Sunday, June 3, 2012

Top 5 Sundays #5 - Childhood & Early Teenage Years Books

With Larissa from Larissa's Bookish Life absent this week (lucky b*tch is serving as maid of honour at her friend's wedding), I decided to take this opportunity to dig up her very first Top 5 theme - Childhood & Early Teenage Years Books - and have a go at it myself. Now, lucky me, I happened to be one of those nerdy little girls whose friends more often than not tended to be fictional, sad but true. Think the fact I was exempt from physical activity and the outdoors in less than perfect weather (thank you, congenital hip dysplasia!) had a lot to do with it - it gave me lots and lots and lots of time alone in a school. Basically, I could read or explore the school's rather restricted internet service. By mid grade 5, I had absolutely, positively every book in the school's library. Listed below, in no particular order, are my five fav picks.

#5 - Green Eggs and Ham written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss 

 "I do not like green eggs and ham! I do not like them, Sam-I-Am!" So, it's no secret that I am a HUGE fan of Dr. Seuss. From his rhyme schemes to his nonsensical statements and made-up whatchamacallits, I loved everything this man ever put to paper but none so much as Green Eggs and Ham. I mean, heck, this was the book I learned to read with! A true classic, no question.

#4 - The Never Ending Story by Michael Ende

 After about the tenth time, it became more than a little annoying to read the false start of a side-story of one sort or another abruptly cut off with the phrase, "But that's another story, for another time." And yet, somehow, Sebastian's main story kept me intrigued enough to keep from throwing the book across the room. Plus, given that this book's 448 page length I still recall vividly how proud my grade two self was to finish it.

#3 - The Babysitters Club by Ann M. Martin

I very much doubt there's a girl anywhere in North America who has never read so much as one Babysitters Club book. With the narrative rotating between the club members - originally tomboy Kristy, shy Mary-Anne, eccentric Claudia and sophisticated Stacy - and the stories focusing on issues every preteen (and later teen and I think even YA later on) could relate to, these books were terrific.

#2 - The Phantom Tollbooth written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer 

You ever read one of those books that somehow manage to flamboyantly flaunt the lesson its trying to teach while somehow keeping it subtle at the same time? Well, this book blows all those right out of the water. With a blend of nonsensical logic and comedic tone, this book made me shoot juice out of nose several times and, in the end, really gave me an appreciation for school and all it had to offer. Quite the impressive feat.

#1 - The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien 

Oh, come on now, who doesn't love this book? Unlike the more complex epic that is The Lord of the Rings, this prequel, told in more simplistic language, was a fun and exciting romp through a fantasy world without the need to follow five different story lines and reference who-knows-how-many appendices. It's about a hobbit who accompanies a dozen dwarfs on a quest to reclaim their mines from a dragon - which leads to some lovely encounters with a trio of trolls, a bear-shifter, a forest of drunken elves and that Gollum creature of absolutely no consequence (note the sarcasm font) - and then hangs around to partake in a war. It's fantasy adventure at its purest, hands down.

And there you have it - Calliope's Domain's Top 5 Childhood & Early Teenage Years Books! Tune in next week for more. Kiss, kiss, loveys.

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