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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:40 pm 
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Though the stories told in the literature most well-known are incredibly complex (and in many case absolutely superb), I have always believed that there's something in children's literature that is just as interesting. It is very similar to the simplicity of artwork painted or drawn by children: the simple lines and shapes, however much they pale in comparison to the artwork of professionals, is so amazing and so unique: it cannot be copied by the average adult.

So, I wanted to know from everyone just what are their favorite "children's" (intermediate) level books, or what were they as a child?

Personally, above everything else, I have always loved Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth. I love the puns, the twists, and the entire plot of the book. It has an excellent humor to it as well. If anyone enjoys a book of around this reading level from time to time, I would highly recommend this novel. (Though it is no longer my number one book entirely, I loved it so much as a child that I actually signed up for the AIM screen name "Norton Juster," and still use it to this date.)

I also love the Harry Potter series, and eagerly await the sixth and seventh books. However, I shall not go into much of a discussion now on these books because there are already at least two topics in this forum devoted entirely to this series.

There are others that I would mention, but first I would like to hear perhaps some favorites of others. For, we all have an inner child in us. :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 8:28 pm 
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I wonder.... is there a limit to the number of lines that can be posted in any one message? I feel like I could name favorite children's books for hours....

I remember having read The Phantom Tollbooth, but I don't remember the story itself. It's a classic, and we have a new copy of it in our school library. (I'm a teacher.)

I spent many nights immersed in the worlds of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, and Encyclopedia Brown. For language play like you mentioned, Pun, I remember my mom reading AA Milne stories and poems as I sat on her lap. Some of his phrases still find their way into my adult language (I have a rumbly in my tumbly. It's a very blustery day. Tut, tut, looks like rain.). ... Oh dear, I hope I didn't just lose respect among my fellow literature-loving forum-pals!

I think my mom must have also read Charlotte's Web two or three times, before I read it by myself. And Stuart Little. I recall another book that she read to me, although I've not been able to find it in the past 20 years: "Page Boy of Camelot." I remember almost nothing of it except that I loved it and that the main character was a young boy living amongst the knights of King Arthur's court.

The Borrowers!! How fun that was. Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler. Escape to Witch Mountain (I read it before Disney made the movie, and felt sooo important when I first saw the movie!!) Poetry by Eugene Field ( a fellow St. Louisan.) Gads, I'm getting old.... So many other book covers I can see in my memory's eye, but the titles are a blur. .... Time to do some research!

Thanks for a fun topic, Pun.... and welcome to Lit Page forum!!

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2004 8:39 pm 
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When I first read this post, Pun, I immediately thought of From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler. I read it back in elementary school, and I remeber loving it back then, but I can't really remember it now :(

I (currently) love the Harry Potter series, although are they not surprisingly dark and dramatic, not to mention exquisitely written, for a "children's" series?

Of course every young boy likes the Hardy Boys. I couldn't get enough of those books. Where the Red Fern Grows, another elementary school book I can't remember now, was incredible.

But my all time favorite book from childhood has to be The Westing Game, which, just in case no one knows it, is a murder mystery based in a hotel, and all of the guests are suspects for four different cries: the murderer, a bookee, a thief, and a fourth that I can't remember. Now that I think about it, I am not sure how the other three criminals work into the murder mystery, but I do remember it being a beautifully crafted book that I have to reread.

Thanks for the walk down amnesia lane, Pun.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2004 2:02 pm 
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Here's some I recommend highly:
Phantom Tollbooth is a winner!!!
The Giver
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh
Johnny Tremain
The Chronicles of Narnia
Peter Pan
A Wrinkle in Time
The Westing Game
Tuck Everlasting


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 12:40 am 
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Yes! I thought of Johnny Tremain after my last post. A definite must for this list. Also, I didn't see the "intermediate" modifier on Pun's initial posting. Does 1984 qualify? I read it in 7th grade and it left an impression. Wrinkle in Time is a classic...that impressed me too. Since I've become a teacher, Tuck Everlasting and TheGiver have come to my attention.... excellent books. Holes is to be recommended too.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:21 am 
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Quote - When I said "intermediate," I meant that I (at least personally) wasn't including pre-school books. I don't mind if you do, but I won't be. :lol:

I suppose that if everyone's been so generous with their thoughts, I'd add another book to the list that no one has mentioned yet.

