Sunday, March 11, 2018

Childhood Book Tag (Let the Nostalgia Begin!)

I got tagged to do this forever ago by Engie at "Musings From Neville's Navel." But, in typical Kate fashion, I forgot about it until months later, so it was like discovering a brand new tag all over again! #ProcrastinationWorks(Sorta)

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!

19 comments:

abigail lennah said...

The W.I.T.C.H. books! I loved reading those as a kid. And, The Magic Treehouse series! I remember going to the mall after ice skating and I remember I had a spare copy which was chosen from a book drive and just remembering how I devoured the series gives me the warm fuzzies. >.< I may do this tag-- we'll see!!!

xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

Anonymous said...

I love this! Great list! I might have to do this on my blog. I've been re-reading some old childhood favorites lately, so this is a good excuse to blog about it! ;-)

The Magic Violinist said...

@Abigail

You might be the first person I've come across who also loved W.I.T.C.H.! Magic Tree House is definitely a warm-fuzzy kind of series. :) It's fun to hear about people's specific memories that are attached to reading the books (like going to the mall after ice skating).

@storytellergirlgrace

Thank you! Yes, you should definitely blog about it! :) I'd love to see your answers.

Gary Foley said...

I'm not sure if "prolific" is a good enough word to describe your passion for the written word. You certainly have accomplished much in your very young life. I too like to read but not nearly as much as you. My favorite books as a young boy even into my teenage years was "The Hardy Boys". A collection of detective stories. The Hardy Boys were two teenage brothers who, with some of their friends, would solve crimes/mysteries. Each book was a different case. There were over thirty books. The female version were the "Nancy Drew" series. Both were classics of their time.

The Magic Violinist said...

@Gary

Ha, reading and writing is sort of my main "extracurricular," in a way. I'm always in the middle of a book. :) I'm pretty sure Max read a few of the Hardy Boys books when he was younger and I read a couple Nancy Drews. Funnily enough, though, I only really got into the mystery/thriller genre when I got older!

Boquinha said...

This was so much fun to read! I remember all of this! Do you remember the notebooks we made to do all the passport activities for the Magic Tree House books? And oh man, all of those Andrew Clements challenges! Yes! And do you remember meeting Shannon Hale at the National Book Festival and how awesome she was with you? So many great memories!

I'll answer your questions here . . .

What is the first book you remember reading on your own?

The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White was the first big book I ever read by myself. I was so proud! And I loved that book.

What is the first book you remember having your parents read to you?

My parents never read to me. My father didn't speak English well and my mother hated reading out loud, so all reading was on my own. My mother did, however, read "Flowers in the Attic" herself and then "tell" me the story in the car on our way to school. Not exactly a children's story . . . not by a mile.

What is a book you read on the recommendation of your parents or a friend?

We didn't have near as many books compared to what young adults have now. My mother recommended "Little Women" and "The Secret Garden" a lot. I read them multiple times and love them.

What was your favorite book in elementary school?

"The Mouse and the Motorcycle," "Runaway Ralph," "Socks," "Ramona the Pest," and pretty much anything by Beverly Cleary. Her books were so joyful and lovely, like old friends.

What was your favorite book in middle school?

Probably "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret." I mean, I don't know if it was a favorite, but I remember knowing that it was kind of controversial and so that was sort of exciting. I also loved pretty much anything else by Judy Blume, too. "Shelia the Great," "Blubber," "Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing," "Superfudge," and so much more. She was a definite favorite of mine, no question!

What was your favorite book in high school?

So high school was less about pleasure reading and more about required reading for school. I loved being introduced to new books and discussing them in English class. Some favorites that stand out for me include "Tess of the d'Urbervilles," "A Separate Peace," "All Quiet on the Western Front," and "The Scarlet Letter." I think all of those hold up now except for "A Scarlet Letter." I read it again as an adult with our book club and did not love it.

What book did you check out of the library most often as a child?

I don't remember specifically, but I do remember LOVING visiting the library and checking out books. Magical!!

What book did you make all your friends read?

Again, it wasn't quite like it is now, so I'm not sure on this one. Probably Judy Blume?


What is the book that made you love reading?

Probably all 3 of E.B. White's books - "Trumpet of the Swan," "Stuart Little," and "Charlotte's Web." (Along with Beverly Cleary's books.)

What is your favorite middle-grade read now?

Also "Wonder" by R.J. Palacio.

What is your favorite YA read now?

Besides Harry Potter, I'd probably say "Eleanor and Park" and "Perks of Being a Wallflower."

What was the first long series you read as a child?

I loved Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys, etc. by Louisa May Alcott.

The Magic Violinist said...

@Boquinha

I do remember! It'll be fun to find those notebooks again and look through them. That was a pretty awesome author festival. Everyone was super nice.

Ooh, all of the Judy Blume books I read I remember really liking, especially Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing and Superfudge.

