Friday, September 14, 2007

Childhood Favorites with My Twin

I get to be a twin today! Barbara O’ Connor, one of my favorite children’s writers – and one of my *best* writing friends EVER is my look-alike. We're doing twin blogs about our favorite childhood books. Be sure to read hers, too! barboconnor and Greetings From Nowhere.

1. The books I read the most in just sheer numbers were NANCY DREW mysteries. I also read just about every Phyllis Whitney mystery too. I received my very first Nancy Drew, THE HIDDEN WINDOW MYSTERY, when I was eleven from a 3rd grade teacher. At lunchtime I'd go into her classroom and grade papers or cut out bulletin board art. I loved helping Miss Aungst and she was so nice and so pretty. She gave me THE HIDDEN WINDOW as a thank you gift at the end of the school year. In 6th grade at an orthodontist appointment I was, of course, reading a Nancy Drew mystery, probably THE CLUE IN THE ATTIC while reclining in the chair waiting for the doctor when the assistant told me that she had some Nancy Drew’s at home that used to belong to her mother. At my next appt. she brought me AN ENTIRE BOX of First Edition Nancy Drew’s, published in the 1940s. I wonder what they’re worth? I still have them. They have blue covers and no cover art, published before the yellow ones in the 60s and 70s.

2. THE LITTLE WHITE HORSE by Elizabeth Goudge. My mother found this book in a magazine that had a “Books to Check Out” list. I was always looking for the next book to read since I read one every single day. I loved, loved, loved this book. It’s got everything - the *olden days* as I used to call the 1800s as a kid, mystery, danger, magic, and a bit of romance and fairy tale.

HARRIET THE SPY by Louise Fitzhugh. I became Harriet. I kept a notebook. I spied on people. I wrote my own stories. But I never got in trouble or dissed my friends.

4. MAGIC ELIZABETH by Norma Kassirer. I couldn’t even tell you how many times I read this book I loved it so much. And I still have my original copy.

SUZIE AND THE BALLET FAMILY by Lee Wyndham. I love ballet and devoured this wonderful series over and over again. My mother let me buy the whole set through the Scholastic book club. 35 - 50 cents for a book back then! Mind-boggling.

6. TO DANCE, TO DREAM by Maxine Drury. 10 stories about the real lives of famous dancers through the last three centuries: Maria Taglioni, Isadora Duncan, Anna Pavlova, Margot Fonteyn and ending with Maria Tallchief. My favorite was Anna Pavlova – I was mesmerized reading about Anna’s ballet slippers and how she tore them apart and re-sewed them before each performance.

My copy of this wonderful volume is inscribed: “To Kimberley on your ninth birthday. With love and best wishes from Uncle Dave, Aunt Mabel, Debra, Greg, Scott and Lisa.”

7. HELEN KELLER’S TEACHER by Margaret Davidson.

8. LADY WITH A LAMP, Florence Nightingale. Awesome woman.

9. NELLIE BLY, REPORTER. Very cool chick. I was shocked at Nellie’s nerve to get herself admitted to an insane asylum so that she could uncover the truth about what was happening inside. Talk about guts! I also read a book about a woman who became a Confederate spy but I can’t remember the title. The thing that stuck with me was when she actually chewed and swallowed an incriminating note one time to keep from getting caught. Wow.

10. A LANTERN IN HER HAND by Bess Street Aldrich. HISTORICAL FICTION AT IT’S BEST! That’s all I have to say. This is definitely one of the first *cross-over* books that both YA’s and adults have loved - long before that term was coined a few years ago.

Now don't forget to read Barb's Favorites - after all - we're twins today!

1 comment:

April Afloat said...

Hi Kimberly,
So nice to hear from you! Thanks for the kudos. Speaking of blogs, you've really done a great job with yours! I recently re-did my website and blog (with lots of links) so now I am an active blog reader. It's a great way to keep up with friends and a great way to procrastinate. Let's keep in touch!



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