"A Wrinkle In Time" - IT still freaks me the hell out and I think of IT every time I see kids out playing with a ball or jumping rope (not perfectly synchronized)!
"The Catcher In The Rye" - I read it in 4th grade when my sis brought it home for 9th grade English. If you are a teen male and have bad skin, in my head I'm going to call you Ackley. I also think of Holden's English teacher at Pencey Prep with the grippe and the bumpy old man chest beneath his bathrobe every time I see Vick's Vap-O-Rub at the drugstore.
Chronicles of Narnia. I totally missed the religious overtones and Lewis's sexist statements. I just thought it'd be really cool to ride a lion like Susan and Lucy.
Winter of Fire by Sherryl Jordan. http://www.amazon.com/Winter-Fire-Po.../dp/0590452894 At 30, I fully realize it's not the most original YA lit. But as a junior high student, it really made me feel less alone. I re-read it so many times my original copy feel apart. My sister got me a replacement copy for xmas one year when I was in college.
Madeline L'Engle's books made a huge impression on me. I still remember being in the 4th grade, reading A Wrinkle in Time and being scared out of my mind reading the description of Camazotz. The identical houses, the kids all playing the same games, the boy who gets punished for bouncing his ball one extra time......it's still my personal idea of hell.
Given that I'm on COTH, it goes without saying that the Marguerite Henry books, Black Stallion, Black Beauty are one my list of fave childhood books.
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Pony Jungle by Lavinia Davis
Copper's Chance by Jane McIllvaine McClary
Golden Sovereign by Dorothy Lyon
Mystery of the Crimson Hound by Phyllis Whitney (I think)
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper
And all the other horse books
~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
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My favorite as a preteen was All the King's Horses by Jeffery Asher Nesbit. I probably read it a dozen times through my teens. When my stepdaughter was 10, I read it aloud to her...mostly. She took over when I got would get too choked up to continue. She's read it again on her own since then.
Others I loved were Where the Red Fern Grows and Scarlet Pimpernel. I did read series like The Black Stallion an Saddle Club (back when there were only a dozen of them), but they weren't the type of books I felt compelled to reread.
"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it." - Agent K, MIB
Yep, BES, the freaky scary description of Camazotz and this awful impersonal hideous IT brain controlling it all made such an impression - much more so than the drama of the scientist dad and his family and such oddball characters as Charles Wallace and Mrs. Whositwhatsit. And the tesserect!
I think it led to my interest in politics actually - it's a pretty powerful statement on totalitarian systems and some very explicit references to faith as well. Plus Madeline L'Engle was a Smithie, too, maybe it influenced my college choice?
I re-read my nephew's copy of the book about a year ago and was utterly and completely blown away by its brilliance. It still wigged me out, though.
The first book I can remember as a bedtime story is...Les Miserables. Not all of it - my grandmother would pick out parts, such as when Cosette was given her doll or when Jean Valjean had stolen the silver candlestick from the priest after he was freed from prison. It made for a very strange look by the kindergarten teacher when she asked me what my favorite bedtime story was.
I grew up on Mother West Wind stories, The Black Stallion, Lad, a Dog and Girl of the Limberlost. I loved all of those stories.
As a teen, I liked the White Gold Wielder series (the use of languages and cultural themes is very interesting) and Heinlein, H. Beam Piper, Orson Scott Card and David Brinn.
Now, I read just about anything. Some is good, some is bad, but rarely is much unreadable. Some just aren't worth a repeat experience.
Don't tell me about what you can't do. That's boring. Show me what you can do. - Mom
Album of Horses, and King of the Wind, and the Misty books, and the Black Stallion books, like everybody else-and the Billy and Blaze stories-how great are they, huh? I think the quality of those books first taught me what good books were really like.
Did anbody else read Caddie Woodlawn, about a little girl homesteading on the prairie? And I remember a series about two brothers, who had adventures all around the world-Amazon Adventure, Volcano Adventure, and so on-great stories.
And I read Trixie Beldon stories, too-never got into Nancy Drew.