What is the first book you remember reading on your own?
I'm pretty sure my first "big book" was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Whenever my parents would read one of the Harry Potter books to me, I'd pick up the book and reread it on my own. I was probably somewhere around five or six when I started reading them by myself.
But, because I'm predicting that Harry Potter is going to end up being the answer for many of these questions, I'll provide an alternate. I was thoroughly obsessed with the Magic Tree House series and reread them constantly. Once Merlin Missions became a thing in the series, I was even more obsessed. I'd snatch them up from the library shelves as soon as the new ones came out.
What is the first book you remember having your parents read to you?
There were many books we read together, but I'm pretty sure the first one I remember. (I think this came before Harry Potter? I could be wrong, though.) I also remember being sooo upset by some of the events in the book.
What is a book you read on the recommendation of your parents or a friend?
If I remember correctly, my mom recommended these books to me. This series is one of the many I read by flashlight late into the night so as not to wake up my brother, who slept on the bunk above me.
What was your favorite book in elementary school?
Besides Harry Potter, American Girl books! I read so many of these series, but Samantha was my favorite. If you asked me why, though, I wouldn't be able to tell you. All I remember is that I had the box set for the Samantha series and read them over and over again. I also liked the Kit, Julie, and Molly books.
I also remember eating up books by Andrew Clements like they were going out of style. They definitely influenced my childhood, because every time I read one of his books, I tried to recreate something that happened in the story or allowed myself to be quite literally inspired by the characters. School Story was one of my favorites because the twelve-year-old girl in the book submits a novel under a pen name and gets published without anyone discovering she's not an adult. I basically got to live out my fantasy in the story. And the girl's pen name, Cassandra Day, ended up being the name of my protagonist for one of my NaNoWriMo novels. After reading The Landry News, I wrote my own "newspaper for a while." No Talking made me challenge myself to not speak for an entire day (pretty sure I failed that one) and Lunch Money made me want to make a little pocket change myself by selling trinkets to friends or setting up "yard sales" in the backyard (even though no one ever came by).
Calvin and Hobbes was another obsession of mine, so much so that my grandparents got me the complete treasury for Christmas when I was six (it was so heavy I couldn't lift it and I can barely lift it now). I never went on a road trip without arming myself with a flashlight and one of the paperback collections. They could keep me busy for hours.
What was your favorite book in middle school?
Hmm. Again, besides Harry Potter, it's really hard to narrow down. I had a ton of favorite books around this time. My first inclination was to say the W.I.T.C.H. books. I don't remember how I learned about them, but I do remember immersing myself in its magical world. I also remember that I asked Santa for the books one year and learning later that I'd made my parents sweat about that gift because the books were all out of print and nearly impossible to find. I ended up getting a few in my stocking along with a note that Santa was trying really hard to look for the others and that they'd be coming in the mail from the north pole soon. I eventually got the whole collection, though, and I loved getting the packages in the mail, so it all worked out.
I remember very little from this series, but I know that I loved it. They were the first big books I devoured in no time at all, reading one or even two books a night. I lost a lot of sleep over them, but I didn't care in the slightest. They were action-packed, exciting, and addictive.
Another beloved series that I read and then reread and then reread some more. It's what made me fall in love with medieval fantasies so much so, I wrote my own, which was basically the same exact plot disguised as my own story.
These were two huge series for me as a kid, too. I read The Lightning Thief in mostly one sitting and waited impatiently to get my hands on the sequels and though the Fablehaven books were huge, I barely stopped to eat before I'd finished those, too.
I should also give special shout outs to Ella Enchanted and Princess Academy, a couple of my favorite books at the time that satisfied my fairy tale needs.
What was your favorite book in high school?
Considering I'm still in high school, there are some of my top favorites. I couldn't fit every favorite into the collage, but it gives you a pretty good idea of what my bookshelf looks like.
What book did you check out of the library most often as a child?
Oh my gosh, it wasn't a single book, but books in a series. I went nuts for the Thoroughbred series, so much so that when I'd read every single book in the library system, I started buying used copies of the sequels and donating them to the library. I would ride my bike and pretend it was one of the horses from the books, I took horse riding lessons, I drew horses (mostly attempted to draw them--they were never very good), I bought stuffed horses, etc. I was horse crazy.
What book did you make all your friends read?
The first one that came to mind was The Hunger Games. It was probably my first big book obsession after Harry Potter. You know, the kind of obsession that influences what games you play in the backyard and the playground. My friends and I all made fake bows and arrows out of sticks and jump ropes and played Hunger Games, complete with temporary alliances and dramatic death scenes. I went to the midnight releases for all the movies and I bought a Mockingjay pin that I wore for days on end, no matter the occasion. If somebody in my friend group hadn't read it, those of us who had would gasp and demand they read it immediately.
What is the book that made you love reading?
Yeah, I can't give a better answer than this.
What is your favorite middle-grade read now?
Wonder by R.J. Palacio! Young or old, I haven't met a person who read this book and didn't like it yet. It made me laugh and cry so many times.
What is your favorite YA read now?
See above for many, many answers to that!
What was the first long series you read as a child?
Let's get the obvious out of the way first.
Now that that's out of the way, I'd also like to mention the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. I think a thirteen-book series is pretty long for a kid, but I loved those books. It was the first series I can remember buying with my own money, too. The library always had a rack of used books out by the entrance that cost no more than a couple dollars per copy. They usually had a book from the Series of Unfortunate Events out there, so after many weeks, I managed to get a complete set, even if some were paperback and others were hardback.
Tag, you're it! Feel free to answer any/all of these questions in the comments and/or on your own blog. Enjoy!