Posting “ten books that have stayed with you” started going around facebook again. I resisted for a bit, but decided to try again, knowing I might have a few of the same answers and a few different. Depending on the day and your mood and your memory, you can answer the same question a thousand different ways.
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones — I believe this was on my list before. Yes, it was a book first. A perfect humorous fairy tale with a Shakespearian Comedy-type ending. Also, read the Chrestomanci series. Also, anything else by her.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein – Because I thought it was going to be as funny and lighthearted as his poetry, and it broke my heart.
Remember Me by Christopher Pike – A ghost has to track down her own killer. I loved the views of the afterlife in this one. The story was also relatively not-weird compared to his usual fare.
Peter Pan by JM Barrie – Didn’t read this until college, which made the reading experience excellent. You can read Peter Pan as someone not quite human, and the ending is that Peter comes back for a Darling child to spirit away every generation.
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery – I loved the idea that the family mistakenly adopted a girl when they wanted a boy to help them with hard farm labor. Also features hilarious underage drinking. It’s like a Canadian pre-teen “I Love Lucy.”
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis – This is obvious. I still wish I had my own writing pocket dimension where you can visit for years and no time passes in the “real world.”
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – One of the only classics I read independently as a child. The reason it stayed with me was the image of an old woman in a bridal gown dancing by herself as her house burns down around her.
Hole in my Life by Jack Gantos — A recent read, but I’ve known the story for a while. A Boston children’s author’s memoir of his time in prison.
Cradle and All by James Patterson – When I was ten, my gram told me this book was too mature and I shouldn’t read it. So I waited until she returned it to the library and checked it out. Now I have a thing for religious horror thrillers.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett – I love Mary and Dickon, but Colin was the one I was most fascinated with. Colin’s father was so grief stricken by his wife’s death that he protected his son fiercely. So much so that Colin hardly ever saw the sun and couldn’t walk on his own, though there was nothing physically wrong with him.
Also, be proud KidLit writers: Almost all the books people said influenced them were written for children. Keep doing good work for young people.