Did you know that today is Young Readers Day?! To help celebrate the day, we’ve put together a list of books we loved growing up!
Everyone remembers that one book that made them fall in love with reading, right? I have very vivid memories of going to family functions, finding a comfortable spot somewhere, curling up with a book and reading the entire night. Here is a list of just some of the magical books that made us ignore our families and fall in love with reading.
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
At this point, I think the entire world knows the story of Scout, Jem, Atticus, and Boo Radley, and for good reason. This book is a phenomenal introduction to incredibly important socio-cultural discussions for young readers, and I distinctly remember exactly when I read it in school. There’s a reason this story is so widely read…
Alligator Pie by Dennis Lee
This collection of poems has been around since the early-1970s, but it is still widely read by children and adults alike! Looking back, Alligator Pie was like a Canadian Where The Sidewalk Ends for me, and I still remember quite a few of the poems in this collections! (And I would wager that my parents do as well…)
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
I don’t think any list of children’s classics is complete without The Chronicles of Narnia. While The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe gets all the press with people my age (mid-twenties) because of the (underrated) movie adaptation, the entire series is so, so good, and served as my introduction to fantasy. I’m not quite sure I would’ve appreciated the Harry Potter series as much as I did had I not read this one first.
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
I have a confession to make: Yes, I am a massive Harry Potter fan, but A Series of Unfortunate Events was actually my preferred series growing up. It’s funny, it’s dark, it’s mysterious, and it was totally unlike anything else I had ever read. Looking back, this dark, demented series telling the horrible, awful, no good tale of the Baudelaire Orphans actually inspired my research interests when I studied literature in university, so there’s that! (Also, Netflix, I think NPH is great, but Jim Carrey will always be my Count Olaf.)
The Nightmare Room Series by R.L. Stine
Obviously R.L. Stine is famous for his Goosebumps series, and obviously I loved those books (Choose Your Own Adventures were my jam), but The Nightmare Room series was so underrated. This series is a weird blend of horror, detective mystery, and surrealism (yeah…) mixed in one. Think Nightmare on Elm Street meets Are You Afraid of the Dark?, but aimed at scaring (not traumatizing) kids. All these years later, I will still argue that there is no one better at YA horror than R.L. Stine.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
I came to this one a little later than most of my friends – I was 9 when the movie adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring came out, which sparked my interest in the Lord of The Rings series – but I absolutely loved the story of Bilbo Baggins all the same. The Hobbit served as my introduction to Middle Earth all those years ago, which has since turned into a long-lasting favourite for me.
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Fun fact: I am utterly terrified of spiders. Like, arachnophobia doesn’t even begin to describe my fear. So when I saw little Charlotte there on the cover, little, like, 5-year-old me freaked out and didn’t want to read it. Thank goodness my teachers made me, though, because this book is one of my favourites of all time. I loved Wilbur so much, and this book really resonated with young Jesse. I still don’t like spiders, though.
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Show me a Canadian who doesn’t know Anne of Green Gables, and I will show you a liar. I’m entirely joking, obviously, but Anne’s story is so engrained in Canadian culture that it’s a total surprise any time I hear that someone hasn’t read these books.
What books did you read and love growing up? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @SavvyReader!
Here’s to the books that make us feel young again!