Sunday, February 04, 2007

Max Guilfoile's favorite books

Kevin Guilfoile has posted a nice piece over at The Outfit. It's about his three-year-old son Max's affinity for Laura Lippman's novels. (Great taste, Max!)

Kevin's post isn't only about Max's reading material; he wants to know about your early favorites as well:
When Max was born I asked a number of friends to give me the name of the first book from their childhood that really got them hooked. The book they were reading--probably around fourth or fifth or sixth grade--when something clicked in their heads and they understood what it was to get lost in a novel, to be transported into a fictional world, to believe in characters that someone else had invented. I received dozens of great recommendations (and many actual books with loving inscriptions) and I've started to build Max's library for the day when he really can read to himself. I had three older siblings and grew up in a house full of books that were just a little bit advanced for me and I want Max and his brother to grow up the same way. I want them to be able to reach out their hands any time and find a book that thrills and challenges them.

So I'm posing the question again here. What was the book that did it for you? The first novel you stayed up at night reading under the covers. The first book you ran home from school so you could get back to it. The first book you really became lost in.
I really have no clue: my memory is too lame.

But Kevin got a number of choice responses in the comments section of the post, and you might consider adding to them.

The book that did it for Kevin "was Jean Merrill's The Pushcart War. Every time I pick up a book I'm trying to relive the feeling I had reading that story."

Bryon Quertermous wrote: MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN by Jean Craighead George. I've never been the outdoorsy type, but that book made me want to live inside a tree for years.

Dave White wrote: I was always hooked on the Hardy Boys novels (and I don't remember the titles, but I know I liked the sixth one because it had a hand grenade in it).

Libby Hellmann wrote: "Blueberries for Sal" -- I loved that book. My mother used to take me to the library when I was quite small, and I'd check out that book every time. Loved the "plink, plink, plink"...

Maryann Mercer wrote: I know I read quite a bit as a child. Lois Lenski was my first favorite author, but the book I remember as being the one I read over and over was The Diary of Anne Frank. I also read as many Holmes stories as I could, but Anne Frank was THE book.

Among Marcus Sakey's mentions: The first that leaps to mind is THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. That's partly because the school librarian wouldn't let me check it out (I was in first grade) and so my mom took me to the public library for it.

Jenny Grahn wrote: The book that really stuck with me was "The Velveteen Rabbit" and it made me cry. It was the first "chapter book" I ever read and I vividly remember sitting on the living room couch reading it (no one EVER sat there!).

There are more entries: check 'em out, add your own.

--Marshal Zeringue