Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish I’d Read As A Child

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. This week’s prompt is Books I wish I’d read as a child.

Hello Readers! It’s been another week. How are you? Hopefully you’re well and have been able to enjoy some nice weather wherever you are. The weather has been pretty close to perfect here, but that’s also leading to some serious cases of spring fever. Today we’re looking at books I wish I’d read as a child!

(Link to Goodreads synopsis through book title.)


Harry Potter

Synopsis: Orphan Harry learns he is a wizard on his 11th birthday when Hagrid escorts him to magic-teaching Hogwarts School. As a baby, his mother’s love protected him and vanquished the villain Voldemort, leaving the child famous as “The Boy who Lived”. With his friends Hermione and Ron, Harry has to defeat the returned “He Who Must Not Be Named”.

Of course Harry Potter is the number one book and series I wish I’d read as a child. It’s impossible because it was published after I was an adult, but I can still wish, right? 😉


The Boxcar Children

Synopsis: The Aldens begin their adventure by making a home in a boxcar. Their goal is to stay together, and in the process they find a grandfather.

I read The Boxcar Children to my kids, but I know it’s one I would have loved as a child. What child doesn’t fantasize about living outside without adult supervision?


The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Synopsis: Narnia…the land beyond the wardrobe door, a secret place frozen in eternal winter, a magical country waiting to be set free.

Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor’s mysterious old house. At first her brothers and sister don’t believe her when she tells of her visit to the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund, then Peter and Susan step through the wardrobe themselves. In Narnia they find a country buried under the evil enchantment of the White Witch. When they meet the Lion Aslan, they realize they’ve been called to a great adventure and bravely join the battle to free Narnia from the Witch’s sinister spell.

I didn’t read The Chronicles of Narnia until I took a C.S. Lewis class in college, but I fell in love with the books, and I know I would have loved them as a child, too.


Over Sea, Under Stone

Synopsis: On holiday in Cornwall, the three Drew children discover an ancient map in the attic of the house that they are staying in. They know immediately that it is special. It is even more than that — the key to finding a grail, a source of power to fight the forces of evil known as the Dark. And in searching for it themselves, the Drews put their very lives in peril. This is the first volume of Susan Cooper’s brilliant and absorbing fantasy sequence known as The Dark Is Rising.

Over Sea, Under Stone is another one I read with my kids, but I would have loved all the adventures the Drew children get into! They discover an ancient map in the attic! That would have been right up my Goonies-loving alley. 😉


Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Synopsis: There is a story here for everyone—skeletons with torn and tangled flesh who roam the earth; a ghost who takes revenge on her murderer; and a haunted house where every night a bloody head falls down the chimney.

Stephen Gammell’s splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories—and even scary songs—all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark.

I would have LOVED Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark when I was a kid. I’m not convinced I didn’t read it as a child, but I feel like it’s something I would remember?? I was all about being scared as a kid. I used to make haunted houses in my bedroom and bathroom for my friends to walk through. 😉


The Hobbit

Synopsis: The Hobbit is a tale of high adventure, undertaken by a company of dwarves in search of dragon-guarded gold. A reluctant partner in this perilous quest is Bilbo Baggins, a comfort-loving unambitious hobbit, who surprises even himself by his resourcefulness and skill as a burglar

Encounters with trolls, goblins, dwarves, elves and giant spiders, conversations with the dragon, Smaug, and a rather unwilling presence at the Battle of Five Armies are just some of the adventures that befall Bilbo.

Bilbo Baggins has taken his place among the ranks of the immortals of children’s fiction. Written by Professor Tolkien for his own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when published.

I didn’t read The Hobbit until adulthood, but I loved it. More than The Lord of the Rings. Don’t hate me.


From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Synopsis: When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere — to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing that her younger brother Jamie has money and thus can help her with a serious cash-flow problem, she invites him along. 

Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at auction for a bargain price of $225. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master, Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn’t it? Claudia is determined to find out. Her quest leads her to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue, and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.

The idea of living in a museum?? Childhood gold!



Synopsis: Marian called it Roxaboxen. (She always knew the name of everything.) There across the road, it looked like any rocky hill – nothing but sand and rocks, some old wooden boxes, cactus and greasewood and thorny ocotillo – but it was a special place: a sparkling world of jeweled homes, streets edged with the whitest stones, and two ice cream shops. Come with us there, where all you need to gallop fast and free is a long stick and a soaring imagination.
In glowing desert hues, artist Barbara Cooney has caught the magic of Alice McLerran’s treasured land of Roxaboxen – a place that really was, and, once you’ve been there, always is.”This treasure of a story is about…a treasured place; a child’s imaginary town named Roxaboxen….With a true child’s voice, McLerran uses just the right phrase or word to make the town and its residents spring clearly off the page. Cooney’s brightly colored illustrations…etch the town and its inhabitants indelibly on the page….This book celebrates how children and their imaginations make fanciful things become magically real and make them last forever. Don’t miss it.” – School Library Journal.

This was probably my favorite–or at least top five–book I read to my kids. As a child who lived outdoors and created “houses” with my friends, I would have cherished this book when I was younger.


Anne of Green Gables

Synopsis: As soon as Anne Shirley arrives at the snug white farmhouse called Green Gables, she is sure she wants to stay forever . . . but will the Cuthberts send her back to to the orphanage? Anne knows she’s not what they expected—a skinny girl with fiery red hair and a temper to match. If only she can convince them to let her stay, she’ll try very hard not to keep rushing headlong into scrapes and blurting out the first thing that comes to her mind. Anne is not like anyone else, the Cuthberts agree; she is special—a girl with an enormous imagination. This orphan girl dreams of the day when she can call herself Anne of Green Gables. 

