Books have been the gateways to the imagination for thousands of years. Us Fangirls tend to be avid readers, entering the world of fantasy and science-fiction in our childhoods. Six of our Fangirlnation Writers have submitted their old favorites, their memories of one of the formative books of their younger selves.
Toni Adams – Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
I devoured every single one of these issues when I was young. I always adored Pippi. She was independent, plucky, strong, and no one could keep her down. The stories were fun, silly, and heartwarming. For someone raised in a sheltered life, she was freedom. Plus she could lift her own horse up!
Katrina Keller – The Farthest Away Mountain by Lynne Reid Banks
I read this book so many times through out my childhood that my copy of it fell apart. While moving a few years ago, I found it in my closet. I flipped it open just to look for a second and ended up reading about half of it while sitting on the floor. The story is that engrossing. It’s about a girl named Dakin who has a list of silly shallow things she wants from life – one of which is to visit the farthest away mountain. One morning she wakes up with it calling to her and she sets out. Her journey is full of magic and danger. My favorite thing about it is the personal growth and change Dakin undergoes on her journey.
Bethany Leino Davis – The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop
A young boy, William is given a model castle as gift by his housekeeper Mrs. Phillips. She tells him fantastic stories and about the silver knight who lives inside. When the silver knight comes to life William makes a huge mistake: shrinking the housekeeper and trapping her inside. William shrinks himself and becomes the knight’s squire bring Mrs. Phillips home. William goes forth fighting his way through a new land to the castle of a corrupt wizard. This book is a great adventure story for children, combining history, fantasy and great lessons without being preachy. The Castle in the Attic is clever, well written and engages the imagination and creativity of the reader. It’s a greatly entertaining, fun read. To this day it is one of my favorite childhood books and memories.
Sarah Doyle – Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
I started reading Shel Silverstein’s Where The Sidewalk Ends when I was around seven years old. I read a lot as a kid, but I believe this was my first real jab at poetry. I poured over this book – I wouldn’t put it down. The poems taught me so many things about imagination and being yourself and just life! I think it was the very first time that I felt like an adult (who wasn’t my mom or dad) really understood me and understood what it was like to be a kid
Ellen Webre – D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths by by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire
I came across this book in 3rd grade in my school’s library and from the first time I opened its pages I was utterly hooked. Everyday at recess I would go back to read and reread it even after I knew all the stories by heart. Myths are the sacred speech that explain reality, and I could tell even then that these myths were as powerful as they were fascinating. The illustrations are marvelous and the writing accessible, starting from the couplings of Gaia and Uranus to an abridged explanation of the Trojan War. If anyone should want to introduce their children to mythology, this book turns what could be a dry subject into a flourishing world that blooms like stars in the imagination.