What makes a reader into a Reader? What changes a person from literate to literature lover? For me, these ten books had a lot to do with it. I listed them in the order I encountered them.
- The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
A brother and sister run away from home to live in a museum in New York, avoiding detection they explore the exhibits, and their understanding of their family.
- Matilda by Roald Dahl
A young girl is different than her family- she’s smart and honest and kind, and they’re… not. At school she finds solace in a teacher, and realized that her ability to move items with her mind may be useful- but not entirely normal. A brilliant story about finding family.
- A Little Princess by Fances Hodgson Burnett
A little girl who once was lavishly doted upon by her father finds herself as an orphan, and servant at the school she once attended. Sara must find a way to protect herself and does so by inventing a world around her.
- Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
The legend of a young native girl who spends 18 years alone on an island off the coast of California. In the story she must survive the elements, a pack of wolves, and the knowledge of other humans nearby as she watches ships pass by that never rescue her. Even as a child this story broke my heart.
- The True Confession of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
The lone passenger on a trip to the Americas- Charlotte Doyle is caught in a mutiny. Charlotte must survive, no longer protected by social conventions, as power struggles abound, and alliances fold. Ultimately, Charlotte “mans up” and becomes a sailor to save herself.
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
A large family of young women are left orphaned, and their eldest sisters must band together to keep the family together and alive. A little romance, a little historical feminist literature, I really really wanted to be Jo when I was growing up.
- The China Garden by Liz Berry (out of print)
The daughter of a single mother, Rose and her mother return to the village where her mother grew up, after her mother accepts a mysterious and upsetting nursing job at the local Estate House. Rose begins to question everything she experiences, and comes to realized that this is where she belongs, not just as a birthrite but also as a the only person who can solve a mystery and save the Estate. I picked up this book while we were visiting my mothers village and Estate, and I was struggling with the same duplicity of identity Rose does.
- The Face on the Milk Carton (What Ever Happened to Janie Series) by Caroline B. Cooney
Janie wakes up one day a happy daughter in a family then realizes the face on the milk carton is hers- her family may be kidnappers, and her real family has been looking for her all these years. Janie struggles to piece together her identity as her family is put into question, and she is forced to join another.
- Gallows Hill by Lois Duncan
A teenager takes on the part of fortune teller at a Halloween party and all is fun and games until she actually has a vision. Sparking a modern day high school based Salem Witch Trial, this book was enthralling as it examined the realities of the other and danger of social norms.
- The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Do I really need to say more? Check out my review of book one here.
This regular feature here at A MaeDay Life is a part of The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday’s. This week’s theme was “Top Ten “Gateway” Books/Authors In My Reading Journey