Disclaimer: I can't say I was inspired by Jess's recent entry about books to write this post, because I've been itching to go to the library for a while. It's really just a coincidence. (But still read her entry, because it's good!)
One of the required readings for ninth graders in my school district is (or was - I'd like to think that it still is, but who knows how things have changed!) To Kill a Mockingbird. I remember reading this book and loving it when I was 15 years old, but when I picked it up again on Monday, I found myself unable to put it down. It's so much better than I remember it - I was drawn into small-town Alabama and the lives of the townsfolk: the Finches, Miss Maudie, Miss Stephanie, Calpurnia, etc. I played with Scout and Jem and Dill, I too got excited when they found the gum in the tree, I raced through the last 40 pages because I had to make sure that it would end the same way I remembered it.
Now I'm re-reading Anne of Green Gables. It took me quite a long time to get into the book when I was younger, but after the first two chapters, I was in love. By the end of the book, I had a funny ache in my chest and wanted a Gilbert Blythe of my own. Imagine my surprise when I learned that there wasn't just one sequel, but SEVEN! Unfortunately, the library here only has a few of the books - Green Gables, Avonlea, and Anne's House of Dreams, all smushed into one hardcover book.
When I'm finished with these three, I'll pick up The Secret Garden, one of those children's classics that I never got around to as a kid, so I'm using my freetime now to catch up. But that's where I need help. What classic children's literature do I need to read? I can't guarantee that they'll capture my heart as much as Atticus and Anne have, but I'll definitely read whatever recommendations I am provided with, as long as I can find them upstairs. One can never have too many literary bosom friends, can she?