Gertrude Warner, what’s your secret?

I spent a good part of the morning failing to keep the attention of a handful of rambunctious third graders.  I brought in my bug collection, which I was hoping they would find riveting.  They did….for about .25 minutes.

I spent a good part of the afternoon curled up in a chair in the Kid’s Room of my local library reading The Boxcar Children.  Jessie Alden and I are old friends.  We go way, way back.  I think even my 3rd graders would like her.

Speaking of good children’s literature, what did you read growing up?  I’m on the hunt for some good new (to me) kids’ books as well as some of my old favorites…many for which I remember neither the title nor the author, only the exact location on the shelf…of the library that resides approximately 1500 miles from here and which has since been remodeled. 

It might be a long hunt.

In other news: Tim is still at work and I have not started dinner.  As the clock reads nearly quarter to six, this is travesty on both accounts.

But I did write an e-mail I was dreading (you know, the kind that are so easy to put off…and off……and off) and ate some dark chocolate.  

So obviously the day has not been a total failure.

  1. #1 by Leah on October 4, 2010 - 6:03 pm

    Violet Alden was me. At least, my best friend Steph always told me that I was Violet. She was Jessie, of course. And it was all quite good.

    Currently I’m making my way through the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. They’re really fun science fiction/fantasy, and my brothers (and sister Em when she was younger) love them. Josh and his friends also love the Percy Jackson series by Riordan, and it’s next on my list.

    Also, of course, Harry Potter. I also love Cassie Binegar, The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt, and Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan (read them about 100 times).

    And sea stories are some of my faves. I have always loved “Carry On, Mr. Bowditch” although I don’t remember the author. And “Mutiny on the Bounty” by Nordhoff & Hall is always, always a good time.

    Can you tell how much I love YA lit?

  2. #2 by Leah on October 4, 2010 - 6:05 pm

    OH OH OH!!!!!! But the ones you MUST READ! The Shoe books. Some are out of print. Ballet Shoes, Theater Shoes, Skating Shoes, Movie Shoes, Dancing Shoes, etc. etc. etc. They are AMAZING. They’re by Noel Streatfield and my sisters and I have read them all and loved them. Post-WWII England.

    • #3 by Cristy on October 4, 2010 - 8:20 pm

      Ooooooh, I’ve never heard of them! Can’t wait to try to find them…we read some really good post-war europe books growing up…by Pete Priens or something like that, I think. Hmmm. Have to find those again, too.

  3. #4 by Leah on October 4, 2010 - 6:06 pm

    Where’s my second comment? Did you get it?

    If you didn’t, I said both wildly and exuberantly that you need to check out the Shoe books by Noel Streatfeild. They are my favorites, and my sisters’. Dancing Shoes, Ballet Shoes, Theater Shoes, Movie Shoes, Skating Shoes, etc. etc. A lot of them are out of print, but if your library has interlibrary loan, you can usually get ahold of them. They are the BEST.

    • #5 by Cristy on October 4, 2010 - 8:19 pm

      For some reason, it put both these in my spam queue. Isn’t that weird? It’s never done that to any of your other comments (including the first one)…

  4. #6 by Susan H on October 4, 2010 - 7:39 pm

    glad you got the email done and out of the way… good for you!

    • #7 by Cristy on October 5, 2010 - 9:36 am

      Shwew, as your mom would say….

  5. #8 by joannamv on October 4, 2010 - 8:34 pm

    I liked the Chalet School books my Elinor M. Brent-Dyer.

    Also, all the sailing books by Arthur Ransome, starting with Swallows and Amazons.

  6. #9 by Grace Nakamoto on October 4, 2010 - 9:03 pm

    I liked The Three Investigator series.

  7. #10 by Gretchen on October 4, 2010 - 9:24 pm

    I agree with Leah. Violet was definitely my favorite because I had dreams of being a sweet, quiet artist. HAH.

    Other books: The Orphan Train Series, All of the Hardy Boys (waaaay more exciting than Nancy Drew), Narnia, Heidi, Pollyana, Caddie Woodlawn, Little House on the Prairie, anything by Peggy Parish (Liza, Bill, and Jed mysteries). Is that good for now???

  8. #11 by Cristy on October 4, 2010 - 9:40 pm

    Oh, guys, I’m so excited by all these suggestions. I’ve read and LOVED some of these, and others I’ve never heard of. I might just have to make another library run tomorrow…!!! Thanks a bunch for coming through with so many books…and keep ’em coming if you think of more!

  9. #12 by Anna C on October 4, 2010 - 10:12 pm

    I liked the All of a Kind Family books, but I can’t remember who wrote them- about a Jewish family in NYC somewhere in the early to mid 1900s, I think. The Madaleine L’Engle books were good too. I thought of Carry on Mr. Bowditch, like Leah. I think the author’s name is Jean Latham, or something like that.
    Did you ever read the Old Squire’s Farm stories? They were republished sets of stories from maybe the early 1900s. I don’t know how hard they would be to find. I think you would like them. I could go on… and I might have to go to the library and browse the J section soon…

    • #13 by Cristy on October 5, 2010 - 9:09 am

      I read the All of a Kind books!

  10. #14 by Susan H on October 5, 2010 - 11:12 am

    I always liked the Trixie Belden books… kinda like Nancy Drew, only better in my humble opinion! They might be hard to find, though, cause I think they are pretty old…

  11. #15 by joannamv on October 5, 2010 - 2:04 pm

    Oh yeah, Heidi too. That’s how my sister got her name haha.
    The four Little Women books. I liked to imagine I was Jo up in the attic reading :B

  12. #16 by Naomi on October 5, 2010 - 2:42 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog on and off for a little while, but I never commented . . . till you ask about books. 🙂 If you haven’t read the Little Britches series by Ralph Moody, you’ve got to–they’re wonderful. (And the first few are set in Colorado!) Little Britches is the first, then Man of the Family, The Home Ranch, Mary Emma and Company, The Dry Divide, Shaking the Nickle Bush . . . there might be one or two more. My mom read them to us while we were growing up (at least the first was in one of the Sonlight curriculum years), and we all loved them. They’re true stories of Ralph Moody’s family ranching in Colorado and his own maturation after his father dies.

    Others? Across Five Aprils, Walk the World’s Rim, Johnny Tremain, All Creatures Great and Small and others by James Herriot . . . I second Anna’s recommendation of All of a Kind Family. Now I want to go raid all my mom’s bookcases!

    • #17 by Cristy on October 5, 2010 - 3:31 pm

      Yes! I have read all these…we read Little Britches aloud as a family and loved them. The one about Uncle Levi and the grandpa was our favorite…we thought it was hilarious.

  13. #18 by Evelyn on October 7, 2010 - 1:15 pm

    Anne of Green Gables is pretty much my best friend ever besides Jeff. L. M. Montgomery’s books have a wide range of quality, but the whole Anne series and The Story Girl (and sequel The Golden Road) are favorites. I also love Alcott, especially Eight Cousins and Little Women.

    The Happy Hollisters is a really good series I don’t hear of often – young siblings solving mysteries together, kind of like the Boxcar kids. Mom says they were my favorite books when I was 6. 🙂

    Other series that come to mind (besides some that other people have mentioned already) are Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Henry Reed, Danny Dunn, and Tom Swift.

  14. #19 by joannamv on October 10, 2010 - 7:30 am

    The mention of Anne of Green Gables has reminded me of the What Katy Did books.

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