Today, our youngest was buying a new Peg Kehret book (Terror at the Zoo) and it hit me! These are the books that she will more than likely have on her shelf when her children begin reading books.
I cherish those childhood books that have made it with me all the way through 40 years of living. They work as a time machine that nearly effortlessly transports me to my childhood.
Because it has me thinking about it, I decided to sit in our book room this evening and find at least a few of the books that I have brought along into middle age. Here’s the shortlist:
- The Wizard of Oz
- Bigfoot Pass
- The Time Machine
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- Bridge to Terabithia
- The Night the Monster Came
- The Biggest Bear
- The Boy Who Saw Bigfoot
- The Large and Growly Bear
- Proverbs for Graduates
- The Lord Is…
- Ship of State on a Sea of Oil
- The Jim Thorpe Story
- Out of the Silent Planet
- The Devil and Daniel Webster
- Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door
- “Stand Back,” Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!”
- Where the Wild Things Are
And that’s not all! There are at least forty titles in the Little Golden Book series and five in the Choose Your Own Adventure series.
I look at all these books and wonder which my grandchildren will implore me to give them. Which will they borrow or sneak away in their backpacks? Which will they carry into their adulthood?
Either way, it’s a list I can’t wait to help them create…
Title: Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio
Author: Peg Kehret
Year It Was Published: 1996
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Summary…from the back of the book, “Acclaimed author Peg Kehret has written the true story of the year when she was stricken with polio. At first paralyzed and terrified, she fought her way to recovery, aided by doctors and therapists, a supportive family, and loving roommates fighting their own battles with the disease, and plenty of grit and luck. With the humor and suspense that are her trademarks, Peg Kehret vividly recreates a year of heartbreak and triumph.”
My View: My big sister, Emily, bought this book when she was my age because she loved reading the mysteries and adventures that Peg Kehret was writing for kids our age. After she read Peg’s biography, Small Steps, the author became even more important and she began telling our family more and more about this wonderful lady. I am now also a big fan of the Peg Kehret series of books, especially books like Cages and Don’t Tell Anyone. When my dad told me that there was a biography about the author (and we even had it!), I was excited. I learned a lot about things I knew nothing about before, especially about the time in our country when polio was such a big topic. My favorite story in the book is about how much Peg loved her doctor during the time she was in the hospital. It is a very funny story! All I have to say now is that readers will be hooked from page one.
Author: Peg Kehret
Year It Was Made: 2001
Publisher: Puffin Books
Time It Took Me To Read It: 3 weeks
Back Of Book: Kit never means to steal that bracelet. She’s just mad after losing the lead in the school play and fighting with her unbearable stepfather. But when she is caught and sentenced to twenty hours of volunteer work at the humane society, she’s sure she’s blown her chance at a scholarship. Kit doesn’t mind volunteering at the humane society; she knows how it feels to be stuck in a cage like those animals. And with the help of one special friend, Kit begins to learn that the key to her own cage is right in front of her.
My Review: This is such an amazing book! On the first sentence of the first page, it’s like it pulls you right into the book! This story just gets happy, then sad. Then, it gets happy, and then sad again. It finally stays on one thing at the end of the book. HAPPY!!!
Last night I was searching for a particular book that I wanted to share with my college students in class today. I had been through every room and looked among every bookshelf and was now upstairs in the secret book room, searching through the piles of our children’s books that we have accumulated over the past 20 years together. Of course, I got lost in the experience…to be around that many good books and illustrations is like getting caught in a really wonderful rainstorm. The books were falling everywhere and I was happily caught in their flood.
And then, our youngest daughter (age 9) appeared in the little doorway and said, “Dad, listen to this!” She was holding a newly discovered book from her school library. A good friend had read this particular book only a few weeks before and they were talking about it that day, so she checked it out and brought it home to read. She was about 20 pages in when she came across a couple of pages that she wanted to read to me.
It was a wonderful passage that was very poetic and very solemn, and she read it as though she were auditioning for a Shakespeare play. Her eyes were alive with these words. Her voice was alive with these words. Her physical appearance was alive with these words. Something about them reverberated somewhere within her young heart.
I’m glad she read to me. What I heard, I needed to hear. But what I saw, I will never forget.
I am always grateful when our 9-year old reads a book that excites her so much she has to write about it here on the website. This book came from her school library. Here’s the story:
TITLE: DON’T TELL ANYONE (2000, Puffin Books)
AUTHOR: PEG KEHRET
TIME IT TOOK ME TO READ: 2 WEEKS
BEST QUOTE FROM THE BOOK: “I WAS SO WORRIED THAT I COULDN’T EVEN SING,” SAID MEGAN’S LITTLE SISTER.
BACK OF BOOK: THE FERAL CATS LIVE IN THE OPEN FIELD NEAR MEGAN’S HOUSE. IT’S ABOUT TO BE BULLDOZED FOR AN APARTMENT BUILDING. ONLY MEGAN CAN HELP THEM. AN ODD MAN OFFERS TO HELP SAVE THE CATS, BUT HE ACTS SO STRANGELY, MEGAN KNOWS THERE IS SOMETHING NOT QUITE RIGHT ABOUT HIM. AFTER WITNESSING A HIT-AND-RUN CAR ACCIDENT, MEGAN SUDDENLY BEGINS RECEIVING DISTURBING NOTES PROMISING A LIFE OF DANGER IF SHE DOESN’T KEEP HER MOUTH SHUT. NOT KNOWING WHO TO TRUST, MEGAN WILL HAVE TO RELY ON HER WITS IN ORDER TO SAVE THE CATS- AND HERSELF- FROM THE TREACHEROUS ADVENTURES THAT LIE AHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!
MY REVIEW: I LOVE MYSTERIES, SO THIS WAS MY KIND OF BOOK. PEG KEHRET IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE AUTHORS. SHE IS SO CREATIVE AND DETAILED. THERE IS NO DOUBT ABOUT IT THAT YOU WILL FALL IN LOVE WITH THIS AMAZING AND THRILLING BOOK!!!