Into the Past
Note: This post would have been up Thursday but my email was compromised and I didn’t know it. I couldn’t get the post info! I love Katie and her books so I feel terrible that this happened! Gotta love technology!
In this post Katie tells us a bit about the books her past self would recommend at ages 5, 11, 16 and 20. How fun is that?!? Here’s what Kate had to say:
Great topic! My past self was as much of a book lover as my present self is! And I’m sure she wouldn’t hesitate to make some great recommendations. In fact, in sixth grade I even wrote book reviews for my elementary school’s newspaper, The Dolphin Digest.
Five years old:
This one is actually pretty cool, because with the help of Google, I actually found the book I loved most when I was five! It’s called “Little Ballerina,” and it was written and illustrated by Dorothy Grider. It was written in the 1950s (so my school’s copy was already 30 years old!) and it’s the story of a little girl who takes ballet to strengthen her legs. I’m pretty sure she had polio. I loved, loved, loved the tutus in this book. I thought the girls in their costumes were so grown-up looking.
I ordered myself a copy and I still love the costumes, but the girls don’t look quite so grown up anymore, as you can imagine.
I also loved my old copy of “Cinderella,” which had amazing illustrations of ball gowns. I really loved the look of ball gowns and tutus! When I was five, I went through a phase of only wanting to wear dresses—maybe I got the idea from all of my books.
Eleven years old:
Two books stand out to me: the first is “I Want to Go Home!” by Gordon Korman. It’s the story of two boys trying to escape a summer camp. It made me laugh—which no other book had ever really done. I was kind of amazed that a book could be comedic. (And the good news is, all of Gordon Korman’s books are hilarious. And the better news is, he’s still writing!)
The second is “This Place Has No Atmosphere” by Paula Danziger. It’s the story of a popular girl whose who life is turned upside down when her parents decide to move the family to an experimental moon colony. I loved the science, the fish-out-of-water aspects, and the character herself.
(In fact, I recently bought myself both of these books, too! I guess that’s how I know I love a book, 20-something years later!)
Sixteen years old:
Some of my fondest memories from my teen years are Sunday afternoons spent reading at my family’s dinner table with a bowl of soup. (Or sometimes—prepare to be grossed out—a cold can of Cream of Chicken.) And what I read on those days was the “Little House on the Prairie” series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
But that was also the age I discovered “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand. It really struck a chord with me! I considered myself quite the Objectivist. Now, of course, I take most of Rand’s philosophy with a grain of salt. But I do still love her books.
Twenty years old:
Another Ayn Rand book: “Atlas Shrugged.” I think one of the things I love most about this book is that it’s so long you can completely lose yourself in it. And, though Rand has a reputation for awkward prose, much of her language is actually very lovely.
This was also the age at which I discovered the works of Jane Austen! So “Pride and Prejudice” was at the top of my reading list.
Books I’d recommend to myself years later:
I probably could have started reading Ray Bradbury earlier. I think I would have really enjoyed him. But that’s all right—I have time to enjoy his work now! (Well, actually, I don’t really have time. But I make time anyway.)
Thanks so much for letting me reminisce!
Thank YOU Katie for sharing the book love! I’m a Wisconsin girl so I adored the Little House books. Gordon Korman is still popular with my middle schoolers!
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