I was inspired to write this post after reading one of my favorite Buzzfeed listicles of late: What 17 Adults Learned from Rereading Their Favorite Childhood Books.
I'm constantly reading picture books, graphic novels, and middle-grade chapter books at work. Our oldest grade is fourth, so I miss out on all of the YA stuff and, honestly, I'm totally okay with that.
Since starting work as an elementary librarian, I've been very focused on catching up--reading new stuff and all the stuff I've missed in the past tweny years (HA!). Easier said than done for sure.
I recently finished an absolute stunner. A.F. Harrold's The Imaginary is easily the best middle-grade chapter book I've read in years. So creepy and so DEEP. If you're not a kid, don't have kids, and don't work with kids, you should still read it. It's seriously insane.
However, this Buzzfeed list got me thinking--how about I share what I loved as a kid? I was homeschooled remember? Reading was big and Tuesdays were sublime. We went into Louisville with my Mom and Grandmother and spent major time and money at Hawley-Cooke Booksellers. Kentuckiana natives: remember Hawley-Cooke?!
I spent many hours eating Rally's (THOSE FRIES THOUGH) in the backseat of a red Volvo with my head down in these books. I've left off the classics like Charlotte's Web and Little House for a reason. Those are a given. These are ones I think need a little love. Today, I've got two very special ones for you.
All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
This series is so simple, yet so perfect. It's like Laura Ingalls Wilder transplanted in early 1900s Jewish New York City. The descriptions of the meals at the high holy days are worth it alone.
There are many passages depicting the various shops in the village, the food, the people:
"And wherever there was a bit of space too small for a regular stand, one could be sure to find the old pretzel woman. Her wrinkled face was almost hidden inside of the woolen kerchief bound round her head. Her old hands trembled as they wrapped up the thick, chewy pretzels."
This book is just full of lovely characters doing great things.
Remember Me to Harold Square by Paula Danziger
This book. Oh, where do I start?
I loved the audiobook of this one. I'm sad to say that it's only available via audio cassette on Amazon and I can't seem to find who read it?! HELP!?
Again, this book is another love letter to NYC. Can you tell I was more than a little obsessed with the Big Apple as a kid?
We vacationed there and I always said that I would live there one day. Before Andrew and I reunited the last month of college and decided to head to Norway, my plan was to head to NYC straight out of UNCA. I will always kind of wish I had lived there, but I'll take Norway, Scotland, and Austin. They were worth missing Manhattan forI suppose.