Tuesday Top 5: Favorite Childhood Books/Series

As I said in my last post, I read the annotated edition of The Phantom Tollbooth, and loved it. That got me thinking about books I loved as a child. So here’s a list of five of my favorite books/series in my formative (mostly pre-high-school) years.

  • The Chronicles of Narnia, by CS Lewis. I read this series about 4 times through during grade school, with the exception of “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” which only got 3 readings. (I didn’t appreciate it or “The Horse and His Boy” when I was growing up, but I learned to love them as an adult.) I loved the adventure, and I loved Aslan, whom I knew early on was a picture of Jesus. Only when I re-read the books as an adult did I realize just how theologically rich they are. While the eschatology of “The Last Battle” still makes me uncomfortable, I’m a huge fan of both Lewis and these books.
  • The Magic Bicycle (The “Spirit Flyer” series), by John Bibee. Another Christian allegory, this time centered around a boy and his friends who discover a, well, magic bicycle. A bicycle with spiritual warfare powers, actually. And as evil forces begin infiltrating the town (under the guise of a toy store, or a town-wide contest with a creepy black scoreboard), the boy and his friends use the bikes to discover what’s going on and try to stop it.  While the writing is a far cry from Narnia-standards, it was really entertaining for me when I was in fifth grade.
  • Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen. This is a survival story about a thirteen year old boy who is stranded in the woods with only a jacket and his hatchet, and he is forced to survive on his own. I think every boy goes through a phase when stories like this fascinate them. I was never the outdoorsy, adventurous type in real life, but I often found escapes in books and imagined how I would survive on my own. (I never read the other books in the series, but I loved this one.)
  • Morris the Moose Goes to School, by Bernard Wiseman. This is the first book I ever remembered loving, and I still have my copy after all this time. This is one of those hardcover books that’s less than 20 pages–perfect for little ones.  Here’s the story, if you’re curious: Morris the Moose goes to the store to buy candy, but he doesn’t know how to  read or count. So he goes to school, learns to count, plays with the children, and has a great time. I credit this book with my life-long love of reading, education, and candy.
  • (tie) The Cooper Kids stories / The Oath, by Frank Peretti. Frank Peretti fueled my teenaged love of both treasure-hunting adventure and supernatural-tinged horror, all the while keeping it within the faith. So before I was a fan of Indiana Jones and the writing of Stephen King, I was fully in the Peretti camp.  I read the Cooper Kids adventures in 5th grade, and The Oath in high school, and loved them both. And the cover art for The Oath? Sweet.

So there you go. Sure, I read lots of things in my early years, but these stick out to me as some of my favorites.

What books/book-series did you love as a child/teenager?  Comment below!


6 thoughts on “Tuesday Top 5: Favorite Childhood Books/Series

  1. Dude! I have Morris the Moose Goes to School! It was at my Mammaw’s house and I ALWAYS got her to read it to me when I was there. She gave it to me after Winston was born and we read it often. I did check out a different “Morris” book from the library and was unimpressed. I can’t even remember what the title was, but there were three stories within the story. It was meh.

    1. I inherited my older brother’s. I usually cheated. :p

      Let’s see: I didn’t read most of Narnia until I was in college. There’s a book I read a while back called The Narnia Code that will shift the way you read Narnia (and pretty much all of Lewis’s fiction, actually). As a kid I was an obsessive Little House on the Prairie and Ameican Girl books reader, which made me a research nerd from an early age. 😉 I also read a lot of books of trivia and how to make stuff, and joke books. And for some reason I started reading Maxucado books when I was about nine or ten (his books for grownups, not the picture books, which I didn’t realize were a thing until I was well into my twenties).

      I feel like this explains so much about my adult brain, lol.

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