A Separate Peace was a good classic. I think it was one of the first ones I read on my own and liked.

I could have guessed your answers for favorite MG and YA novels. All great picks!

Cait @ Paper Fury said...

Ahh this is so fun! Childhood nostalgia. :') I remember collecting the Lemony Snicket series as basically my "first" collection...the start of my book hoarding.😂And Narnia is probably my strongest childhood-memory book...like my parents read it and then I read it endlessly. ALSO YAY THE SCHOOL STORY! I'm pretty sure that kick-started the idea that I could be published someday. Ahhh. I loved that book!

The Magic Violinist said...

@Cait

LOL, a thirteen-book series is definitely a great way to start a book hoarding addiction. Reading Narnia is a popular childhood memory I hear all the time, though usually it seems like someone either remembers growing up with Harry Potter or Narnia, but not both? I LOVED School Story! I'm sure we're some of many young readers who wanted to be just like that girl in the book. xD

Jimmy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jimmy said...

Deleted first draft because it had a lot of spelling errors:

First book I remember reading on my own: Clifford the Big Red Dog.

First book I remember having parents read to me: This is going to sound worse than it actually was, but I don't remember being read to. And my mom was actually a reader.

Book I read on the recommendation of parents or a friend: Recently, a friend encouraged me to read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Super quick read. I enjoyed it and saw why he thought I would appreciate it.

Favorite book in elementary school: To this day I wish knew the title, but it was a book my second grade teacher had in our classroom and it told the story of Icarus and I was just fascinated by it. Every time we had SSR, I would rush to pick that book off the shelf.

Favorite book in middle school: Two titles that have really stuck with me--A Day No Pigs Would Die, and I Am The Cheese.

Favorite book in High School: Again, two titles that stuck with me--The Color Purple, the first book where it really sunk in that writing is more than just telling an interesting story, but there's artistry to it. And The Godfather. The Mafia is fascinating, but I also recall being struck by how much I saw in common between the extended Hispanic family I grew up in in rural New Mexico and a New York Italian family. Total opposite environments, but really a lot in common.

Book I checked out of the library most often as a child: Not one single book, but I did go through an Abraham Lincoln craze my elementary years and checked out everything about him that was within my comprehension level.

What book did you make all your friends read? American Pastoral. That book still haunts me and I get so sad when others don't feel it.

What is the book that made you love reading: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. I laughed so much reading that book as a child. (And I just read your mom's comments. Judy Blume is a national treasure.)

Favorite middle-grade read now: Wrestling Sturbridge

Favorite YA read now: The Book Thief. I thought it was genius and heartbreaking.

First long series: I honestly didn't get into any series as a child. I remember reading anything by Paul Zindel in middle school.

And the question you didn't ask, but I'll answer...

Favorite book you're looking forward to reading: Anything by the author Kate Foley.

The Magic Violinist said...

@Jimmy

I still haven't gotten around to The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, but I've heard nothing but good things about it.

I think every kid as an "Abraham Lincoln" phase at some point. Not Lincoln specifically, but being obsessed with a historical figure for a period of time and doing everything you can to learn about them. Mine was Clara Barton, when I was little. I don't know why, but she fascinated me.

I really ought to try The Book Thief again at some point. I couldn't get into it when I started it a few years ago, but maybe now that I'm older I'd like it more.

Ha, thank you. :)

Dr. Mark said...

I'm with Mommy--I remember all of these books. It's so fun to go back through these and hear your thoughts so many years later. I had an on again/off again relationship with reading outside of school, so I'll answer your questions, but I'm not even sure off the top of my head what all of my answers will be.

What is the first book you remember reading on your own?

A biography of Robert Perry, a U.S. Naval officer credited with being the first explorer to the North Pole, which is now, apparently, debatable. I read it several times, and I was always so fascinated to read the parts about losing toes to frostbite.


What is the first book you remember having your parents read to you?

My mom read us a lot of Dr. Seuss books, but I don't really have solid memories of that. I do have early memories of her "reading" us The Hobbit. She read it and then retold it, but her synopses were pretty detailed.


What is a book you read on the recommendation of your parents or a friend?

As a kid, I don't remember. I didn't get a lot of suggestions from parents. They let us explore the library and discover books for ourselves. As a teen a friend shared The Autobiography of Malcom X, and I remember really enjoying that.


What was your favorite book in elementary school?

I was a big sports nut, so I loved to order all of the sports biographies from the Scholastic book orders. I read lots of books about football players for some reason. I also liked to read through this series of encyclopedia type books for kids. World Book probably published them. I also had this book about the desert that I reread a lot. It was one of those Time-Life books you could order. I have no clue why I read it so much, but it had this smell that is still in my nose today. It's strange what we rememeber. Oh, and I LOVED Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books. There was one about deep sea diving I reread a LOT. I kept getting the bends, so I had to restart many times.


