I grew up with Ramona Quimby and I still really like these books. Even more than I like reading them myself, I like listening to the audiobooks which are read delightfully by Stockard Channing.
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
(Random House, $6.99)
I reread this book every couple of years and I’ve given it away as a gift enough times to have bought a carton of books. This book holds up really well over time and the lessons about truth and friendship are as valid and important as they were the first time I read this.
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
When I was a kid I wanted to BE Pippi Longstocking. She can lift her horse one-handed and her dad is a pirate. She lives alone with no adult supervision. A great book for any day you could use a good laugh.
Matilda by Roald Dahl (Penguin, $6.99)
Most smart kids will relate to the tyranny of unreasonable adults in this book. Roald Dahl does a good job of being sympathetic without patronizing. Despite being 25 years old, this book remains timely and relevant.
Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentine by Barbara Park
(Random House, $4.99)
These books were written way after I was a kid, but I read them to my little cousins and with each new Junie B. adventure, we giggled and rooted for everything to come up happily ever after once more. There are a ton of these books, but Mushy Gushy Valentine is my fave.
Sarah Rose, September 2014