This post originally ran February 16, 2010
When pulling together my after-school book club lists, I made sure to include plenty of my childhood favorites. I thought it would be especially fun to share these classics with young readers starting to form their own opinions about literature. And the chance to discuss books that shaped my childhood with my own boy was too special to pass up.
This month, the third grade read HENRY AND RIBSY. Fourth and fifth-grade read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s ON THE BANKS OF PLUM CREEK. It has been such a delight to return to these books I read several times in childhood and again in college (while studying to become a teacher and beginning to toy with the idea of writing myself).
I loved reading again about the earnest hard work of Henry Huggins, his sweet relationship with his dog, and those silly Quimby neighbors. Beverly Cleary writes in a voice fully connected with childhood.
Those of you who’ve known me forever (or just since the beginning of this blog) know I have a soft spot for the Ingalls family. I love the loyalty, hard work, love, hope, and gratitude that run through all the Little House books. All those difficult things their family experiences, and they still make it work somehow. As one of my book clubbers said, “They’re so nice. No matter what happens, they’re hopeful.”
I’ve coined a new phrase for those old titles we keep returning to: Comfort Books. What are yours?