When I see a book I loved as a child, I smile. If possible, I pick it up and glance through it and continue to smile.
Sometimes, it’s the character like in Heidi by Johanna Spyri who took me into the mountains. I was scared when she was scared and ecstatic when she returned to the mountain. Heidi has been reproduced for years and in many formats. She is still a friend of mine.
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell has also been reproduced in many different ways. We even have a graphic novel in the library now. I reread that story many times as a child. I can still picture the shelf it sat on in my elementary school library. The librarian told me I had to give others a chance to read it also. I had to find other favorites!
But what about the ones I can’t find? The ones that publishers do not think are worth reproducing or have deemed them no longer good choices. Maybe you were able to keep a favorite from your childhood and have protected it from use and the passing of time. I have no books from my childhood. Far too many moves and I have to admit to wearing some out to the point of no return.
My little brother read Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls six times. He didn’t like to read but he loved that book. Our library has the movie and the CD audiobook.
Whether we had only a single favorite book or many, we need to remember when it was that it became a favorite and why. I read Heidi when I was about 8-years-old. Do I still like it? Yes, but it doesn’t give the same impact as it did in a second grader’s mind.
Now, I enjoy books about adventurous women, nature and stories about family relations like The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister and Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger. Did that interest start when I read Heidi? Probably.
My interest in reading about animals and their connection to people definitely started with Black Beauty. I loved horses as a kid; at least in books. I have little to no skill and less experience with horses but I still believe they’re beautiful animals. I have enjoyed a couple of our new children’s books with animals that are definitely being added to my Favorites List.
This Way, Charlie by Caron Levis has a wonderful horse friend. I immediately read it a second time. Crossings by Katy Duffield shows people caring for animals in such a way that I felt hope and have recommended it many times.
An adult title, The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia, is a story that held my heart’s attention. It takes place during the 1918 Flu when a little boy is protected by bees.
Yes, I remember favorites from when I was young and I can find new favorites now. The best way to do that is to read a variety. Rereading can be fun, but even better is finding a new story between a book’s covers!
And please let me know when you find one. I’ll want to add it to my list of Must-Reads.