Oh man, hello Top Ten Tuesday! Its been a really long time hasn’t it? Well I’m back, and it looks like I picked the perfect week to ease back into it. For any of you lovely people who wandered here through my facebook or twitter Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, which is a delightful blog in and of itself.
The topic of the week is Rewind, which lets us pick any topic we like. The term makes me laugh, remember when we actually had to rewind our VHS tapes? You’d rent it from the video store and it would have that corny sticker that said “Be Kind, Rewind”. Pretty soon kids are going to have no idea what it means. Anyway tangent, the word rewind is making me feel nostalgic so I am going to go with Top Ten Books I Loved as a Kid. It also has me rocking out the Newsies soundtrack from the 1992 movie, man I had the biggest crush on Racetrack… 😛
The Hollow Tree – Janet Lunn: This is the first children’s historical fiction book I ever read of my own volition. I had done novel studies in school but none of them had ever really stuck with me. Looking back though, all of the the novel studies I can remember also featured male leads, so while the stories were good, I had a hard time connecting with the characters. I cant remember where I got my copy, an inkling says my auntie might have picked it up for me, but Its been a treasure ever since. I read it every couple of years and still really enjoy the characters and writing style and setting. It is such an excellently written children’s book with a believable and strong girl lead.
Devil on my Back – Monica Hughes: My first foray into Monica Hughes’ writing was with Guardian of Isis, which is definitely another one of my favourites. I stumbled onto her while stumbling around the stacks of my junior high library. Hughes also being a local author sealed the deal for me. After finishing off what I thought to be the rest of the Isis series (I would find out years later that there was in fact a 3rd book) I greedily devoured the rest of Monica Hughes books and while each one holds a special place in my heart Devil on my Back was my first foray into the dystopian future genre that would later take hold of my life.
There Will Be Wolves – Karleen Bradford: I spent a lot of time in my grade 5 -7 years hanging out in the Library, our Librarian Ms Taylor would let us spend our recesses and lunches in if we liked, and I got the chance to play on the old type writer and browse through the stacks. I found this book during one one such browse. I had never read anything that was set during the crusades and it had a female lead (something I stuck to almost exclusively, Monica Hughes’ books being one of the few exceptions), so I was willing to give it a try. The book had no qualms about showing the harsh reality of life during the crusades, both for those who were being concurred and for those who followed in the shadows of the armies.
Galax-Arena – Gillian Rubinstein: This book was delightfully spooky in places and ridiculous in others. Once again my thirst for a dystopian future with all its terrible consequences. The mix of gymnastics in space with aliens and a little bit of Lord of the Flies. It was also the first book I ever read with a swear in it, which maybe should have traumatized be but instead made me feel so grown up.
A Handful of Time – Kit Pearson: This book I got from my favourite auntie (I’m a terrible person :P). I had told her all about my love of Kit Pearson’s book Awake and Dreaming and in all her infinite wisdom bought be a copy of A Handful of Time for my 12th birthday. It had everything 12 year old me could have wanted, a girl who was 12, set in cabin country Alberta, and a watch that let you travel through time. Throw on top of this that the main character was dealing with a lot of the same social anxiety as I was and you had a perfect escape.
Beauty – Robyn McKinley: I grew up on Disney. My mom had a copy of every Disney VHS that came out, sometimes two if they came out with a special edition. The splendour and magic of fairy tales took me out of my boring life and dropped into a place more extraordinary then I had ever known. When I found McKinley’s retelling it took a story I already knew and loved and gave it a whole new dimension. It has since grown my love for retellings and has branched out into the grown up versions of both fairytale and classic story retellings such as the Wicked Years series and The Big Over Easy.
Lord of the Rings – J.R.R Tolkien: The first of the LOTR movies came out when I was still in junior high, but the lead up was immense. I was swept away in the thrill of a new fantasy adventure series and learning it was based on a book series made me determined to finish reading the entire Trilogy before the movies came out. I was sadly not able to finish the entire series before the first film but was able to polish off The Fellowship of the Ring and a good chunk of The Two Towers. If it hadn’t been for the impending movies, and a love of The Hobbit, I dont know if I would have found the will power to muscle through some of the denser chapters of what is now a favourite series.
Exodus – Julie Bertenga: This is the first book I remember buying, like actually walking into a bookstore picking up and paying for it with my money. It was the beginning of my buying beautiful books phase, and it treated me well. I honestly hate the redesign for the series covers, they are ugly and play into the whole “Teen Lit novels need to look dark and moody”. Exodus brought me into one of my favorite genres, it was a step above the distopian future I loved, and dropped me into a distopian apocalyptic future, which was a delightful change of pace. And for all the books in that genre I have read this one still feels beautiful and unique with its watery planet and ancient internet.
Alex Series – Nancy Simpson Levene: Aww man the names of these book were simple priceless! Grapefruit Basket Upset, Hot Chocolate Forgiveness, Crocodile Meatloaf. In elementary I ate these silly books up! They were written by a Christian author specifically to teach morals and values in a fun way for kids. My mom bought me one and I was hooked! Alex was delightful silly and brash and was the epitome of a little girl. I remember on several occasions my mom bribed me with these books to get me to do extra chores around the house!
The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle – Bill Meyers: Another one of those Chrisitan series that was about morals and values, but this one was absolutely hilarious. It was another one of the new exceptions I made to having a boy lead character. But Wally was nerdy and clutzy and all around loveable oaf who on top of living his own increadibly unlikely and funny story was also creating his own worlds and stories on his laptop.