What was your favorite book in middle school?

This is the time period where reading for pleasure fell by the wayside. I know I read things, but can't remember a specific "favorite." As far as assigned reading, I do remember liking Johnny Tremain. I couldn't tell you much about it at this point, though.


What was your favorite book in high school?

Yep. Very little pleasure reading. LOTS of classroom assignments. Some highlights include Dante's Inferno, A Separate Peace, Hamlet, poetry by Langston Hughes, and believe it or not, Moby Dick. There were issues with how my teacher presented it, but overall it was a pretty enjoyable read (but SOOOOOO long!). Oh, I just remembered something else.

The first book I ever bought after reading an article in a magazine was called A Stolen Season. It followed one minor league baseball team and chronicled what it was like to live on almost no money, knowing your chance to make the big leagues was a long shot. I was way into baseball at that point and I remember waiting for the release date on this book.


What book did you check out of the library most often as a child?

Like I said up there, that biography of Perry.


What book did you make all your friends read?

As a kid, none. Maybe certain Sports Illustrated articles. :P


What is the book that made you love reading?

I wouldn't say that I learned to love reading until my early 20s. I discovered I really liked Hemingway as an author, so I read a lot of his books. Also, Langston Hughes' poetry always spoke to me in high school, and I discovered his novels.

Dr. Mark said...

(It cut me off. Apparently I should have written my own post and not such a long comment.)




What is your favorite middle-grade read now?

Wonder is great. And The One and Only Ivan is phenomenal.


What is your favorite YA read now?

Hmmmm. I often like YA lit, but wouldn't say I necessarily love it. Eleanor and Park is one that always comes to mind. I never know where Harry Potter belongs in the classification scheme, but that's way up there.


What was the first long series you read as a child?

I had a friend who read a lot of Hardy Boys books, so I ended up reading a lot of those. I'm not sure if there are any series I read. There were less of those when I was young than there are now.

Boquinha said...

Daddy's comment made me think of 3 things I forgot:

1. Nancy Drew Series - I read and reread every one I could get my hands on!

2. Troll book orders (kind of like Scholastic) - oh how I loved when the big, brown box would come in with books we'd ordered. I remember really liking a book about a girl who was deaf and I remember that she had a dog. It was called something like "All Alone Except for My Dog Friday."

3. Encyclopedias! Seriously, I would just pick a letter, pull a book off the shelf, and read everything I could. I could spend HOURS on encyclopedias.

Jimmy said...

I just realized that I answered one question forgetting that the theme was childhood books, so I want to clarify...

Book I encouraged others to read--I said American Pastoral, but I read that as an adult. So as a child it would have been I Am The Cheese, because it has an "aha" ending and I'd never come across that before until I read that book.

And by the way, your parents had tougher high school English classes than I did.

And is it weird seeing the answers of someone whose childhood hadn't even heard of Harry Potter?

The Magic Violinist said...

@Dr. Mark

I remember reading The Hobbit together a long time ago. It's a fun story to be told, for sure. Especially if someone does Gollum's voice.

Ooh, the Scholastic book orders were so fun! Even if most of the time I ended up ordering more than I could read . . .

Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books were always exciting. I would reread them, too, until I reached every possible ending.

We have some of the same favorite classroom assignments. I liked A Separate Peace, Shakespeare, and Dante's Inferno, too. Well, I didn't enjoy reading Dante's Inferno as much as I enjoyed just learning about it.

I should pick up The One and Only Ivan. I meant to read it years ago but never got around to it.

I'm glad we all enjoyed Eleanor and Park! Now Max has to read it . . .

@Boquinha

I remember All Alone Except for My Dog Friday! I don't remember if it was your copy or a used one I bought or what, but I remember you saying you liked it and me reading it at some point. I enjoyed it.

@Jimmy

Ha, I'm always curious what books end up on someone's list if they didn't read Harry Potter as a kid. Usually Narnia seems to be the substitute, but sometimes there are other books entirely.

Ivyclad Ideas said...

I remember Ramona. And W.I.T.C.H. God, I used to read the comics for W.I.T.C.H. Did you have a favourite character? Mine was Hay-Lin. Although, if I went back now, I KNOW I'd relate to Taranee more.
The series I remember from my childhood are Harry Potter (obviously), Jane Blonde (which I REALLY want to re-read for some reason), and How to Train Your Dragon (which I used to borrow from my brother...but then he stopped reading them so I never actually finished them...one day, maybe...).

The Magic Violinist said...

@Ivy

I remember liking Will and Irma, but for the life of me, I can't remember why. Maybe this is a sign that I need to reread those soon . . .

I just looked up Jane Blonde to see if it was what I thought it was based off the name alone, and that looks like an epic children's series. I loved the "How to Train Your Dragon" movies, but I never read the books. I've heard they're completely different, though.