1. joe
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    joe Member

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    Childhood favorites

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by joe, Mar 10, 2009.

    Since we're all writers, I bet many of you began reading at a young age. What were some of your favorite kids books? Do they have any influence over your current writing style?

    For me, I LOVED the works of Richard Scarry. Even though I now write horror, it was Scarry's hilarious drawings that first helped shaped my imagination (and probably explains why I'm an animal lover too).
     
  2. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    I have read very few novels in my childhood that were not Horror. I grew up with Stephen King and Freddy Krueger! :D I actually began reading the R.L. Stine Goosebumps books, then moved on to King and Koontz. Later on I started to read a lot of Clive Barker, but that doesn't really count I guess.

    Its kinda wierd because I find inspiration from Alice In Wonderland and Hansel and Gretel now when I should have been enjoying them at a younger age. Hansel and Gretel's better though. :D
     
  3. sweetchaos
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    sweetchaos Contributing Member

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    Robert Munsch is one I remember big time as well as The velveteen Rabbit
     
  4. traffic101
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    traffic101 Member

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    Yeah I remember Robert Munsch and the Paperbag Princess!

    I also like Sweet Valley High...i know I know. Also Stephen King, Dean R. Kootnz, Goosebumps, JR Tolken with the Lord of The Rings...

    I also liked Choose your own Adventures because than you could decide what way you wanted the story to go.
     
  5. sweetchaos
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    sweetchaos Contributing Member

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    Goosebumps was a HUGE one for me. I used to collect them, but my mom tossed them all after the basement flooded :( I remember phantom of the auditorium scaring the $#!* out of me. And one about a ghost sending inards down a dummy waiter :eek:

    I read a few of Goosebumps Choose Your Own Adventures as well.

    And babysitter's Club.

    It's all coming back to me now. haha
     
  6. Viamence
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    Viamence Member

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    Oh goodness, I believe I've had most of the Animorphs and Goosebumps books, as well as the entire collection of Young Jedi Knights.

    Going younger than that: Rikki-Tikki-Tavi was probably my favorite. Phantom Tollbooth, too (the more modern Un Lun Dun by China Mieville is SO worth a read).
     
  7. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    g1ng3rsnap9ed Contributing Member

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    What!!? Your mom threw out all your Goosebumps books!? What a waste! I gave mine to my younger brother-he hates them, but he has bad taste so...:p
     
  8. joe
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    joe Member

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    Yeah, I remember Choose your own Adventure books. But I was annoyed that some of them had your character do things that I would actually never do in real life. But they were fun for the most part.

    I like everyone's answers here- it's neat to see what you were all in to back in the day...
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Childood books? Well, The Cat in te Hat was my first book, followed by several other Dr. Suess books.

    I'm a bit fuzzy on what books immediately followed, but I know that withing a year or so I waqs rummaging through the attic at my grandparents' house, reading whatever I could fiind. When my mother found ne up there, sitting crosslegged on the attic floor with my face in a Perry Mason novel, she was off to te store within the hour, and returned with five books: The Riddle of the Stone Elephant (Ken Holt series). Tom Swift and his Space Solartron (Tom Swift Jr. Series), The Tower Treasure and The House on the Cliff (Hardy Boys series), and The Rocket's Shadow (Rick Brant Science Adventures series). I ended up reading nearly all of the Hardy Boys, Rick Brant, and Tom Swift Jr. series over the next few years (I still have most of them), as well as quite a few of the Nancy Drew Mysteries. I also kept reading the Perry Mason books, and just about everything else I found in the attic, even my mother's college Chemistry text.
     
  10. rory
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    rory Contributing Member

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    Dr. Seuss! My mother collected them and has shelves of them. I pretty much learned to read from them (after See Spot Run, of course).

    Two favorites that I still love and re-read are the Velveteen Rabbit, and If I Found a Wistful Unicorn.

    I remember reading an absurd amount of Pony Club and then Saddle Club books, until I caught up with the author, and sort of lost interest in the series. After that I read any book that had a horse theme.
    I wasn't very brave back in the day, I would usually only read books that friends and family told me where good. Now I read anything that sounds remotely interesting.


    lol, I used to use those Choose your own Adventure books for book reports in elementary school French Language Arts. Even if they weren't in french. :rolleyes:
     
  11. Penny Dreadful
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    Penny Dreadful Senior Member

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    Let's see, there was Goosebumps and Animorphs and, of course, Choose Your Own Adventure. Anything horror was big when I was a kid, so there was also "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark", "More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark", ect. The illustrations in those things are still incredibly creepy today.

    I also loved Shel Silverstein and Lloyd Alexander and Madeline L'engle. My first "adult" book was, somehow Don Quixote. I still remember lugging that huge thing through the halls of my elementary school. I got so many "You're not really reading that." and "That's cute, but that's a college book, sweetie. You're not ready for something that hard yet." that I forced myself to sit there and read it... albeit very, very slowly and with a dictionary in hand.
     
  12. Viamence
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    When I was about seven I read this humongous book (or at least it was big when I was a little guy) about some dinosaur called Ornitholestes. It was very scientific and I couldn't understand a large portion of it, but somehow I persevered and finished all three hundred-odd pages of it.

    I really want to find out what book it was. Perhaps I was one of the few people to read some little-known researcher's life's work? Would be interesting.

    Back on topic, I never read any Silverstein until late middle school, which is unfortunate because I really liked them.
     
  13. CharlieVer
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    CharlieVer New Member Contributor

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    The Hardy Boys.

    I was a comic book collector in my childhood years in the 1970s, through some of my teen years in the 1980s. I read comic books, and I read everything I could get my hands on about comic books, from fan magazines to biographies... whenever I had a book report where I could choose the book, it always had something to do with comics... once during that period I read a biography on Charles Shultz, for example, and another time I did a report on a book about the E.C. horror comics of the 1950s, the banning of comic books during that period and the beginnings of the "Comics Code." My favorite was when I did a report on Marvel Comics, having read a book about the history of Marvel Comics. (I recall a large section of my report being about the Fantastic Four.) Just a few examples.

    In my later teen years, I turned to Stephen King, which lead me to Peter Straub, Anne Rice, Robin Cook and others.
     
  14. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    I didn't read as a youngin' so influence was impossible.
     
  15. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    I read a lot of mystery. Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and Tom swift were my favorites. I have so man of each series it's ridiculous. I read Watership Down and Dr. Dolittle books at a young age. I remember Maniac Mcgee that was a hilarius book and the Mad Scientist Club. I also read Bobbsy Twins. I loved Mysteries as a child don't know Why I don't like them now. Beverly Cleary I read a lot of her books and Brian Jaques(he came to my elementary school and signed copies of his redwall books). I also read the Wayside School series that was a very eclectic series.

    Has anyone else ever heard of those?
     
  16. Penny Dreadful
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    Penny Dreadful Senior Member

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    Oh, I loved Wayside School! What with the one-way elevators and class on the 13th floor that existed even though it didn't exist. :D

    I also read the Bailey School Kids: "Ninjas don't Bake Pumpkin Pies", "Vampires don't Wear Polka Dots", "Zombies don't Play Soccer" ect. Ooooh, memories.
     
  17. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    I just thought about another Series I liked that was limited called Dojo Rats. About some tweens that studied karate and kicked bad guy but.

    @ Penny Not too many remember Wayside School. Yeah that was a weird series especially when you read the one were arithmatic is egg + plant = car lol.

    I also remember Liver Cookies cause it had receipes for all the food in the book at the end. The Giver was awesome as well as Canyons.

    If I remember any more I will add them
     
  18. Bob Magness
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    Bob Magness Senior Member

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    Well, first I had to read what was given to me and that was things like Dr. Seuss, which I did enjoy. But the first books that I can remember picking out for myself to read were Encyclopedia Brown , followed shortly by Hardy Boys.
     
  19. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    Ooh, long list. I simply devoured books when I was little. I'm only listing it if I liked it.

    "Grown-Up" books that I got into and read:
    White Fang
    Black Beauty
    Lucifer's Hammer
    Treasure Island
    Frankenstien
    The Invisible Man (the one about the crazy scientist madman)
    Lots of Poem books in various forms
    The Hobbit
    The Fellowship of the Ring (didn't continue after that for several years)
    The Secret Garden
    The Call of the Wild
    To Build a Fire and other stories
    Bruce
    Alas, Babylon
    Hound of the Baskervilles



    "Kids' Books" or "Young Adult" books
    The Trumpet of the Swan
    The Animorphs
    Young Jedi Knights
    Choose your own adventure
    Hardy Boys
    The books by Bruce Coville
    My Stepsister is an Alien (I think that was the title. Good book.)
    The Little House Books
    The Secret Garden
    Holes
    Walk two Moons
    Julie of the Wolves
    Nancy Drew
    Starship Troopers
    Just So Stories
    The Jungle Books
    Maniac Magee
    Freak the Mighty & its sequel
    Various Collections of Short stories
    The Time Machine (by Wells)
    Starswarm
    Sign of the Beaver
    My Brother Sam is Dead
    Shiloh
    Where the Red Fern Grows
    Old Yeller
    ... and I think I'll quit there.

    I remember how each year in elementary school we'd go to the library during the first week of class and be given a library "scavenger hunt" to make sure we all knew how to use the computer and filing system to look up books by a given authors, or the author if we knew the title of the book or the series name. One year my table won the hunt because I just filled in 3/4ths of the information from memory and the we claimed to have looked it up on the computer. So - yeah. By 5th grade I knew many of the "popular" authors plus a lot of the "classic" stuff.
     
  20. zingsho
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    My favorite book was the story "The beauty and the beast"...i still love it...
    I grew up reading Nancy drew, Enid Blyton, Archies,had a couple of Asterix and Tinkle(a local comic book...i love it) and then drastically to gotham and marvel comics.....and eventually to Japanese manga books(pokemon,bleach, naruto and death note...etc...etc...)and then to novels....fictions most probably and no-fiction also...
    my favorites are Angela's ashes, memoirs of Geisha, Night(by Elie Wiesel),the alchemist, Veronica decides to die....so many more...And i love the twilight series(i don't know why but i love Edward.:)..God bless my sister, she gifted me on my birthday):)
     
  21. Gone Wishing
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    Roald Dahl was very much a favourite growing up - I still adore The B.F.G. (I stayed up all night reading that the first time, I just couldn't put it down), plus George's Marvelous Medicine, The Witches, Revolting Rhymes, The Twits... Treasured classics all of them. :)

    Some of the first books I truly loved were The Wild Heart by Helen Griffiths, The Little Mermaid (I still have an amazing, traditional version of this story - forget the Disney ending, it's BS :p - illustrated by Lazslo Gal) and The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Anderson. (I guess I was drawn to the tragic fairy tale endings from an early age).
     
  22. Aeroflot
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    Aeroflot Senior Member

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    Richard Scarry
    Dr. Seuss
    Howlday Inn
    A little bit of Goosebumps
    Harry Potter
    Ronald Dahl

    I think that's all I used to read besides Sonic the Hedgehog comics.
     
  23. traffic101
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    traffic101 Member

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    Right the Babysitter club! What about Nancy Drew. My grandmother had a stash of those in her basement and we used to read them...they were a bit scary. That and the Hardy Boys...
     
  24. TwinPanther13
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    What you say about disney endings is true. When we lived in Germany we got a copy of the original stories written by the brothers Grimm. Disney was way off. Snow white leaves the handsome prince for a woodcutter, Cinderrla's Step mother and her sisters are beheaded after the one with feet too big for the slipper cuts off part of her foot to fit in the glass. Hansel and gretel are eaten and there father kills the step mother and the witch. They were some Grim tales indeed. To bad those were never made into a movie.
     
  25. Ohmytheoctopus
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    Well, I know I remember reading Maniac Magee, several of the Encyclopedia Browns, and... lets see... The Hobbit, of course Harry Potter, White Fang, I loved the Boxcar Children books, did anyone else read those?
     

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