I know my son is the oldest and so he’ll get to read chapter books first, but there are some books that I really think are more girl oriented and I may not be able to get my son to sit still while I read them. But there are ten books (some are actually series of books) that I hope to read with my daughter when she gets older.
1. The Secret Garden I have a copy that my grandmother gave to me when I was a little girl. It’s the Tasha Tudor edition which is getting harder and harder to find. I hope my daughter loves this book as much as I do. It created a lifelong fascination with gardens and England.
2. A Little Princess (Unabridged Classics) Again, I have the Tasha Tudor edition. What I love about this book isn’t the rescue at the end as much as the kind, generous spirit that Sara has and that we can always maintain a good outlook regardless of the circumstances that we’re in.
3. Little Women (Unabridged Classics) I’m not sure when we’ll get to this one. I’ve always had trouble with Beth dying (for seemingly obvious reasons), but I truly enjoyed this book many, many times when I was a kid and I hope that she will too.
4. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm This was another of my favorite books as a kid. I loved reading about how the tough old aunt became someone Rebecca truly loved and admired. The details here interesting and it really makes you wonder how you would deal with being taken away from everyone you know and makes you more value the family that you have more (or at least it worked that way for me).
5. A Morgan for Melinda (Puffin story books) I have a copy of this one, thank goodness. I checked it out at least a hundred times during childhood. I adored this book so much. I love the way Melinda is slowly encouraged to confront her fear and the friendship that she forms with someone who is so much older than she is. The ending is sad, but also helped me understand, more easily, when one of my favorite aunts became suddenly ill and passed away.
6. The Golden Name Day The Little Silver House and Crystal Tree This series is so important to me. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I inadvertently named Ben after the two male characters in the last book — oops. I found the last book on a bookmobile before my town had a library. I read it again and again and again. I loved it. I wanted my own copy and told my grandmother so. One day a box arrived from her for me and I opened it. Inside was a crystal tree with ornaments. I thought that was a consolation prize of sorts, but I learned that day to check the bottom of boxes because at the very bottom was a pristine new copy of the book. I have no idea how she got it, but she did. And because she did, I hunted down the first two within the last five years and now have a set of these for my daughter to read. It’s another series based on the idea of a daughter being displaced from her family and sent to live with people she doesn’t know well, but in this instance her family intends to move where she is once her mother is well. It’s a wonderful story with fantastic details about Swedish culture and a time without reliance on TV for stories and video games for activities.
7. The Complete Little House Nine-Book Set This series was one of my favorites when I was a kid. I can’t imagine not reading these with both kids, honestly. I think what you learn from reading about Laura and Mary is so valuable. It helps you better understand what pioneer days were really like. And when you add in that my family is from Oklahoma, it helps make that state even more interesting than it already is.
8. The Black Stallion I must admit that I was a horse crazy kid. I have no reason to expect that my daughter will be, but if she is, we’ll have to read this series. It’s a fabulous group of books that give a you a really strong sense of horse ownership, responsibility, and why they’re such beautiful animals. I have the whole set very carefully preserved in a box for my kids. My husband thinks I’m a little nuts, but he’s learned to live with these eccentricities. The beauty of this series is that it will read just as well with my son as it will with my daughter.
9. The President’s Daughter. White House Autumn, Long Live the Queen, and Long May She Reign When this series first came out, I was the same age as the main character (or a little bit younger), I stalked the bookstores for months waiting for this book’s release. When it came out I read it and reread it and reread it. I found someone I could truly understand and someone who I could empathize with in the most logical way. Honestly, I love all of Ellen Emerson White’s books and have all of the ones that I can find. My daughter is in for a real treat (though I will not let her read Long Live the Queen until she’s in her teens. That one is seriously traumatizing even though Meg survives. The fear that you feel when reading it is real and scary.
10. Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7) I know this seems like a weird set to include here, but I believe any girl can learn a lot from Harry’s adventures and from Hermione’s role in them. I love the fact that Hermione isn’t just a token girl. She plays a serious role in the books and she is a force to be reckoned with in her own right.
National Velvet (Book and Charm) If she’s really horsey, she needs to read this one, too. Again, it’s the determination and insistence on finding a way to get what you want that makes this book important for a young girl.
Betsy-Tacy (Betsy-Tacy Books) I was introduced to this series as an adult, but I would have loved the stories as a young girl. I love books about strong friendships among girls that aren’t eaten up by rivalry and jealousy. I hope that Katie can have friends like these who will support her as she grows.
I’ll have to wait a while to read these to my daughter, but I hope that they help some of you with older daughters find fun things to read to them. This is a list for Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday Blog Carnival.