Hosted by the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads Group
It’s Wednesday, Strangers! You know what that means!!! Top 5 Wednesday!!!! Okay, I’m not that excited, but whatever. This week’s topic is your top five children’s books. These can be books from your childhood or middle grade books you’ve read more recently. The only stipulation is that you can’t use Harry Potter or Percy Jackson. As a huge nerd who’s always loved to read, I have a lot to choose from. Here are a few that really stick out to me:
- The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone- This is one that I go way back with. It’s a Sesame Street book starting Grover. At the beginning of the book, Grover realizes that the title promises a monster will be at the end of the book. He becomes very scared and pleads with the reader not to turn the page. He keeps coming up with more convoluted ways to prevent you from turning the page, including ropes and a brick wall. At the end, he realizes he was the monster at the end of the book all along. The story is cute, but what really makes it stick in my mind is the way my mom read it to me. She always let me turn the pages, so it would be me Grover was reacting to. She mimicked Grover’s silly voice and portrayed his distress in a way that always made me laugh. I can still hear it in my head, all these years later. Someday I plan on reading it to my kids the exact same way.
- The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes by Anne Mazer- Speaking of books that meant a lot to me, I adored these books in fifth and sixth grade. I related a lot to Abby, an average tween who loves to write. She dealt with a lot of what I was dealing with, mean girls, navigating boy/girl relationships, and self-discovery. One that sticks out the most to me is the book where she starts middle school and deals with a bully. I remember towards the end, she learned to hold her head up high and ignore what her bully said. That image really stuck with me and inspired me through some of my rougher years. Abby Hayes was the girl I was and I loved her for that.
- Dear Dumb Diary by Jim Benton- Despite their shortness, I loved these books in middle school. They were hilarious. They follow Jamie Kelly, aspiring artist and obvious soulmate to the eighth cutest boy in school. Jamie dealt with realistic things, like arguments with friends and step-relatives, and weird things, like possibly haunted pants and a pet photo conspiracy. All the weirdness would come together in the best way by the end of each book. Jim Benton does a surprisingly good job of writing from the perspective of a teenage girl (whether or not Jamie’s accounts are entirely true). Also, why did no one ever tell me they made a movie out of this?
- The Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne- Out of all the series I read in my pre-tweenage childhood, this one stuck with me the most. I read every book that I could find in this series. It follows a brother and sister who find a treehouse filled with books. No matter what book they read up there, they were transported inside it. They were actually very educational and fun. This series is where I learned you can fight off a shark by punching it in the nose. This series full of adventure is definitely one every generation of kids should read.
- The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare- This one is actually (or perhaps obviously) a more recent read for me. It’s the first book in the Magisterium series. It follows Call as he attends a magic school, one his father never wanted him to attend for mysterious reasons. It’s a real trope-bending story, flipping the Chosen One trope as well as others. It also has one hell of a plot twist for an ending. I have yet to continue the series (I believe they’re up to the third or fourth book now), but I plan to eventually. If you read any recent middle grade release, make it this one.
So, what are some of your favorite childhood books? Any recent reads you’d like to give a shout out to? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time, Strangers!