Library Director Jenna Dauer remembers Junior Fiction chapter books from her childhood.
Witch of Blackbird Pond | Elizabeth George Speare
Summary: Kit Tyler must leave behind shimmering Caribbean islands to join the stern Puritan community of her relatives. She soon feels caged, until she meets the old woman known as the Witch of Blackbird Pond. But when their friendship is discovered, Kit herself is accused of witchcraft!
Recommendation: I was amazed by this book. It was one that I just couldn’t put down. Right book, right time.
A Wrinkle in Time | Madeleine L’Engle
Summary: Young Meg Murry, her brother Charles, and their friend Calvin, embark on a journey through space and time, assisted by three eccentric women, when they set out to find Meg’s father, a physicist who disappeared while experimenting with time travel. With the help of the mysterious Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs Which;, the youngsters learn to expect the unexpected as they move in the fifth dimension known as “tesseract.”
Recommendation: This book is part of a series. I remember being enamored with the concept of bending space and time. It was the first book that I read that did that.
Anne of Green Gables (series) | L. M. Montgomery
Summary: Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.
Recommendation: Oh, Anne. I loved her spirit. I ended up reading my way through the whole series. I first picked it up just because it was near the Baby-Sitter’s Club books. 🙂 I’m so glad I did!
Kristy’s Great Idea (and whole series!) | Ann M. Martin
Summary: Follows the adventures of Kristy and the other members of the Baby-sitters Club as they deal with crank calls, uncontrollable two-year-olds, wild pets, and parents who do not always tell the truth.
Recommendation: I listed the first novel in graphic novel format — for the NEW tweens that will enjoy this series. Yes, you can still request the titles in regular print format, but we don’t have them on our shelves, due to space restrictions and lack of checkout activity — these books were some of the hardest in our collection for me to weed out. These books taught me so much about how different some (pre) teens’ experiences can be. I have never baby-sat or been around little kids until I had my own; I’m an only child, but I remember these books being so fun and full of people and their relationships (for better or worse).
Pippi Longstocking | Astrid Lindgren
Summary: Escapades of Pippi Longstocking, the strongest girl in the world, who lives with a horse and a monkey–but without any parents–in a villa at the edge of a Swedish village.
Recommendation: After reading this book, I wanted to clean the house with sponges drenched in soapy water…strapped on my feet like shoes. I loved how fun and interesting Pippi was!