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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Vintage Children's Books

I was on Amazon recently, and I searched for three books that were my favorites when I was about nine to 11 years old.  I was a pretty lonely kid - I was considered a nerd and was picked on; I had few friends, so I discovered reading, and pretty soon, books became both my favorite form of escapism and my best friends, all wrapped into one!

This was my absolute favorite when I was in fourth grade - it's a story about a young girl named Maggie, who one day comes to school to find out she's no longer part of the "in" crowd...she tries to befriend the new girl in school - a strange girl named Tibbie, who is very smart, but very defensive and cold towards everyone, because she's always been picked on and made fun of, too.  Eventually, after a playground prank that leaves Tibbie with a concussion, Maggie wins over Tibbie's defensiveness and they become best friends!  Since there's been so much talk lately about school bullying, this book is definitely a must-read for any child whose reading level is about third to fifth grade, in my opinion.

On summer, when I was 11 years old, I stayed with my grandparents, who lived outside of Las Vegas.  It was too hot to go out and play during the daytime, so one day I started going through my grandmother's book case, and I stumbled upon this old mystery novel.  I noticed that it was published in 1950, so I assumed it was my mom's book (it was!).  It was a bit above my grade level at the time, but I absolutely loved it!  I couldn't remember the exact title of the book, so I Googled a phrase that I remembered, "Margorie and the green ghost."  I hit "images" and the cover of the book popped right up!  I then went to Amazon and bought it immediately - I'm on Spring Break from school right now, so I intend to re-read it this week!  Penny Allen is a series of mystery books, and they're well-worth checking out, even though they're a bit dated.

"A Room for Cathy" was another fourth-grade favorite of mine.  I could really relate to Cathy Leonard, because she's about to get a big room of her very own, and at the time, my dad was finishing a room down in our basement, which was to become my own private space - a place where I had room for all of my books, my Breyer model horses, posters, clothes, etc.  Cathy just finishes getting her room exactly the way she wants it, when all of a sudden, the Leonards' decide to take in a family of boarders, and Cathy learns she has to share her new room with their daughter, Naomi.  Cathy learns what it means to share, and it's a great story about how to let go of selfishness - I highly recommend it!

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