I’ve read many blog posts recently about the books that have most shaped your life and thought that the list does not necessarily apply to the list of books you’d most like to re-experience with your children. The books listed here weren’t the ones that I feel really shaped my life, per se, but they are certainly books I remember fondly and can’t wait to rediscover with my daughter when she’s old enough to read them.
1) The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis – I guess this was the “Harry Potter” of my generation, and yes, I realize this is now a movie and that is how most children will first encounter this work. But (as usual) I feel that the book is far better than the movie and that the whole Narnia series, in fact, is a treat worth experiencing through my daughter’s eyes. Who can forget the Pevensie children and their foray to save Aslan in frosty Narnia? An ultimate tale of good versus evil, the books have been criticized as thinly disguised retellings of Christ’s life, but that symbology never entered my head when I first encountered them. In them are valuable lessons of loyalty, bravery, and honor that resonate no matter what your religious beliefs.
2) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – This book began my love for time travel narratives, which I now write. Over 40 years old now, the story of Meg and her friends traveling through a time wrinkle to find her father is filled with magic, mystery, and adventure. Even now, I read the word “anorak” and many decades later, I’m still taken back to L’Engle’s wonderful tale.
3) Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder – I credit this book (well, the whole series) with sharpening my interest in history. The fact that these were the real-life tales of the Wilder family captivated me. Their lives on the frontier seemed so unlike anything I’d ever experienced growing up in suburbia. It was eye-opening to say the least. The stories teach about love, hard work, and overcoming great challenges.
Childhood is a period of discovery, when anything is possible and you aren’t constrained by the realities of life. I think these books certainly added magic to mine. I’m sure my daughter will choose her own literary path as she grows, but I hope she allows me to sit with her and enjoy these classics once again, through her eyes.
What books are you eager to revisit with your children when the time comes?