Books I Loved As A Child ~ Top Ten Tuesday

The Reading Lesson George Hardy

The Reading Lesson (1889) George Hardy ~ source Wikimedia Commons

The topic Books I Loved As a Child is certainly one that captured my attention so how could I pass on this Top Ten Tuesday post from That Artsy Reader Girl?  I was such a voracious reader since learned to read and I have so many books that I just love.  So here goes ….


  1.  Flip The Story of an Otter by Joan Wanklyn

Flip the Story of An Otter






This book is so obscure that I couldn’t even find an upright picture of it.  But I read it and read it and read it again.  I have the old copy from the school library and my name fills up the card, but it is almost the ONLY name on the card.  What was surprising though was the complexity of the words and writing and I read it when I was 7 years old.  Reading levels obviously have plummeted since I went to elementary school.


2.  Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson (review)

Finn Family Moomintroll









What a world Jansson creates!  I loved every character in her novels and the adventures they had were truly unique.  I still re-read this book every now and then.


3.  The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster

The Phantom Tollbooth








Another great world that Milo finds himself in.  Not only full of fun and adventure but some very deep and valuable lessons to learn.  A great read.  I only wish that this wasn’t Juster’s only book.


4. Freddy the Detective by Walter Brooks

Freddy the Detective children's classic books









What could be better than a pig who solves mysteries?  And there is no better pig than Freddy!


5.  Harriet the Spy by Lois Fitzhugh

Harriet the Spy classic children's books









Oh boy, do I have to read this again.  I remember LOVING it.  And from that cover, which I have, it looks like I might have a first edition.  I’ll have to check!


6.  Homer Price by Robert McCloskey

Homer Price classic children's books









I’m loving this trip down memory lane.  It’s reminding me how wonderfully unique children’s books used to be.  No one tried to ride on the coattails of another author.  Homer is definitely unique and a fun look-in at a small mid-west town.


7.  A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter

A Girl of the Limberlost classic children's books









As a child, I absolutely fell in love with this book.  Why?  I have no idea.  I remember nothing about it except that I loved it.  Time for a re-read, don’t you think? 😉


8.  At The Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald

At the Back of the North Wind classic children's books









These last three book are going to be “cheats” in that I didn’t read them as a child, but I should have.  This one is a delightfully poignant read about a little boy with the heart of an angel.  It’s so wonderful that I can’t even do justice explaining it.  You’ll just have to read it!


9.  The Five Children and It by E. Nesbit

The Five Children and It classic children's books









I laughed myself silly reading this book.  Four siblings in the country during the War come across a sand “fairy” that gives them wishes.  The moral, of course, is be careful what you ask for, and the children have some hilarious adventures that are ripe with life lessons.  Too fun!


10.  Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

Swallows and Amazons classic children's books









This is one of my all-time favourites.  Four siblings find themselves in the Lake District during the War and the sailing adventures they have are riveting. Complete with new friends, pirates and a search for buried treasure, this book is un-put-downable.

Two Children Reading Théophile Emmanuel Duverger

Two Children Reading (1855) Théophile Emmanuel Duverger ~ source Wikimedia Commons

While I’d love to hear if you’ve read any of these books, I’m more interested to find out if there are any you’ve never heard of before? (other than Flip, of course. If anyone has heard of it, I’ll fall off my chair!)  And also what books did you love as a child?  Please let me know in the comments below!

More Top Ten Tuesday topics:

Top Ten Books of 2016

Top Ten Summer ~ Which Books?


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20 thoughts on “Books I Loved As A Child ~ Top Ten Tuesday

  1. Harriet the Spy was a favorite in the fourth grade. After lunch our teacher would read to us a chapter each day. The two books I remember was Harriet and The Cay. Later as an adult I read them to my son. Also the Phantom Tollbooth and Five Children and It because I missed them when I was young.

    And also Freddy! The author was from Rome, New York where I lived until I was eight.

    Another favorite of mine in the fifth grade was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

    • I tried to like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I really did. But I didn’t. I should give it another try now that I’m older but I think my response might be coloured by the movie.

