When I completed graduate school, I was allowed to, along with the other students working in the university library system, to have my name placed inside a book. I didn’t even have to think—I chose “The Boxcar Children” out of the Education Library, because it was one of my favorites when I was a kid and remains so to this very day. My choice was not high-minded or pretentious or even academic; it was simply a work that was meaningful to my life, particularly my passion for reading. Oddly enough I was not a shy child, but I was painfully self-conscious. Over the years as I found out that being outgoing was a mistake more often than not, I retreated back into my shell and allowed books to be my friends. I read all of the original Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner, as well as the ghostwritten later books, which were good but kind of amusing when you consider the arrested development of the characters. They definitely lived a lot of life over the course of their never-aging selves.
Another of my favorites was a picture book, “Winston’s Red Boots”. I’m not really sure why aside from the art and the fact that I didn’t have a lot of books or toys at that point, and thus made do with what I had. I enjoyed it so much that I took it to school and recreated the cover for an assignment about my favorite book. I still have the work, hardcover book on my shelf—the price tag tells me it was purchased at LA Joe for .99. Hey, maybe that’s where my love for boots and nautical stuff originated. Then again, Winston’s boots contained a treasure map and I always loved the ideas of maps and treasure and adventure.
Two more books I loved when I was older were “Gone-Away Lake” and “Return to Gone-Away” by Elizabeth Enright. Again, I loved adventures and mysteries and these stories tied in a historical perspective and were so vivid that I could see everything in my mind as it happened, even without the aid of the books’ illustrations.
What were some of your favorite children's books?