Twenty-four days, two hours and three minutes of homeschooling left in the school year. I’m just going to leave this here.
I am on pins and needles waiting for Birthday Ranch to come back from the editor—longing for the distraction of the revision process. We’ve been rattling around the house and backyard for 50 days. Clearly I’m at the stage of COVID-19 shelter-in-place quarantine where I’m counting days. The days we’ve been home; the days we still have to slog through the school year.
Some days it‘s easier to count your blessings than others. For me, keeping my mind engaged is key to remaining positive. So today I’ve been thinking about what books I loved when I was six, seven, and eight years old, which I think is Birthday Ranch’s target audience.
These ages are enjoying chapter books with more story and fewer, if any, pictures. At the same time, they hold on to well-done and cherished picture books. And sometimes they skew a little older.
There was no Internet when I was a middle grade reader, so I chose books that caught my eye as I wandered through the library or pored over the Troll Book Club order form. These were some of my favorites:
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
The Rainbow Goblins by Ui De Rico
Bunnicula and Howliday Inn by Deborah and James Howe
The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald
Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L' Engle
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Superfudge by Judy Blume
The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Serendipity, Saveopotomas, Morgan and Me, Trafalgar True, and Flutterby by Stephen Cosgrove, illustrated by Robin James (her illustrations were everything)
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Tennis Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
The Voyages of Dr. Doolittle by Hugh Lofting
Choose Your Own Adventure books created by Edward Packard
Miss Nelson Is Missing by Harry G. Allard Jr.
Mystery of the Green Cat by Phyllis A. Whitney
The Rescuers by Margery Sharp
Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus (I just realized that this is where my obsession with Sherlock Holmes mysteries must have originated!)
I’m happy to report that I spent several hours looking up these books and who wrote them. #procrastination