The Friday Five


1. What were your favorite childhood stories?

I really dug Lloyd Alexander’s Black Cauldron series because I think it was the first series I found on my own and read (versus having my parents say “This is a great series of books! I will buy them for you so you can read them!” I also used to read any of The Black Stallion book that I could get my hands on after I bought the first book for 25 cents at a book sale in Neenah. I was with my gram and she was all about buying books if we would read them. I did. Thanks gram!

My parents read The Little House on the Prairie books to me for bed time stories and I really enjoyed them and later on they read the Narnia books to me which I also really enjoyed. We were one of those families who were big on bed time story reading.

2. What books from your childhood would you like to share with [your] children?

The Little House books. You can all shut up your opinion about them ‘cuz they are great stories for little kids. I remember my dad reading to me (I think we were reading “On the Banks of Plum Creek”) and stopping after Pa got lost in the blizzard but before we found out what had become of him (chapter break). It was tense! I mean, would Pa survive? I had to know! I was all “Read more!” but the deal was that we got to listen to one chapter a night so I had to wait the entire next day to find out what happened to Pa! Recently I reread them (Ha! Getting a jump on question 3) and discovered that they are fairly simply and directly written. I found them rather dry but I expect that is what appeals to kids.

The Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books are also a good series (and a lot of them so you can read and read and read), they might make good night time reading books.

I just asked TheMan what books he would like to share with our kids. He suggested Encyclopedia Brown. How could I have forgotten Encyclopedia Brown! I wonder if you can still find them in print? OH! There is also the Three Investigator’s series, that’s kinda neat but again, is it still in print? Hmmm!

Narnia! Definitely Narnia.

3. Have you re-read any of those childhood stories and been surprised by anything?

The Little House books. I mentioned above that they seemed sort of dry and stiff when I read them last year (?) and I remember them as being the best stories ever.

4. How old were you when you first learned to read?

Three-ish? Close to three? My mumses says I was reading newspaper headlines about then.

5. Do you remember the first ‘grown-up’ book you read? How old were you?

Oh yes. Heh. I had just gotten hooked on Heinlein’s little kids book series (Have Spacesuit, Will Travel; Red Planet, Farmer in the Sky; Tunnel in the Sky) and was voraciously tearing through them until I got to one called “Stranger in a Strange Land”. I was about a fifth of the way through it when I realized it wasn’t a ‘kid hero saves the day’ book. At all. It was something like hitting a brick wall after flying down the road really fast on a bicycle. I remember thinking “Hey, wait, this isn’t about happy kids and cool things, this is about DEEP STUFF! Grown-up stuff! Ow my brain. Ow!” I read it anyway because I was already into it enough that I wanted to know how it ended but man, it was culture shock. I think that is the last Heinlein I read until I had to read ‘The Moon is a Harsh Mistress’ in college. They need to put warning on authors that write kids books and grown up books so that kids don’t break their brains accidentally stumbling into a grown up book.

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