'Never Girl' books, so I think those are going to be added to the pile.....but let's CHAT MORE about these alrighty-eh?
I know there are a lot of amazing books that have come down the pike since 1980, I'M SUPPOSING, but these classic chapter books are worthy of your attention, my friends. They are funny. And fun. And cool. And amusing. The hallmark of each one of these is F-U-N. Shall I say it in French?
'The Great Brain' -- do you know this one?? I meant to order a paperback and got a hardback instead. That's fine by me! If you're unfamiliar about this story about a smooth talking young con artist who lives to hustle his circle of friends and family out of pretty much everything they own in early 1900's Utah, you are missing a treat. My favorite part is when Tom (The Great Brain) starts charging his friends to come see his family's brand new 'water closet' - his family being the first ones in town to get a working indoor toilet. Hey, if I had the first inside toilet in town, I'd charge people to see it too.
'Henry Huggins' - golly gee how I loved every last thing Beverly Cleary ever wrote. Including her series about a boy and his dog Ribsy, which is a lot less boring than it sounds. There were four other books in the Henry Huggins series and I read them ALL. In some ways, I liked them even more than the 'Ramona' series. Henry was such an easy kid to relate to, and he seemed to be living the Great American Childhood. The books were written in the 1950's, but Henry's neighborhood exploits are timeless. I read, and re-read these stories over and over throughout my elementary school years.
If you're not a Moomin fan, we're done here. I'll wish you well. But I'll feel ever so sorry for you! Because you'll be missing the greatest stories about little creatures living in the wilds of Finland who have adventures dodging comets, floods, and gasp - empty tea jars! 'Moominsummer Madness' is one of my huge favs from the series. The Moomintroll family has been displaced by a runaway flood and they find themselves camping out in an old theater. Naturally, a disastrous theatrical production ensues. Let me stress that the original series of books are NOT little kid books. There is a lot of sophisticated wit and humor in the stories, and some fairly Deep Ideas woven into the characters' speech and thoughts. I think they're best for ages 7-10. I've never EVER found another series to equal the charm and unique whimsy of the Moomintroll books.
I'll keep the last book synopsis short and to the point. Judy Blume. Genius. 'Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing'. The best. THAT TURTLE. You Blume fans know what I'm talking about! Blume had a way of expertly mining full tilt the awful, hilarious, and heartbreaking experience of being a kid. Every awkward feeling any child ever had? Blume knew them all and wrote them all down in her books. She's a wizard. Even though she was writing in the 1970's, Blume's books tap into the universal experience of childhood mortification that everyone has experienced at one point in their life.
SO MANY BOOKS MY FRIENDS. Who's excited for summer reading?? There are so, sooooooooooo many old school classics. 'The Westing Game' anyone? 'From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler'?? Tell me about your old school favs! Let's fight over which books are the best.