Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Top Ten Tuesday is a wicked awesome meme brought to us all by the clever ladies at The Broke and the Bookish.

     This happens to be a running list that I always have going in the back of my mind... those books that I read in ye olden days that I just loved to pieces and want to add to my shelves. I even have a wishlist on Amazon devoted to these books, which was helpful in coming up with this list. And this week I only have eight, since a lot of my childhood and teen favorites (Ella Enchanted, Ender's Game, Anne of Green Gables, Song of the Lioness Quartet, Protector of the Small series) are books that I continue to re-read somewhat regularly to this day and don't necessarily need to be rediscovered or whatever.

1. The Great Brain Series by John Fitzgerald: These books were written by John "JD" Fitzgerald, and are about a family in Utah in the 1890's. JD is the narrator, but the true star of the series is Tom Fitzgerald, a far more enterprising 10 year old than I ever was. I was pretty good at conning my younger sisters (as long as I wasn't caught), and I drew a lot of inspiration from Tom.


2. The Castle in the Attic & The Battle for the Castle by Elizabeth Winthrop: When William received a cool model castle, he was pretty excited. Everything looked so realistic, if tiny. Then the castle's silver knight comes to life, and William finds himself shrunken to fit the castle, which is no longer in his attic, but instead is in another land and another time. My early and longtime love for these books is proof positive that I've loved fantasy books all my life.

3. Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene: I used to just devour these books when I was in elementary school. Sometimes it meant that I had to read way past my bedtime in order to avoid a completely terrifying stopping point before turning off the lights, but I still read all the books I could get my hands on.


4. The Mandie books by Lois Gladys Leppard: These books were basically the Christian equivalent to the Nancy Drew books, and were set in the US in the early 20th century. My friend's older sister had the first 20 or so books in the series, and I would borrow them as often as I could. Great friendships, great stories, and great mysteries abounded. Fun fact: Mandie and her friend Joe were my first ever OTP, for what it's worth.


5. The Christy Miller series and Christy and Todd: College Years by Robin Jones Gunn: Another Christian fiction series for girls that I absolutely loved. I either owned or borrowed the Christy Miller books in junior high, and I still remember just how excited I was when I found out there was a continuing trilogy following Christy and Todd, another early OTP for me. I recently added the later series to my library, although I haven't had a chance to re-read them yet.


6. Tamora Pierce's Emelen books (The Circle of Magic, The Circle Opens, The Circle Reforged): Confession time: I read The Circle of Magic and The Circle Opens series, but I never read The Circle Reforged series. BUT, once I get around to re-reading the first two series, I am for sure going to follow them with The Circle Reforged books. I distinctly remember reading these books during one summer vacation in Maine. I recently acquired 3/4 books in both The Circle of Magic and The Circle Opens series, so I'm keeping an eye out for the missing books.

7. Fearless series by Francine Pascal: Pascal is more known for her Sweet Valley books (which I also loved! I just don't feel the need to revisit them), but I absolutely loved this series that was first published in 1999. Fearless is about Gaia, a girl born without the gene for fear. Since she was never afraid of anything, her dad made sure she learned all the martial arts so she could always take care of herself. From what I remember, Gaia is sort of a mash-up of Sydney Bristow and Buffy. I recently acquired the first two books in this series, so now I just need to set aside the time to dig in.

8. A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle: Time for another confession: this is the only Madeleine L'Engle book I've ever read, which will probably be shocking for some of you. I know she is basically a cornerstone of young adult fiction, but this was honestly the only one that ever crossed my path. Which is ok with me, since this is a story about dolphins (!!!) and summer love and how to deal with grief.


  1. I too loved Nancy Drew! And how could I forget the Mandie series??!! I love those books, and believe it or not, my brother was the one who collected them but I read them too. And somehow I ended up with them. This is a great list, Sarah!

    1. I'm a little jealous! They've been reprinted with 3-5 books per 'volume', but I don't know if it would even be possible to hunt down each individual book anymore.

  2. I haven't read any of these, but I really want to read Ella Enchanted, Ender's Game and Anne of Green Gables!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. They are some of my absolute favorites, so I can't recommend them enough :)