Anyone remember the Moby Books series of illustrated classics specially adapted for young readers? We got pretty much the whole series at a used book store when I was a child and they were my first favorite books (that I recall). I used to read them aloud to my parents and whenever I came across an unfamiliar word, I would try to skip it. "Sound it out," my father or mother would say. I think they probably used that phrase a lot! I am sure it was through this series that I got my love for the classics. (Read more about the series and see more covers at Books are People, Too.)
I also very clearly remember loving Beverly Cleary's Ramona books, Charlotte's Web by EB White, The Time Quartet by Madeleine L'Engle, Anne of Green Gables, The Narnia books and the Neverending Story by Michael Ende.
Then I went through my fairy tale phase where I read all the classic fairytales compilations I could get my hands on.
At some point, I started reading series books with a vengence - Nancy Drew, Babysitter's Club, Sweet Valley Twins, the Mandie books by Lois Gladys Leppard, and others.
Then came my teen romance phase where I read a lot of the Sweet Dreams series as well as any others my library had available. I remember going to a library book sale with my father and getting around 200 teen romances. I was in heaven. Well, until I discovered Harlequin historicals at grandma's house at age 12.
Next came my "scary" book phase: Lois Duncan, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Christopher Pike, VC Andrews and any books with a paranormal premise (no vampires but more special powers like astral projection and telekinesis).
In 8th grade, I started to get more serious. I read Newberry books like Elizabeth George Speare's The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Katherine Paterson's Jacob I Have Loved and Bridge to Terebithia, Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword and Hero and the Crown and books by Lois Lowry and Norma Fox Mazer.
Next time: High school and exchange year in Ecuador...
What were some of your favorite childhood books?