Daniel Pinkwater, among many other great novels, wrote a book called Lizard Music. Contrary to most of the books previously said, I don't believe this one has become a classic, nor do I think it got many rave reviews. However, as a child, this was one of my favorite books (and after having made this post I feel like going back to the library to get it out again). It was about, if I recall collectly, a young boy whose parents go on vacation and whose sister (who is supposed to keep an eye over him) hitches up a ride with a few people after her parents have left. The boy uses this to his advantage to watch television very late, and one night he stays up until the movie channel goes off air. This is when he first sees the lizards playing music, on his television. Eventually, he and a crazy old man (the "Chicken Man," I believe) hitch a boat out to the invisible island that contains all the lizards, who all watch TV and are named Raymond. :mrgreen: It's full of tohubohu.

Great listings, everyone. Keep it up.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 10:29 am 
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Lizard Music sounds good! When I was younger I also loved The Gammage Cup. I don't know how well-known that one is. Also, in fourth grade I read The Lottery Rose over and over again, but it's very sad.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:09 pm 
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Oh, excellent topic, a friend and I were discussing this recently.

Two authors immediatly spring to mind apart from the ones already mentioned, (Franklin W. Dixon was undoubtably a past obsession of mine) but Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton were amazing.

Dahl was my hero in literature at that age and with books like: Fantastic Mr Fox, The BFG, The Twits, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and George's Marvellous Medicine -how can you go wrong?

Some of the above I may know of by heart from cassette's not to mention the screen versions, albeit The Witches was scary, picture bold women, with scaly feet!

Blyton was a genius, traditional but loveable, her range of stories varying from the adventure series (The Famous Five, Secret Seven, etc.) Noddy but my absolute favourite is The Secret Island, as strange as it maybe I think I could continually return to it. For me it represents freedom and when I first read it; my concept of a utopia or paradise.

Oh and Beatrix Potter! If you're unfamiliar with the name, damn shame on you.

-fish are quick!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:21 pm 
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I used to be a Lazy Kid and read mostly Enid Blyton, Archie & Tin Tin Comic's in my spare time. :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2004 2:22 pm 
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I'm glad someone else mentioned The Westing Game :D. And welcome to the forum, booksaregood!

Of course anything by Roald Dahl was amazing, and I loved the Chronicles of Narnia, also. And, Fish are Quick, shame on me, because I am not familiar with Beatrix Potter...

I don't know whether 1984 would count as a children's book, Quest. I read it in eighth grade, and again in tenth, and it left an impression on me, too.


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 11:32 pm 
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I think I've read all of the above *smile*.

Some random favourites that should be mentioned;
Homer Price
Ballet Shoes,
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson,
Cricket in Times Square,
Twenty-One Balloons,
Little Britches,
Mrs. Piggy-Wiggle,
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew,
Ben and Me,
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase
The Hobbit
Henry Reed INC
Bronze Bow.

Not in any order. The ones in bold I HIGHLY recomend.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2004 10:34 pm 
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Oh goodness, so many good books have been named. Of those that have been, I really enjoyed:
The Chronicles of Narnia
the Nancy Drew books
Charlotte's Web
Stuart Little
Where the Red Fern Grows
The BFG
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

I also have some of my own to add:
the Anne of Green Gables series
the Little House on the Prairie series
Julie of the Wolves
'Twas the Night before Christmas
The Outsiders
Kim
The Hatchet
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

And FishAreQuick, I am familiar with Beatrix Potter. My parents read me her stories when I was a child, and I thought them rather depressing, but there you go.


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