- Miss Osborne the Mop, by Wilson Gage.
It was destined to be the worst summer of Jody’s young life. Her family’s vacation was cancelled, she had to spend the summer with her horrible cousin Dill, and worst of all she had to wear a pair of big, ugly glasses. Her summer is further upset when Jody gets so angry that she turns Dill into a squirrel! That’s when she discovers that her glasses have magical powers. That magic combined with Dill’s dislike for housework creates Miss Osborne – a walking, talking, cleaning dust mop! The rest of their summer is devoted to Jody and Dill trying to hide a live mop.
I think the personalities in this book are fantastic, especially that of mop. Now that I’m an adult, I can appreciate how their problems brought Jody and Dill together as friends and helped Jody see herself as someone valuable and smart, no matter what she thought she looked like.
- Little House on the Prairie series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
I think this series is a favorite for a lot of people. My grandma had all of these books and so did my mom and I used several of them for school book reports.
I still read this series through every year, usually in the winter. I enjoy the vivid descriptions of foods, clothes, people, farm life, and travel. As a kids, you’re learning about history, but you don’t realize it because you get so caught up in Laura’s day to day life as a pioneer child. And I love reading in the later books about Laura becoming a teacher, becoming a young lady, and falling in love with Almonzo Wilder.
- The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie the Pooh, by A.A. Milne.
I know, this one is going way back in the age range. But really, who doesn’t love Pooh? My grandma frequently read Winnie the Pooh to me, which I think greatly influenced my love of reading.
Tigger is my favorite character – the T-I-double G-ER I aspire to be like, although I’m probably more often like Eeyore. “The King’s Breakfast” is probably my favorite poem and I like the story of when Tigger first comes to the forest and he’s trying to figure out “what Tiggers like best” to eat.
I think Winnie the Pooh is one of those stories that will always be treasured.
- Nancy Drew, by Carolyn Keene.
Again, these are books that my mom had from when she was young. I love the mystery of these books. Nancy is so classy, too; She reminds me of a crime-solving Audrey Hepburn. The mystery is always intriguing and balanced with well-rounded characters, like Nancy’s best friends Bess and George and her boyfriend Ned.
- The Black Stallion series, by Walter Farley.
Another book my mom suggested when I wanted a “fun” book for a book report was the Black Stallion, and it was on the approved reading list. Being at the “horses are glorious, noble, magical animals” age, I was hooked after the first book. I started collecting the books. Then my parents gave me “The Black Stallion” and “Return of the Black Stallion” the movies, and my young suspicions were confirmed: The Black was wonderful! Still a Favorite!