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Staff Picks: Childhood Favorites

This month, we asked our staff to dig deep and tell us about their Childhood Favorites. These are the books that helped turn these readers into the book lovers they are! We hope our favorites help to remind you of those first books you cherished, so that you maybe can find those memories again and help another child discover the magic of a book.

Administrative Coordinator Sandi Loved

One of my favorite books as a child was Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. I remember my fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Cain, read this to the class and I fell in love with it. One of the best series I enjoyed as a child were the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. I read and re-read those books over and over. They were great adventures and I always secretly wished I had a wardrobe so that I could pretend to go into it to another land. I also had all of the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder which were such a great way to live vicariously in an age where family and faith were predominate. It was so fun growing up with Laura and her family!

Ricky in IT Read

Where the Wild Things are was a book I read a ton as a kid, and when the movie was released many years ago my wife and I picked it up again. I was amazed to find as an adult that it was only 10-15 pages. I had such crazy memories of reading it so many times. I loved the art and fantasy of this book. Where the Sidewalk Ends was my introduction to poems. I always loved reading them when I was super young and then learning about them and the meaning behind the poetry as I aged. In 5th and 6th grade, I especially loved Choose Your Own Adventure novels. The books were a blast and it was always interesting to see how they played out. Since it was a choose your own adventure, you could read them a couple times!

HR Manager ErinAnn Is Still Obsessed With

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always loved the mischievous and adorable Poky Little Puppy. So much so, that when I had to choose a theme for my Little Human’s first birthday, I picked Poky Little Puppy. Poky goes on lots of adventures. Visits the fair, has a patchwork blanket, celebrates Christmas, is friends with Sesame Street characters… the puppy even knows how to count! We have several variations of The Poky Little Puppy at our house and ThriftBooks has allowed us to grow our collection even more. Woof woof!

Mike, President, Remembers

One of my earliest reading memories is of My Father’s Dragon. This book grabbed my young attention with the clever hero finding creative uses for everyday items like a toothbrush and chewing gum in a whimsical world that included talking animals and, above all, a flying dragon who, if rescued, would become the hero’s friend and fly him wherever he wanted to go. I loved it. It is consistently a most-recommended book to very early readers, and I’ve personally read it several times to all my children. There are 3 books total in the series, which makes it even more fun for those kids who catch the “reading bug” to continue on and read the rest.

Production Assistant Amanda's Favorites

My absolute favorite book from childhood is Little Women, which I have already included in previous staff picks but I just cannot talk about childhood without it. I first read it 20 years ago and became obsessed, adoring the March family. At one point I could open it to any page, read a sentence, and know which chapter it was. My first copy's cover fell off from too much use. It remains my most favorite and precious book. My other childhood favorites all just remind me of home and our wonderful library (which was actually a tiny linen closet with books on the bottom shelves, but I was too short to know the difference) where I would go to pick out a story. For some stories, I can still hear the way my mom would read the words.

Supply Sales Coordinator Danielle Cherishes

The Giver was the first that opened my eyes to the possibilities the world has to offer those who are young and innocent. It is a riveting and classic tale of a boy who discovers that there is more beyond the confines of his safe content way of living. This book also taught me that wisdom can come from many places, from both our elders and those same, unsuspecting youth. It’s a breathtaking and timeless tale that is filled with dark secrets, twists, and utter heartbreak and it makes you really question the fragility of standard societal norms. It seems like it would too be too much to handle for a child, but it was a book that has stuck with me in the back of my mind since I first stumbled on it within my school’s library many years ago. To this day, I can pick it up and reread it and still wonder, what else is out there that we haven’t discovered?

Melanie, Customer Service Representative, Favors

One of my favorite books from my childhood is The Maggie B. I often wished I could sail away, alone and free, with someone nice for company. As I got older and discovered The Chronicles of Narnia, my favorite was The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I always knew there were adventures awaiting me out on the high seas.

Email Marketing Manager Terry Fondly Remembers

Gerald McDermott was an innovative children’s illustrator and filmmaker whose unique, colorful, geometric style amazed me as a child. He created many award-winning books, by my favorite is the first one I discovered: Arrow to the Sun. It’s the story of a Pueblo Indian boy’s quest to find his father, and it won the Caldecott medal (as did his book Anansi the Spider). Other favorites from my childhood include: Struwwelpeter (Shock-Headed Peter), L. Frank Baum’s Oz Series, and let’s not forget Incredible Hulk comics (but by that, I mean the old school ones).

Customer Service Lead, Lacie, Adventured With

My childhood favorites were books full of fun and adventures. It’s hard to pick a favorite as they are all good in their own ways. As a little kid I loved Dr. Suess’s Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? I think it had to do with the book feeling so animated, in the sounds that Mr. Brown was making you wanted to make the sounds too. I then read a lot of the Magic Tree house which ALWAYS had an adventure they were going on. Whether they went back in time to see dinosaurs and agent Egyptians or were traveling to the plains of Africa and the jungles of the Amazon, they were always having fun discovering new things. I also loved the corkiness of the book series Judy Moody and Junie B. Jones. Both very similar characters who have adventures in Elementary school at different times in the lives. If I had to be honest my ultimate favorite out of all would be Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. This was my favorite that my 4th grade Teach read to us. An interesting story of two brothers learning to live together and get along.

Eric, Customer Service Representative, Was Captivated By

Imagine for but a moment that your entire life went up in flames. Memories dissipating into ash, the soot around you lingering as a bitter reminder of what was lost. The thought of such a thing would be at the very least, quite unpleasant; and thankfully for most of you reading this it’s only an unpleasant notion that we have chosen to entertain very briefly; however, for Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire this is just the beginning of their journey filled with despair, twists, vile and unruly guardians, and secret societies lurking in the shadows. This read may not be filled with joy, pretty fields, and unicorns but if you’re looking to delve into the mysterious, captivating and often Delphic events that surround the lives of three small children then this series is an experience that will have you hanging on to ever last word!

National Account Manager Janis's First Favorite Was

My mom first read Pippi Longstocking to me when I was 5. I decided immediately that Pippi’s life was the life for me. Pippi had it all: a best friend monkey, a pet horse, run of a huge house, superhuman strength, crazy acrobatic skills, no parents so no rules, and a suitcase full of gold coins. Lucky! Later, reading on my own, I remember many happy hours going on exciting adventures with my spunky hero: Pippi in the South Seas, Pippi Goes On Board, and Pippi On the Run…such fun!

Moments Today, Memories Tomorrow
Published by Barbara Hagen
April 16, 2020

About six years ago, my family spent our Friday nights watching the entire series of Little House on the Prairie. My intent was not just to share with them a little bit of my childhood but to show them a different way of living. These past few weeks have certainly been challenging with COVID-19 affecting us professionally, socially, and personally, but this gift of time, and of togetherness, has given us a taste of what life may have been like back in Walnut Grove and brought back these wonderful memories. My hope for all of us is to embrace the notable moments today as they will become our enduring memories tomorrow.

Nearly 100 Years of Winnie the Pooh
Published by Karen DeGroot Carter
January 18, 2021

From his humble beginnings in a poem and then a children's story to his starring role in a mega Disney franchise to Novel Knockout champion, kind-hearted Winnie the Pooh has brought joy and comfort to generations of readers and viewers.

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