One of the fun parts of working on the Children’s Information Desk is helping people find books. And fairly often, someone will come to the desk and begin their question with, “There was this book I loved when I was a kid…” and then they’ll say something about how the Library probably doesn’t have it or the librarian has never heard of it. And then we magically know the book they want and get them a copy, and they are so happy to see their old friend again!
But it’s not magic. Because if there’s a book that you have read that’s so good that you remember it for ten or thirty or fifty years, and loved it enough to want to find it again, chances are that others did too. And if enough other people read and loved and remember that book…that’s what makes a classic.
Just for fun, I emailed everyone who works at the Sunnyvale Library asking what their favorite childhood book was. I limited everyone to one book (and that’s a hard choice to make) but didn’t specify any particular age group they had to have read it in…and here are the results, in no particular order..
And because most of these are classics, you’ll probably recognize many of them. And maybe you’ll come to the Sunnyvale Library, find them, reread them, and share them with another generation.
Oh, and as I was typing this blog post, someone walked up to me and said, “There was this book I read when I was a kid…”
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Behold Your Queen! by Gladys Malvern
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum (two people listed this)
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
The Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merrill
Homer Price by Robert McCloskey
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell