Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Top Ten Books I Loved as a Wee Lass (or "The Source of My Mind-Numbing Phobias and Future Rebellion Against my Parents")

TTT is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and was created by mastermind Jamie.

So I like to think that my childhood ranged from ages 0 - 20. Because really, I was a child up until that point. So here goes. Warning: I pretty much talk forever about almost every book.

1. I Am a Puppy

I have probably read this book more than any other book in the entire universe. First off, it's like 6 pages long and my parents read it to me practically every night. Secondly, there are about 10 words of text on each page. I maintain that it triggered my love for animals because the puppy in this book is so damn cute. However, for a long time, I was traumatized because there's a page where this puppy is wrestling with a bigger dog and I would always get sad because it looked like they were attacking one another and I just knew my puppy would lose because he's tiny. I still have this book and have every intention of reading it to my kids.

2. The Monster at the End of this Book

I must've been pretty masochistic, because I was scared pissless of monsters as a kiddo. Under the bed, in the closet, in the dark. Surely they were everywhere. Also, this book inspired my near decade-long rebellion against my parents telling me what to do. I say this because on EVERY SINGLE PAGE, Grover tells you not to turn to the next. Because there's a monster and monsters are bad for you. Did I turn the pages? YES. I DID. Even though Grover scolded me time and time again and begged and pleaded. It didn't matter. 4 year old Jen laughed maniacally and did it anyway.

3. Where the Sidewalk Ends

This collection of poems is straight up weird. I love it. Especially the poem about the pancakes, because I hate girls like Terrible Theresa, that malicious wench.

4. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

I'm trying to figure out how in the world this was considered a kid's book. Especially 8 year olds with vivid imaginations and a knack for night terrors. I'm not one for censorship, so by all means: let your kids read it. But as for me, I shouldn't have read this book. First off, the illustrations are stuff that you see in the scariest of horror movies. Seriously disturbing. I had numerous nightmares. Also, this probably started my fear of spiders after the story of the girl who had a nest of spiders IN HER FACE. I'll go ahead and let the illustrations speak for themselves

5. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Mostly I just loved the movie, but I did read the book as well. I don't remember much about it, but this movie was probably my favorite of my entire childhood. Possibly more so than The Little Mermaid, so this is pretty series. Also, I blame the movie for my fear of tornadoes and the reason that I hid in the closet crying every time it rained. Because obviously every tornado will inevitably rip your house from its foundation and hurtle you into a strange land and separate you from your family.

6. Night of the Twisters

Yet another book that didn't help my fear of tornadoes, yet made me want to be a meteorologist/storm chaser (I was a weird kid). Did you know they turned this book into a movie and Devon Sawa played the main character? Yeah, that helped ease my pre-pubescent phobias just a little bit. After all, who doesn't love Casper? ("Can I keep you?")

7. Goosebumps Books

Obviously. These books were LEGIT and I still have a bunch of them.

8. Fear Street Books

These were my first YA books that had lots of kissing and mystery in them! YAY! Just take a look at the 90s-ness of those amazing covers. And those taglines are priceless.

EDIT: WHOA. How did I forget the Babysitter's Club? Like seriously. Those books deserve to be numbers 1-50, because I a TON of them. Had to come add these to the list. Claudia was my favorite because she liked to eat lots of junk food and was an oddball. My favorite kind of people.


  1. OMG OMG we are childhood book soulmates <333

    I STILL HAVE THAT GROVER BOOK SOMEWHERE!!! And Shel Silverstein was my SHIZ. I read the poem about being sick and not going to school for some competition in elementary school. AND OMG I LOVED FEAR STREET, GOOSEBUMPS, and the scary stories book!! YAYAYY! I would lie awake terrified of RL Stine's books and also Christopher Pike!

  2. OMG the Monster at the End of the Book I love love and Night of the Twisters...I still have them both

  3. I completely forgot about that Scary Stories book!!!! I LOVED it!!

    Great list! :)

    Michele | Top 10

  4. I loved The Monster at the End of this Book! So fun!

    It reminds me of another children's book (I think it was Sesame Street too?) that was a scratch and sniff book and all the smells were gross (like garbage smells and stuff). I can't remember the name of the book, though.

  5. Ohhh, forgot about Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. I remember reading those and being so creeped out. Here's my list

  6. Ah I read R.L. Stine a couple of times but eventually forced myself to stop because it scared me beyond recognition!

  7. You are too funny! and oh how I remember Goosebumps!!!

  8. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark!! I love that book. It was scary! I think it lead to my very early love of Stephen King lol. I don't know how I forgot to put Goosebumps on my list! I loved those.

  9. Excellent choices! I recently got The Monster at the End of This Book for my little boy (he's 3-y-o) and he LOVES it!
    Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday post. :)

  10. I loved The Monster at the End of This Book! I still have my copy from when I was a baby!

    My Top Ten

  11. I loved Scaries Stories too! I have no idea how I was able to read those without nightmares.

    Alison at The Cheap Reader

  12. Fear Street, yes! Did you read the Christopher Pike books too?

    When I was a kid, I would DEVOUR these books, but I was so SCARED TO DEATH of them that I would sleep in my bedroom if these books were in there too. So I would make my mom leave the books out in the kitchen or the living room so I wouldn't wake up and see the glow-in-the-dark covers during the middle of the night.

    I'm pretty sure I just geeked myself out in front of everyone, but it's totally truth.

  13. (I meant to say I WOULDN'T sleep in my bedroom if those books were in there. WOULDN'T. Got overly excited there.)

  14. I read The Monster at the End the End of This Book over and over as a kid too. It didn't scare me so much unless my parents chose to literally scare my by yelling boo or something at the end in which case yes, I did pee my pants a bit as a kid. I think that's why I still jump when people say boo to me. I hate it.

  15. HOLY CRAP, just like Jamie you must be my childhood book soulmate.

    SERIOUSLY! The Monster At The End Of This Book was my jam as I kid.

    And I def was terrified of that scary stories book, but still had it.

    AND OMFG, can I just tell you that the Wizard Of Oz inspired fears in me as well. I used to be terrified of sleeping in my room if there was a lump in the bed because I thought it was the flying monkeys coming to take me away. Seriously, instead of sleeping in my bed like a normal child, I would sleep in the hallway outside my parents room because of those F-in monkeys.

    Your list is totally bitchin'.

  16. I love Where the Sidewalk Ends & I've read a couple Goosebumps books, great! Haha, I see you like to scare yourself there, LOL. :)

    Did you read/like any of my favs from childhood?

  17. Where the Sidewalk Ends was my first book by Shel Silverstein - and I still love it.

    And yay for a fellow BSC fan! I loved Stacey the most :)

  18. Somehow I've never read anything for the Goosebumps series... Not sure what my problem is?

    Also I love the cover art for Night of the Twisters!

  19. Oh, jeez, the Scary Stories books. Absolutely horrifying, and I have no idea how they didn't leave me scarred for life. (Though now that I think about it, I also occasionally worry about spiders nesting in my face, and that's got to be connected to the story you mention. Argh.)

  20. Awesome choices! I used to read Goosebumps and get scared out of my mind, ha ha!

    Great blog!

    Here's my post: http://carycheyennexo.blogspot.com/2011/12/top-ten-tuesday-3.html

  21. It makes me happy to see all the love for Grover's book. That was a favorite of mine too. The Scary Stories books are awesome too. Fun trip down memory lane!

  22. I remember scary stories to tell in the dark, great list. Here's my Top Ten

  23. OMG I was OBSESSED with Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and I totally forgot about it TILL RIGHT NOW!

  24. Thank you for reminding me of Grover! I loved that book. Here is my list http://wp.me/pzUn5-GY

  25. L. Frank Baum what-what! Loved the Oz books. I totally forgot about Shel Silverstein, but man, I loved those poems! :)

  26. to this day, i make reference to that Scary Story anthology.

    the spider bite on the face with the babies popping out.

    the head being held on by the ribbon.

    i just can't deal. it's so freaking scary.


  27. This is why we're friends, Jen. And why we would've been great WEE LASS friends, too.

  28. O.M.G! I totally remember There's A Monster At The End of This Book! I totally forgot about it until I saw it here, but I totally loved that book as a kid :]
    Dude. I remember Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark too. My parents checked it out from the library and read them to us while camping once. Yeah, sooo not a good idea...