Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Top 10 Tuesday for Dec. 6: Childhood favorites

 Top 10 Childhood Faves, for the Top 10 Tuesday blog meme:

1. "Stuart Little" -- The ending has always haunted me; Stuart goes off on his quest for the unreachable ideal, just as the Baudelaire orphans go off into the Great Unknown in A Series of Unfortunate Events. I love the New York atmosphere as well.

2. Tom Swift: Nearly forgotten, these stories introduced me to science fiction of a very basic level. They didn't age well when compared to the Hardy Boys, mainly because the technology was old even by the time I was reading them. But what adventures!

3. Noddy books -- This British series about a toy who lives in Toyland and gets into trouble with the crooked denizens thereof enchanted me in third grade. I read quite a few; they were available as paperbacks through Scholastic or another program. But they seem no longer published in the United States even after cartoons featuring Noddy showed up on PBS.

4. "A Wrinkle in Time": I read this one in seventh grade, and I closely identified with the misfit Meg as she traveled the universe with the trio of witches.

5. "Tomorrow's Children": This collection of 18 short stories edited by Isaac Asimov was a Scholastic offering in the 1970s. I loved these stories, particularly the one about the People, a settlement of extraterrestrials who try to conceal their powers.

6. "The Sneetches and Other Stories": Dr. Seuss, in a darker mood, tells stories about envious beach creatures putting stars upon thars and mysterious pants with nobody inside them. I read and re-read this book many times.

7. Encyclopedia Brown: These solve-it-yourself mini-mysteries were nearly impossible to check out of the school library because of the demand. Lots of kids enjoyed them, particularly the DIY aspect.

8. Danny Dunn series: Yet more SF juvenile fiction; these, too, were in hot demand at the school library. I remember little of them except for the name of the protagonist, but I remember enjoying them a lot.

9. Robert Benchley essays: The amazing thing is that I got many of the jokes in these essays, written in the 1920s and '30s. Lots of laughs, even for a fifth-grader.

10. Henry and the Paper Route by Beverly Cleary: Henry Huggins was a guy you could admire -- he was older than I was, and he seemed to live in a much more open environment (West Coast as opposed to Long Island), but the story was so clear and empathetic, you couldn't help liking him.

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