Top Ten Tuesday is a meme published on Tuesday that is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Questions are asked and respondents answer. It has been going awhile and I have read it quite a few times but never participated. However when I saw last week’s topic was Top Ten Childhood Favourites I thought I might join in.
Another however…….When this is published in the USA it is already Wednesday here so I decided that I would join in the following Tuesday so it could still be a Top Ten Tuesday although a week late.
I have forgotten a lot of the books I read as a child but reading the answers to this meme had me saying, “Oh yes! I remember reading those!”
So I will begin.
The Little House on the Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read the entire series and loved everyone of them. Life on the prairie despite the hardships faced was full of loving families and challenges that were overcome. They always brought happiness no matter what the reality of life was like at the time.
The Trixie Belden mystery series written by various authors from Western Publishing. They came out about three times a year and could be purchased at the local 5 and 10 dime store on the corner for 59 cents. A story of two best friends, about 10 years old who solved all kinds of crime though I could not for the life of me tell you now what any of that crime was.
The entire Nancy Drew written by a pseudonym Carolyn Keene by in fact written by several authors. The series was developed by publisher Edward Stratemeyer. He wanted a female version of the Hardy boys. Nancy was a bit older than Trixie was and I was too when I read them all. She also solved all manner of crime but she did it on her own which was most impressive at the time.
Then there were the dog and horse tales. How I loved them.
White Ruff by ???? was the story of a rough collie stolen by the bad men that came through town with the circus. His young owner, a boy of about 9 or 10 came across him sometime later when his family took him to the circus. Convinced this was his beloved White Ruff he made a deal with the dog’s trainer if he could call the dog away from the trainer during a noisy circus performer he would prove the dog was his. If not, the dog was lost forever. During the circus performer the band played, the crowd cheered and suddenly a long piercing sharp whistle went through the tent. White Ruff stopped dead in his tracks. Upon hearing the second whistle White Ruff ran to the boy to live happily ever happen. The trainer sighed and moved on knowing the game was up. I think that was the first tale I ever read of true suspense. I must have read that last chapter ten times over to every reading of the book.
Then there was Champion Dog Prince Tom by Jean Fritz and John Clute .... I think was part of a series of books we signed up in school through Scholastic. We received a book in the mail every month and when that book came into that mail box you wouldn’t see me until the next day. Prince Tom was a true story of a lineage of champion cocker spaniels and how he went from a puppy to become the world’s greatest cocker spaniel. The kind of story that gives a dog loving child goosebumps.
There was another book from Scholastic I remember reading quite a few times called Ride Like an Indian by Henry V. Laron.
It was a story of a young boy who had an Appaloosa horse and he could ride this horse anywhere. I think it might have been a race he needed to win. He jumped on that horse’s back and rode him like there was no tomorrow, of course without a saddle. He and that horse were best friends. This followed the Fury series of horse books by Albert Miller, that any child horse lover of my generation would know.
Then there was Little Women. The classic story of the four March sisters living with their mother in the 1860’s while their father fought in the civil war. Jo was the oldest sister and I loved her the best. Probably because I was the oldest of my sister and brother. Jo and I knew everything.
As another year went by I discovered Betty Smith’s book, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The story of Francie who lived in Brooklyn during the 1950s I believe and her life. Her love of school, books and stationery outweighed all the confusion and trauma of her childhood growing up poor. I loved that girl and if there had been anyone in fiction I could have hung out with it would have been her.
As a very young reader I remember spending time with Ferdinand the Bull. He wasn’t interested in Bull Fighting. He just wanted to lie in a field, be gentle and smell the flowers. How I loved that bull. I must have read that book a million times.
The other books I disappeared into were the first four books of the Childcraft series that was full of fairy tales, geography and travel tales, child development and some other things I never looked at. Childcraft books had 12 matching books and the first three were literature.
Grimm and Andersen were all there and I loved those tales. I hate that they have taken classic fairy tales and modernised them as to not scare children. Our wolves ate children, they didn’t chase them away. The bad animals didn’t muck around. But we knew they were tales and not to be believed and when the animals did survive we knew it was because they were strong and didn’t get caught. I never had nightmares about them. It was real life that gave me nightmares at times.
Well those are my ten books I can think of at the moment. I still own a copy of Champion Dog Prince Tom and White Ruff. I have a beautiful Penguin copy of Little Women. I’ve lost Ferdinand along the way. I don’t think I still have a copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn but I might have as I read it again about three years ago or so. I still enjoyed it.
So, I’ll see how this Top Ten Tuesday goes and if I feel like doing it again. Being retired after 40 years of solid commitment in my work and life I don’t commit to much anymore. I’m just continuing to fly through life by the seat of my pants. I think that’s what retirement should be about.