The Broke and the Bookish
1. Julius, Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes : This was just absolutely hilarious to me first-grader self. I think I really identified with it because when my little brother was born, I sort of look down on him with animosity at first because I was jealous.
2. The Magic Tree House #20: Dingos at Dinnertime by Mary Pope Osborne : This book was really the stepping stone between pictures books and chapter books for me. I remember finding it in a stack of books my older cousin gave me, back when I still had never read "a real book without pictures" before. I got hooked and went through the rest of the series at the time.
3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling : Must I even explain how important this book has been in my life? This is where it all started, where I realized that I loved reading. I grew up with Harry in a sense, since I discovered his world when I was only six.
4. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner : These had such a pivotal role in whetting my appetite for mystery.
5. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis : I happened on Narnia by chance. I didn't find Narnia through a wardrobe, but I did find it in a stack of my teacher's books when I needed to find a book for independent reading. Along with Harry Potter, the world of Narnia has since then been one of my favorite places to return to.
6. Nancy Drew: Nancy's Mysterious Letter by Carolyn Keene : I LOVED Nancy and I still do. I went through all of them in a matter of months (quite a feat for my young age)
7. A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Ersatz Elevator : ASoUE, while grim for children's books, always fascinated me because of its three protagonists. The Ersatz Elevator is probably my favorite because I felt like it was the most inventive and engaging.
8. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine : I've read this 5x, I swear. My favorite adaptation of Cinderella.
9. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie : Magic and never growing up! I think I've always appreciated fairy tales with a darker edge. I'm a fan of the real Peter Pan over Disney's version of him.
10. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale : I think I went through a phase where I just really loved stories about magic and princesses mixed with a bit of darkness. The Goose Girl can also easily be appreciated by any teenager, I think.