990’s), especially the Macdonald Hall series.
The Great Brain series by JD Fitzgerald.

The Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson

I’ve been reading The Phantom Tollbooth to my kids and reliving my childhood. They seem to really be enjoying it, too.

Other books that come to mind for me are A Wrinkle in Time and The Borrowers (which was made into a movie).

Looking up these books on Amazon, I see they were all originally published in the 50s and early 60s. Weird. I must have been drawn to that era of children’s literature. (I’m exactly your age, Hippy Hollow.)

Edward Eager, Half Magic and beyond.

Eleanor Estes, the Melendys and Gone-Away.

Anything by Maurice Sendak. For that matter, anything by Roald Dahl (except Great Glass Elevator).

Second Phantom Tollbooth and all of Beverly Cleary.

Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret. I didn’t even know it was a banned book when I was a kid. I just liked it.

The Ramona Quimby books are great, I still fondly remember when she sat on that old accordion from her… uncle(I think?) and broke it. AWESOME. Oh and the time she squeezed out all the toothpaste from the tube and had to swipe it out of a baggie for the next several months.

How to Eat Fried Worms taught me that it was okay to stand up to a bully sometimes.

I also read TONS of my mom’s ragged old Trixie Belden collection (though I was done with that series by age 12 or so). I had the biggest crush on Jim. I still remember a scene at the end of book… 9 I think, where Jim gives Trixie a bracelet and they hold hands. It used to make my stomach flutter like if I were to imagine being her–what can I say, I was young and sexual titillation was a lot easier to come by back then :stuck_out_tongue: (The bad thing about that series was that it kinda taught me that nice girls next door could tame young, feral, homeless boys)

Today I told my 10yo that she ought to lend one of her Three Investigators book to a boy we know. Actually I think I might give it to the mom because relations between those two are awkward.

Jenny and the Cat Club books, I love those! They are great for a young reader.

I’m 45, so I guess I’m a child of everything from the Kennedy Era through the Eighties.

The ones that come to mind:

The Old Man and the Tiger–A Little Golden Book
The Annotated Alice–Martin Gardner (I learned to read with this one; my college-aged sister helped a little)
Where the Wild Things Are–Maurice Sendak
A Wrinkle in Time–Madeleine L’Engle
Pretty much anything by Andre Norton

Well, I got ahold of “Lady Chatterly’s Lover” at around age eleven, and my life has never been the same. :wink:

The Chronicles of Prydain

The Phantom Tollbooth

A Wrinkle in Time

The last Ramona book was “Ramona Forever” which is what the movie was based on. I saw (but did not hear) the movie on a plane. Beezus and Henry Huggins start going out (ewww) and Beezus is way too attractive. I read Henry Huggins and the first Beezus book when I was a kid, so it was great reading the later ones to my kids.

The Wizard of Oz books still work. There is a fun series featuring Cam Jansen, who has a photographic memory. I read my daughter about 40 Nancy Drew books from the '50s series, and when she was a bit older the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys combined books, which have real crimes in them. I MSTied them slightly - my daughter was in high school before she discovered that the housekeeper’s name was not Hannah Gruesome.

Talking about what people read as children has caused me to realize that my parents didn’t really stop me from reading anything - my selections for this thread would be Heinlein and some Harold Robbins. I come from a family of readers - if it was in the house and it interested me, I read it (and looked up the words I didn’t know).

We really ought to sticky one of these threads…seems like the topic pops up at least quarterly.

Standard answers:

Heinlein juveniles, Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew.

Some Jack London–Call of the Wild, White Fang

Some Mark Twain–Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn

If you can find it, there’s a series of sports books featuring Chip Hooper (not the real tennis player, an unrelated fictional character) . I know there’s a baseball one, possibly called “One O’Clock Hitter”, maybe a basketball one, and something on football as well.

My Side of the Mountain–young boy runs off to live in the woods. Manages fairly well for himself.

Ann Can Fly

Time of Wonder

You will go to the Moon

The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs. My copy had illustrations by Edward Gorey.

It’s an exciting book, and was a bit scary for a nine year old, but I enjoyed every single page.

It’s about a boy who finds a amulet that gives him magic powers, but also seems to be controlling him more than he controls it.

Well all of the Moomintroll series, actually. They are the most gorgeous books - a real, slightly outside of time, sense of place.
Didi you know you can get Finn Family Moomintroll as an audiobook read by Hugh Laurie?

Are you thinking of the Chip Hilton series?

ETA: Just looked up “One O’Clock Hitter” It’s from the Bronc Burnett series.

Yes, on both counts! Thanks for the correct info. I read several from both series way back when, and sorta jumbled them together.

At around 7-10 I was hooked on the Little House on the Prairie and the Black Stallion books. Basically if there was a horse or cats in it I"d read it.

The Beezus & Ramona and Madeleine L’Engle books were always in the rotation as well. As I got a little bit older that was when I got into the Chronicles of Narnia and the cheesy sci-fi books from the library.