Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book blog meme now hosted by Jana over at The Artsy Reader Girl!
This time of year always makes me nostalgic, so I guess what better time than now to share some books that I read while in school and just take a deep dive into nostalgia? I'm focusing on books that I read before high school, so these will all be younger age range-based books. There are also only seven here, and although I'm sure there were more, I cannot seem to remember them off the top of my head and my mom also does not remember, haha. (I think a few of these have some somewhat problematic elements to them, so I'm not necessarily recommending all of these, just to be clear.)
Second Grade: Chocolate Fever by Robert Kimmel Smith
This book feels like such an acid trip now that I think about it. I mean, the entire premise is that this kid, Henry, basically eats nothing but chocolate-based foods: chocolate milk, chocolate cereal, chocolates for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, etc. He's been to doctors and dentists and they see no health problems, so he keeps doing it... until one day he develops some sort of spots? I'm a little fuzzy on the rest of the plot, but it was weird, and I really question the choice to have us read this. As a big chocolate eater, I can't say I don't see where Henry's coming from–it's pretty great.
Third Grade: Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
My teacher read this one to us during class and all I know is I absolutely loved this book. I remember telling my mom about it and us buying a copy and then being excited (and subsequently disappointed?) by the movie. I think I just really love dogs, so maybe that's why I loved it so much. And, I mean, Winn-Dixie really is a cute dog.
Fifth Grade: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
I have the vaguest ideas of what happened in this book. I know it has something to do with a girl living on her own on an island, and I also recall her battling some wolves (or wild dogs?) at some point? That's pretty much the gist of what I remember, and I haven't read much about it since then.
Sixth Grade: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
I know Hatchet is beloved, but at the time I can't tell you how much I hated it. I hated Paulsen's prose style and it was just such an annoying book to me and my friends for some reason. I hear a lot of love for Hatchet nowadays and I am inclined to believe that I didn't give it a fair chance, which also makes me want to re-read it, maybe?
Sixth Grade: The Cay by Theodore Taylor
I think this was another survival story (anyone else sensing a theme with some of these books??). I think this one is also probably chock full of racist stereotypes because that apparently seems to be the theme with books they made us read growing up??
Seventh Grade: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
I think this one was actually good, but also sad. I remember my classmates being very invested in this book when we would read it aloud in class, but that's sort of the extent of this one! I wouldn't mind checking this one out again to see what it was about. And apparently it's part of a children's series? I had no idea!
Eighth Grade: The Giver by Lois Lowry
I recall thinking that this was one of the most interesting books they had us read in school, but I don't know if I actively liked it or not at the time? I think most of my classmates were just very confused by it, if I'm remembering correctly. I wouldn't mind re-reading it just to see what it was like, but I'm also not sure if I'm that invested in finding out, so perhaps not...
Did you read any of these books as a kid, whether for school or not? What are some books you remember reading from pre-high school years?
I've read all of these titles with the exception of Chocolate Fever. All interesting, engaging, and eminently readable. Good memories!ReplyDelete
My post: https://pagesandpaws.com/2021/11/30/ttt-bookish-memories-and-coming-home/
Very good memories, I agree!Delete
I don't think I've read any of these, but I think I would have loved Island of the Blue Dolphins as a kid :)ReplyDelete
It seems to be a very beloved book! :)Delete
I didn’t read any of these in school, but I did read the Giver a few years ago. So sad!ReplyDelete
My post is here— https://fiftytwo.blog/2021/11/30/ttt-bookish-confessions/
It definitely had an incredibly melancholy air to it, I'm that we were introduced to books like that at a younger age in school as well.Delete
Island of the Blue Dolphins is one of those books I always wanted to read- the title is so evocative- but I never got to it!ReplyDelete
It really is a great title!Delete
I honestly do not remember having to read books in school, but I must have? I read Winn Dixie as an adult and loved it😁ReplyDelete
It's weird how memories work because I know I had to have read more, I just can't remember them, haha. Winn Dixie is such a cute story!Delete
My oldest daughter had a teacher share Hatchet with her and her class in 5th grade. She loved it, I think it may have helped her develop her love of survival training.ReplyDelete
Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!
That is so awesome! I absolutely love hearing about books inspiring people. :) Everyone's love of it makes me want to re-read it!Delete
Surprisingly I don't recognize the first book on your list, and I was too old for the 2nd, but all the others are perennial favorites for the classroom, so I'm gonna get long.ReplyDelete
Island of the Blue Dolphins and The Hatchet were my EVERYTHING -- because hey, the idea of having to survive in the wild is a pretty exciting concept for kids, especially sheltered suburban ones who've never been particularly independent. Opinions definitely seem split on the latter -- kids tend to either love or hate it. On the other hand, I thought The Giver was boring and even as an adult, I don't really get the hype.
"Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" is one of my favorite book titles ever, yet I've never read it. My brother had to for school, but I only saw it at the library, and when I first saw it on the spine I thought it was going to be about Native Americans. Apparently I never fully recovered from that disappointment...but I still cherish the line. So evocative, it gives me chills just repeating it.
A few more I remember from grades 4 to 8: The Comeback Dog by Jane Resh Thomas, an age-appropriate version of The Diary of Anne Frank, The Sign of the Beaver, Julie of the Wolves (more survival!), Incident at Hawk's Hill, Go Ask Alice (which I HOPE they've since disbanded with), Briar Rose by Jane Yolen, and Winter of Fire by Sherryl Jordan
Island of the Blue Dolphins was one of my favorites!! <3ReplyDelete