Top Ten Tuesday

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.

Snip20190708_2White 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 Snip20190708_3and 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 Snip20190708_16reading 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 Snip20190708_7their 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 Snip20190708_5trauma 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.Snip20190708_13

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.

Snip20190708_6Well 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. received_344353279619767

8 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday

  1. Your post brought back memories of long, lazy summers reading. Champion Dog Prince Tom! I loved it. I had many of the dog books, including Ruff, and the horse books of Walter Farley. The only reason I wanted to go to school was to learn to read so I wouldn’t have to wait for my sister to read me Nancy Drew. Over the years, I’ve collected all of the original (not first editions but the books before they were ‘modernized’ in the 1960s) Nancy Drew books. I also bought most of the Hardy Boys, thinking my husband might enjoy them. He hasn’t read them, but I’ve been reading my way through the series. We had Ferdinand, too. Such great children’s books!


  2. All The Five Little Peppers books are on the Hoopla app free. My grandmother had them all but I don’t remember reading them.


  3. About your comment about modernizing fairy tales so they don’t frighten children – I wish I could remember who is was who said that fairy tales don’t teach children that there are monsters; children already know that. The importance of fairy tales is that they show that clever children can defeat the monsters. I still have my Little House on the Prairie books, the Borrowers series, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, The Silver Sword, Charlotte’s Web. I never got into the Nancy Drew series, though I remember us all reading the Five Little Peppers and being into something called the Happy Hollisters – I wonder what I’d think of them if I found them today? I found Lord of the Rings soon afterwards and that was the end of the children’s section for me.


  4. Gosh, I opened this expecting to see the books that I read as a child (because we are of an age, as they say), but no, the only one I’ve read is Little Women, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn which I read when I was in my forties.
    Looking at my shelf of cherished children’s books that I am never going to part with, my Top Ten would be Heidi, Gulliver’s Travels, What Katy Did, Alice in Wonderland, A Wrinkle in Time, Robin Hood, The Long Grass Whispers, The Little World of Don Camillo, The Tunnel and Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates. I don’t still have some faves because they were left behind on other continents or they came from the library, but I loved the Cherry Ames series, the Twins series (Dutch, Portuguese, Irish etc); and The Famous Five though I thought most of the other Blytons were soppy).


  5. agree re retirement… i had a flash memory, seeing the bit about Ferdinand… i must have been 5 or 6 when i read it and i still recall the thrill… tx for mentioning it… brother how time flies: 70 years ago and more, now…


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