  2. A very very intriguing list! I am realizing that what we read as a child in Asian Europe belt versus the Americas was different; I am not sure why and this may turn out to be sweeping assertion without much basis. I have not read most of the books and not even heard of some like Flip the story of an Otter. With the exception of Swallows and Amazon and Five Children, we seem to have a inherited a wholly different reading tradition. But that is what makes social media so great; I have more books in my TBR and to pass on to the next generation and they will not miss what we missed!

    • Hey sister! I just sent you an email! Now I’m so curious about your list. You MUST read Finn Family Moomintroll!! You’d LOVE it. And The Phantom Tollbooth too. The rest I recommend but those two must not be missed!

    • Good grief, I can’t believe Freddy is off many people’s radar. It’s great. There’s a whole series and this is the first one. I AM glad to know that so many people are familiar with Arthur Ransome. His books are so worth reading!

  3. We have Harriet in common. I have re-read it since and it still holds up. But kids are SO MEAN. I say this as an adult. As a kid, I understood and accepted this.

    I recall The Phantom Tollbooth from the school library but didn’t read it. I tried but I think it was a little too smart for me at that time.

    Some favorites for me were the Mrs. Pigglewiggle stories by Betty McDonald (more terrible children!). and Beverly Cleary books, the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, the Paddington books, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Four Story Mistake, and The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright, All Kind of Family by Sydney Taylor, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is a novel by E. L. Konigsburg…

    • A great list, Ruthiella. I know all of them but many I came to later, as an adult. But I made sure that my daughter read them all. All of a Kind Family is a special favourite.

      Oh, do read The Phantom Tollbooth. It’s so wonderful and unique! I recommend it!

      Yes, kids can be mean but I think the family structure was more present in earlier generations so it wasn’t so terrible, just life. I was picked on tons but it didn’t bother me much as I was aware that if a kid was behaving that way, you wouldn’t want to be friends with them anyway.

  4. A Girl of the Limberlost sounds vaguely familiar, but I don’t believe I’ve read it. And I haven’t heard of Freddy the Detective, but I’m sure I would’ve loved it! 🙂

    • Every year I keep telling myself that I must re-read A Girl of the Limberlost because of my fond yet completely hazy memories, lol! 😀 If you can get your hands on any of the Freddy books, read them; they’re delightful!

  5. Great list! I loved Swallows and Amazons and Harriet the Spy – I really need to read both of those again. I also enjoyed Five Children and It, although I preferred the sequel The Phoenix and the Carpet. I haven’t read any of your others and am not familiar with Freddy the Detective, Homer Price or Flip!

    • Oh yay, another lover of Arthur Ransome’s books! That’s wonderful to know that you liked The Phoenix and the Carpet better; I have something to look forward to. Freddy, Flip and Homer are all very American and I just realized that my list is a good mix of American and British (with a Finnish book thrown into the mix). And I didn’t even try, lol!

  6. i distinctly recall reading a book about an otter at a very early age but i can’t remember the title… my favorite Freddy was “Freddy Goes to Mars”, i think… i don’t know if i read them all, but i’m pretty sure i read all that were in the library… interesting list, tx…

    • Oh, if you ever remember the otter title, please return and let me know. I remember Ring of Bright Water …. so sad. And of course, the otter became my favourite animal. I’m so glad you’ve heard of Freddy. I still own a bunch of the titles … I must dig them out ….

  7. I really liked The Phantom Tollbooth, but I dont remember much about it. It reminded me of The Little Prince. I have heard of Nesbit and Jansson, at least I kind of know who they are, but I have not read either. Pretty sure I did not come across them as a child.

    • You like reading young adult books, so if you try any of these, I will guarantee that you’ll like them. The Phantom Tollbooth is definitely worth a couple (or more) re-reads! You’ve remined me that I have to read Le Petit Prince again. It’s been sooo long since I read it the first time and I know it’s wonderful. And it’s so short, perhaps I’ll attempt reading it in French. We’ll see ….

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