I have previously blogged about how much I enjoyed writing as a child and teen. But when I heard about the passing of beloved children’s author Beverly Cleary on March 25th, I was reminded that I also always loved reading.
The first book I remember loving as a small child was Petunia by Roger Duvoisin, a story about a goose that thinks she is very wise because she has a book. A couple years later I got into series books and devoured all the Olga Da Polga books by Michael Bond (who also wrote the well-loved Paddington Bear stories). The Olga Da Polga books recounted the adventures of a guinea pig. Then there was Beverly Cleary’s Ralph S. Mouse trilogy. Perhaps you can tell I loved stories with animals. I have always loved animals.
As I got a bit older, I continued to enjoy series books, including the Choose Your Own Adventure books. One book I reread many times was Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume. As a younger teen, I enjoyed the frivolous problems of the blonde twin teens in Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High series. But as an older teen, discovering my fascination with horror novels, I devoured Stephen King books. I also loved the fantasy world created by Piers Anthony in The Magic of Xanth series.
I am sure I’m forgetting many other books that I loved in my youth, but those are the ones that stick out in my memory. By the time I went to college, I didn’t have as much time for pleasure reading. There were stacks of required reading for my classes.
Looking back as an adult, it’s fun to remember the authors and stories that shaped my love for reading and writing. To my readers: what books and authors did you gravitate to while growing up? Do you have any memories of your earliest books or your favorite teen reads? I’d love to hear about it!