As a young child, my summer days were carefree. After waking up and having my bowl of Fruity Pebbles, I could play in the sandbox, draw and craft, play Red Light Green Light or Mother May I with the neighbor boys, bother my older siblings, or play at the park with a friend. Toys were limited, but I fondly recall Colorforms, ViewMaster and Lite Bright.
I have to say, though, that my favorite summer activity was getting lost in a good book – or two – or more. I would go to my neighborhood public library and pick up as much as my arms could carry. Once home, I’d read the back cover of the books and decide which adventure I wanted to go on first. Sitting safely in the living room in front of the big box fan, I’d become the main character, running away from the “bad guys” or solving the mystery.
Now that my responsibilities are much more numerous, I can no longer call my summer days carefree. What I can do, though, is reread some of my favorite books from childhood. I find myself doing that often during the summer. I just want something easy and enjoyable for a little taste of times gone by.
Here are some of my favorite childhood books, still on the library shelves, that I’ve reread this summer.
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken – Two cousins find themselves in the care of an evil headmistress and work together to escape. I was sure I would be as brave as they.
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett– How could I not feel for wealthy but unspoiled Sara Crew, suddenly finding herself penniless at the mercy of – you guessed it, an evil headmistress.
The Borrowers by Mary Norton– I so wanted to be one of those tiny little Borrowers, hiding in the “human beans” house, crafting ingenious ways to use “borrowed” items.
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis – A piece of furniture that transports a set of siblings to a magical world, and back again, to the amazing home of their uncle. I could picture myself having tea with Mr. Tumnus.
Next time you feel a need to return to an easier time, see if you can find your childhood favorites on the library shelves and dig in.