So, I did watch the Anne of Green Gables made for TV series as a child, but I don’t remember reading it when I was young. Once again, my memory isn’t the greatest–and I read a lot of books. I can’t imagine why I wouldn’t, though. Anne is the best friend every girl dreams of having.


Little Women

Synopsis: As a New England mother struggles to support her family in the wake of her husband’s service in the Civil War, her four daughters struggle, too – caught between childhood dreams and the realities of burgeoning adulthood. For Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March, raised in integrity and virtue, negotiating the right path in life means making choices that will either narrow or expand their destinies.

I did read Little Women as a teenager or very young adult, so that was a very impressionable time, but I always wonder how I would have felt about it had I read it as an even younger child.

Did you read any of these as a child? Or were you late to them, as well? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Wandering!

41 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish I’d Read As A Child”

    1. Oh that’s interesting! I usually hear it’s the other way around. Most children–my own included–are bored by the slower pace, but appreciate it more when they’re older.

    1. The same thing happened to my daughter. She did try again recently and enjoyed it! I bet I would have felt the same way. Maybe being a teen/young adult is the perfect age. 🙂

  1. Mixed Up Files made my list this week too! All the other books formed very happy childhood memories for me — especially Little Women; it was nice to be able to compare my childhood impressions to my adult ones on the reread — save Tolkien and C.S. Lewis*. I read the first Narnia book in college and liked it, but then stopped. I have a vague memory that I deliberately chose not to read those books as a kid, though, so between those two facts I wonder whether I would have been sucked into it more as a kid or if I would felt the same.

    *and Roxaboxen, which interestingly, I have never heard of even though it’s the perfect age for me to have encountered growing up

    1. That’s awesome that you got to read so many of these as a child! I also can’t help but wonder if I’d have not enjoyed the Narnia books as a child. One of my kids enjoyed them, but the other two thought they were okay.

      I’d also never heard of Roxaboxen until it showed up in recommended reading when I homeschooled my kiddos. 🙂

  2. I guess it all depends on what we consider a child. There were many of these that were not around when I was a child, but read to my children. Nice list.

    1. Yes, I’m thinking child is 13 and under. And this is my fantasy list that includes books that were not published yet when I was a child. 🙂

    1. Oh, I’ve never heard of The Outcasts! I’ll have to check that one out. I’m excited to see what else made your list. <3

  3. I wish I read Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark too. I was a total scaredy-cat when I was a kid so I wouldn’t have touched it with a 10-foot pole, but I love horror now so I would love to read it now.

    1. Ha! Yes, I was a unique kid. Now, I can handle scary books but I’m a chicken with a lot of scary movies. 😉

    1. Yes! We had to read them all for the C.S. Lewis class. (Plus several of his other selections.) And we had to read them in the order they were written. It was a happy chore. Ha!

  4. The Hobbit is one I wish I would have read earlier too! Little Women is definitely one that I think I would have enjoyed younger. I didn’t as much as an adult!

    1. I did enjoy Little Women as a young adult, but I also read it a Christmastime, so I’m sure that was influential, as well. The Hobbit was so much fun! 🙂

  5. Oh man, Harry Potter is my #1 for this list, too. (I didn’t include it this week, though, since I have done this topic before and I included it then.) Actually, Anne of Green Gables and The Dark Is Rising Sequence were also on that first list.

    I did read The Hobbit when I was a kid, though. My parents had a large illustrated version of it, and the dragon on the cover was too tempting for me to pass up. I remember that I read it for the first time for a 5th grade book report.

    1. Oh it would have been very hard to resist that dragon! 😉 The first time I read it was when I read it to my kids. I think I was more into it than them, though. Ha!

    1. Yes, I only read it for the first time with my kids. They enjoyed the first one, but we couldn’t get into the second book, which I hear is the best one. Someday I want to read it for myself. 🙂

    1. You’re never too old! 😉 I enjoyed reading them with my kids as an adult, so maybe she’d enjoy them.

  6. Oh my goodness, I LOVED SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK! I also loved the Boxcar Children books as a kid, although I find them simplistic and irritating as an adult. ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, and LITTLE WOMEN are some that I adored as a child. The HP series didn’t come out until I was in my late 20s, but I would have EATEN IT UP as a kid 🙂

    Happy TTT!


    1. Sounds like you had an amazing reading experience as a child! I hope the kids who got to grow up with Harry Potter appreciate what they had. 😉

  7. I do wish that I had read Little Women and Anne of Green Gables when I was a kid! I know I had the chance to and I’m even sure I got gifted the books once but I don’t know why I never read them. Harry Potter was a staple in my childhood though! Some great memories 🙂 Awesome post, Dedra <3

    1. Ugh. Same. I don’t know why I didn’t read Little Women or Anne of Green Gables as a kid. And I’m so jealous of you lucky people who grew up on Harry Potter. 😉

  8. Fun topic!! Like you, I wasn’t able to read Harry Potter until I was an adult—at least I’ve gotten to see it through my kids’ eyes. My older daughter read it when she was young, but my younger daughter just read them as a teenager during quarantine!

    1. Very true! When we finally picked them up they’d already all been published, but my kids were still young enough to enjoy them. They were a bit sad that they didn’t get to enjoy the anticipation of waiting for each book to come out, though. These past few weeks have been the perfect time to pick up Harry Potter for the first time! I hope you’re daughter loved them. <3

  9. This is a great list! The ones on here that I read as a child were many of the Boxcar Children books, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (which I have oddly enough seen on a lot of lists, despite not thinking it was ever popular), and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. There’s many on this list that I do want to read though. I remember starting Little Women when I was in middle or early high school, but I don’t remember getting very far in it.

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