My Favorite Childhood Reads

childhood reads

I was thinking about what to post and I realized I really want to draw some attention to what I liked as a child. I used to go to the library all the time with my mom and borrow all kinds of books. Sadly I don’t remember every single book I read as a kid, but I remember some of the ones that stood out to me.

I can’t guarantee these books are books that I, or anyone my age, would still love today. I haven’t reread any of these since childhood so I really can’t say. But I have good feelings associated with all these books, they forever have a place in my heart. The only reason Harry Potter is not on this list is because while I read the third book at the age of maybe 12, I didn’t get really into the books until I was 14.

This list is in no particular order.  

The Face on the Milk Carton (Janie Johnson #1)

The Face on the Milk Carton (1990) by Caroline B. Cooney was a book I really really loved. I also read the sequel, Whatever Happened to Janie?(1993) and I loved that too but the first one was my favorite. The series has a total of 5 books where the last one actually was released in 2013. Huh. I have no idea if there will be more. And I had no idea this was made into a movie, holy shit. Must watch and cry from nostalgia. 

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I got both these books in the mail through a book club I was a member of and I was probably around 12/13 when I read these. On Goodreads they’re categorized both as young adult and middle grade, and it’s a mystery series about a girl who one day sees a picture of herself as a small child on a milk carton, and realizes that her loving parents kidnapped her. I highly recommend these (at least the first one) for any young person who loves a good mystery. It’s definitely not necessary to read the entire series.

Secrets in the fire (Sofia #1)

This is a book that I reread several times. Secrets in the Fire (1995. Eng. version 2003) by Swedish author Henning Mankell really stuck with me. I never read any of the other books in the series but I kind of want to. I can’t really tell you what exactly made me love this book so much, all I can say is that I really did. 

It’s a short novel set in Mozambique, Africa. 12 year old Sofia (I think she was 12, but I’m not sure) and her two siblings are driven away from their village by bandits. They run to safety, but then Sofia steps on a landmine that takes her legs. The story is mostly about her recovery and her journey towards adulthood. It’s based on the true story about Sofia Alface. I believe this, and books like it, are important reads for children. 

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The Little Vampire (The Little Vampire #1)

.Ahhh, this is such a cute series. I’m not sure how many of them I’ve read but I think I’ve read a few. The Little Vampire, first published in Germany in 1979, was written by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg and is about, well, a little vampire who befriends a 9 year old boy who loves horror stories. They go on fun adventures together. Every kid should read this. 

If you’ve ever seen the movie you know how adorable it is, I love the movie so much but I haven’t watched it since my early teens. I had such a crush on Rollo Weeks in this movie and lo and behold he’s still cute, I had to google him. 

Who Will comfort toffle? 


MOOMINS! I love the Moomins. Everyone should love the Moomins. At least if you’re Nordic. Tove Jansson is my hero. Anyway, Who Will Comfort Toffle? (first published in 1960) is a classic within the whole Moomin franchise. 

It’s a picture book about little lonely wallflower Toffle who runs away from home and meets a lot of creatures but is too shy to get to know any of them. The he finds a message in a bottle from another lonely creature. THIS IS SO CUTE. IT IS ALSO A LITTLE CREEPY. IT IS SO GREAT. Everyone should read it. It’s about overcoming anxiety and breaking free from isolation. And the art is stunning. 

When I was little my mom would always read this to me and my sister and she always did this scary voice when she read certain parts, it used to freak us out so much haha. Read this. Get it for your kids. Just do it.  

GOOSEBUMPS and Bone Chillers

A childhood book list is not complete without R. L. Stine’sGoosebumpsbooks. I also chose to add the Bone Chillers series by Betsy Haynes because they’re very similar to Goosebumps and I loved those too. Some of these books were so terrifying at the time, I still shudder when I think about The Haunted Mask. If you haven’t read it or watched the episode of the tv show it’s about this girl who buys a scary mask for Halloween that eventually starts to melt into her own skin until it actually becomes her face. I swear for years after reading that I didn’t try on one single of those kind of monster masks that you pull over your head. Ew. Out of the Bone Chillers, Beware the Shopping Mall was my favorite, there’s just something really creepy about mannequins. 

My horror for children phase was around age 9-12 I believe, so that’s the age I’d recommend these for. I don’t want to reread them and spoil the magic, because I bet they wouldn’t work for adults. 


Honorable mentions

Here are some honorable mentions – books or series that I also loved but that I couldn’t be bothered to put on the list for various reasons. 

  • The Zack Files by Dan Greenburg
  • All the books about Otto Monster (only in Norwegian) by Jon Ewo
  • Everything about Alfie Atkins Albert Åberg by Gunilla Bergström
  • This Swedish book about two children who constantly get into minor accidents while visiting their grandparents. It teaches kids how to deal with things like that, like binding foots and stopping nosebleeds. I don’t think it has an English title but the Swedish one is Aj, det gör ont! (Ouch, it hurts!) I read it again and again. (I found a site where Norwegians can read it for free, woo, I’m about to dive into nostalgia now).
  • I also had this pretty thick illustrated book about dwarves that I really loved, but I have no idea what it was called. I remember the cover was blue? 

If you’re wondering where all the Anne Cath Vestly and Astrid Lindgren is I swear I read several of their books but I actually always preferred the movie adaptations. We used to collect Astrid Lindgren VHS tapes so I still own all of those and watch them pretty much every time they’re on TV. 

Thanks for reading, have a nice day everyone! 🙂

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7 thoughts on “My Favorite Childhood Reads

    • Anette says:

      haha wow, what a coincidence! It’s also funny that book traveling Thursday’s topic this week is childhood books, I didn’t notice until after I posted this. Looking forward to seeing yours! 😀

      Like

  1. Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

    I love seeing childhood books from other countries – I haven’t heard of most of the ones you’ve featured, except Goosebumps! I was always too scared to read those. My favourite childhood books were Enid Blyton’s books and I also collected a lot of the Disney animated movie books.

    Like

    • Anette says:

      Goosebumps tended to be really terrifying but I bet they’re absolutely ridiculous now. I should pick one up just to see, hah, I’m so curious. I haven’t heard of Enid Blyton but her books look good. Oh, yeah, those Disney books! My little sister was a member of that club so she got sent all them so I read them too.

      Like

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