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What were your favorite books as a child/teen?

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#16 Alexandra


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Posted 03 June 2003 - 06:44 PM

Glebb, you perhaps missed the edifying experience of parochial school. My 8th grade teacher (Mother Angelita Marie, may she rest in peace) loved reading aloud the stories of the martyrs to us. Her favorite was Maria Goretti (sp?) a 13-year-old who was raped and knifed to death -- slowly, oh, ever so slowly -- by her cousin. The rape details were NOT read, but the knifing ones were, down to that her stomach was so punctured all the dear little saint-to-be asked for was water and they couldn't give it to her......

#17 glebb


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Posted 03 June 2003 - 06:49 PM

Oh my gosh! I guess Bernadette really did have nothing to complain about!

#18 liebs


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Posted 03 June 2003 - 07:27 PM

As a young girl, and even now, I loved the Betsy-Tacy books and of course, Ballet Shoes, etc.

#19 Ed Waffle

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 07:30 PM

I was lucky enough to have a grandmother who sent me books that I didn't know were classics.

Robert Lewis Stevenson--"Kidnapped", "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", "Treasure Island", "The Black Arrow."

Mark Twain--"Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn"

"Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin"

Many of the Hornblower series by C. S. Forrester.

When I was in grammar school, it seemed we played baseball, basketball, football or hockey, depending on the season, every day of the year--except for me, when a book from my grandmother would arrive.

And getting a library card at the local branch of the Chicago Public Library was like getting a passport to the world.

#20 Ed Waffle

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 07:40 PM

Originally posted by Alexandra
Her favorite was Maria Goretti (sp?) a 13-year-old who was raped and knifed to death -- slowly, oh, ever so slowly -- by her cousin

When we were read this story at Queen of Peace Parish School a long time ago she was still "Blessed" Maria Goretti--Blessed (two syllables) was a stop on the way to sainthood. Sister Anita of the Sisters of Charity, who taught a combined fourth and fifth grade and ruled it with an iron hand, spoke about Maria Goretti "defending her purity".

About which, of course, we had no clue.

#21 Doris R

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Posted 04 June 2003 - 05:30 PM

Absolute favorite as a child? Little Women, and I gave both my girls a copy when they were around ten years old.

#22 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 04 June 2003 - 05:41 PM

Favorite children's books? These are all going to mark me as being of a certain age.

Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak

A Wrinkle in Time - Madeline L'Engle - part of an entire, much loved series

The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster

#23 Tancos



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Posted 04 June 2003 - 06:52 PM

Roughly in chronological order:
Dr. Suess
The Doctor Doolittle books
The Black Stallion books
Mark Twain
H.G. Wells
Jack London
Sherlock Holmes
1984, Brave New World and Animal Farm
Ray Bradbury
James Thurber
The Annotated Alice
The Lord of the Rings
Bored of the Rings
The Man Who Was Thursday

.... and many others. Generally, if I was awake and not in class, I had a book open.

#24 BW


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Posted 04 June 2003 - 06:56 PM

Leigh, fear not for I am much older than you and I LOVED the Phantom Tollbooth and A Wrinkle in Time!

I was also a Black Stallion seriesaholic, too. :)

All these great remembrances make me want to reread a bunch of them. :)

Many thanks for prodding the memory banks!

#25 vagansmom


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Posted 04 June 2003 - 08:18 PM

Liebs, the Betsy-Tacy books were my all time favorites. Have you seen the "Betsy-Tacy Companion", published a few years ago? It has photos of all the people Lovelace's books were based on. They were largely autobiographical, right down to the letters and stories that the main character, Betsy, wrote.

I loved those books so much. I read them all over and over again and my sister (named Betsy) gave me the complete hardcover set as a wedding present in 1976. I loved it that so many of the characters (and their real-life counterparts) were involved in the arts: Betsy a writer, Julia the opera singer, Tib a dancer, Tacy a singer, Tony an actor/singer, etc. Those books were a great education.

Vrsfanatic, what did you think of the Anais Nin scandal that erupted after her death? As a teenager, I idolized her. I got the chance to meet her when I was 17 and waiting outside the 92nd. St. Y to hear her speak. The line was very long and we were told that we'd never make the cut-off to get inside. Soon afterward she walked up to the building and I spoke to her as she went inside. I told her how much I'd wanted to hear her speak. She thanked me, went into the building and within moments someone came out and escorted my friend and I to front seats. Ms. Nin sat with us and talked afterwards for nearly an hour.

So despite all the negative things that've come out about her in recent years, my memories are of a very kind and thoughtful woman (much like her diaries, despite how they've been disparaged).

Alexandra, being the very good Catholic girl in a parochial school, I read every martyr story I could get my hands on. I even - this is hard to confess - fashioned myself a "hair shirt" and went to sleep wearing it once in awhile during that stage. It was made of a very itchy wool. I wanted to be a martyr quite badly for a year or two. My Confirmation name is a martyr's name; hers was another particularly gruesome story.

I guess one could say the slasher films so popular these days could've been modeled after some of those martyr stories that we young innocents read with the blessings of our clergy.

#26 garnet


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Posted 05 June 2003 - 02:30 AM

What a wonderful thread (and new forum). Thank you so much for this, Alexandra.

So many memories...

I, too, loved Madeline L'Engle's books, and C.S. Lewis, E.B. White, L.M. Montgomery, Judy Blume, Walter Farley, L. Frank Baum... so great to be reminded of all of these.

My favorite book, however was "The Violin-Maker's Gift" by Donn Kushner and my favorite poem was Edward Lear's "The Jumblies".

#27 Miss



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Posted 05 June 2003 - 03:09 AM

I loved all the "Ramona the Pest" books when I was very young. Walter Farley and the happy Hollisters series. In my teen years, I moved on to Science Fiction in my teen years and love Madeline L'Engle, Robert Heinlein, Ursula K LeGuin, Phillip Klass and Isaac Asimov.


#28 vrsfanatic


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Posted 05 June 2003 - 03:57 AM

Oh vaganova mom...maybe the scandal broke when I was out of the country? :eek: Or I just plain, ol' missed that one. I know there was a lot of controversy over her writings for various reasons, but always found them peacefull, kind and thought provoking.

If what Proust says is true, that happiness is the absence of fever, then I will never know happiness.
For I am possessed by a fever for knowledge, experience, and creation. -Anais Nin

How could anyone who spoke such beautiful words, not be real! Maybe I just don't want to know.:)

#29 Calliope


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Posted 05 June 2003 - 03:58 AM

The library... that's seems so long ago. I don't think I've set foot in one in ages, it's terrible.
I was tsk-ing myself. I forgot to mention my favorite books growing up, the Narnia Chronicles. Silly me as a kid reading them, just thought they were great fantasy books, then we learned the word allegory :)

#30 Kate B

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Posted 05 June 2003 - 04:25 AM

I had Ballet Shoes and Little Women on a rotational system for several years. I read one every 3 months, read other books (Judy Blume, classics etc) then read the other. I loved them so much I had to get new copies now and then. I still read them when I need cheering up/comforting!

I was also a big fan of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy from an early age, and read all of those books several times.

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