The Books of My Childhood That I Wish I Had Kept

Last week I wrote about how I select the books my husband and I read to our toddler.

The best part of blogging is getting to “meet” so many fantastic people all over the world.

How do those sentences even go together?!

Yes more blogs is a wonderful blog I’ve been following for at least a few weeks now. If you haven’t yet, you should definitely take a read and give a follow! Anyways, we had a lovely conversation about reading to our children and it sparked a memory of some childhood books that I absolutely adored.

Ten years ago I thought I was never going to be a mom. Ten years ago I was finishing my junior year of college and had the world at my fingertips. I had dreams and big plans. I didn’t know I was just a few months away from meeting my husband and deciding to have kids.

I also needed more space in my bookcase. Which meant donating books. Though after reading this post by Rebeca (go check out her blog and give her a follow!), I seriously wish I hadn’t just so I could literally be surrounded by books. Or my kids would find them and do…what kids do to books.

There were several books I had read during my childhood that I thought I would never read again and, since I hadn’t planned on having kids, wouldn’t be handing down to anyone (nieces and nephews were also highly unlikely at this time).

But now I’m a mom. And I wish I had kept these books. Though something tells me I’m going to eventually collect them all over again and, maybe, pass them on to my children. You know, after I’m done reacquainting myself with them after, oh, a dozen or so times.

  1. Tamora Pierce. One of my absolute favorite authors of my childhood. I read a few of her quartets, but kept only one. I devoured her books when I was 10, but, as I grew older, only circled back to one quartet, so let go of the others and never finished reading the newer quartets.
    1. The Song of the Lioness Quartet, or the Alanna books as I referred to them. These were the first that I read, the ones that got me hooked on Tamora Pierce. This quartet detailed the journey of a girl who wanted more than anything to be a knight. She disguised herself as a boy and took her brother’s place while he went to learn magic in her’s. For years, she trained as a boy, but, later as a knight, let it be known that she was a lady.
    2. The Immortals, or the Daine books as I referred to them. Daine has a powerful wild magic that gives her a close connection to wild animals. Orphaned, she finds herself under the guidance of experienced and powerful mage Numair, learning her magic (they’re both shape shifters) as they travel throughout the same world as the Alanna books. This is one series I dearly wish I had never given up. I read these so often that, even now almost 20 years later, I still have vivid images and can almost remember some of the passages.
    3. Protector of the Small. I never finished this quartet, reading 3 of the 4. They follow the training and adventures of the first girl since Alanna to train to be a knight, Keladry. While she is able to freely walk as a girl, she encounters many who do not believe she should be among them, but does manage to find some close friends who believe in her.
    4. The Circle of Magic. I still have this one (and read it about once a year)! This was by far my favorite, so even though I’m supposed to be focusing on the books I no longer have, I can’t write about Tamora Pierce without talking about my absolute favorites. This is about four young children who find themselves alone, but they are collected together by mage Niklaren Goldeye, who sees great power in them. Indeed, each of them becomes a master of one of the four elements as they become close friends.
  2. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. As a child, I was never fond of magazines. Especially the girl ones for pre-teens and teens. I would roll my eyes at the fashion, boys, and celebrity drivel. So, when my mom told me about a literary magazine called Cricket, I had to have it. I read it for years and, in one, a reader mentioned The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. A princess who runs away, goes to work for a dragon who becomes her best friend, eventually marries a prince, and saves the entire enchanted forest? Of course I had to read it! Are you sensing a theme here? Even as a 10-12 year old I was really into spunky female characters! Oh, and there’s a witch with about a million cats, so, as a cat lover, I loved these books even more.
  3. A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane. I randomly picked this one up in the bookstore one day, not knowing it was actually the fourth book of the Young Wizards series. Needless to say, it was a little confusing, but I suppose I caught up enough to enjoy this book. This is about a 13 year old girl named Nita who finds a book called So You Want to Be a Wizard. She takes the Wizard’s Oath and becomes a wizard and meets fellow young wizard Kit. In this book, Nita’s parents send her to an aunt in Ireland, where Nita finds herself sliding sideways through time and must protect the world from an ancient evil. I loved this book, but never picked up the first four, or even the ones that came after. Maybe one day I will. For now, I just wish I still had this one.
  4. Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones. When I first picked up these books, there were two volumes with two stories each: the first was Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant and the second was The Magicians of Caprona and Witch Week. I had no idea until now that there were other stories. But this series is about a boy named Christopher who is born with 9 lives (indeed, there is a cat on the covers and I strongly suspect this is why I picked them up) and can travel to parallel universes and must solve magical dilemmas when he is called, and a boy named Cat Chant who is otherwise quite ordinary, but has lost 6 lives and is training to be the next Chrestomanci (enchanters who have 9 lives).

Hmm, seems I’ve enjoyed fantasy from an early age!

Have you given up books from your childhood that you wish you still had?

  1. Stephen T

    The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper. Always wondered how they would read to me now, but at a younger age and full of magic and myth of old Briton, Celtic, and pagan stories in a contemporary time, I loved them.

    • kat

      I’ve heard of these books, but never picked them up. I love everything Celtic, though, so I’m sure I’ll be reading them one day, at least to myself if not to my kids!

  2. Becky @ Velvet Spade Reads

    Tamora Pierce deserves an award or something for everything she’s done for the genre and the bookish community. You wouldn’t believe how many amazing YA authors out there say they fell in love with reading because of these books. I still have my Alana and Immortals quartets and read them probably once a year. They’re completely falling apart πŸ™‚

    • kat

      She definitely does. Her books are amazing. They’re the ones who got me hooked on fantasy. I wish I still had more of the books, but, like you, I read the Circle books at least once a year. Sometimes I just circle back to them. Even as an adult, these books hold an insane amount of magic.

    • kat

      Oh, I loved those books! But always had a hard time finding them outside of yard sales. They really are fun.

      If you’re interested in a newer one, blogger
      Jennifer M. Zeiger recently published a book of these stories called The Adventure and her blog is full of fun choose your own adventure stories.

  3. Rebeca

    Oh, some of these books sound super interesting (I would totally read The Song of the Lioness Quartet and the Immortals)! I’m still deciding what to do with mine, luckily, a lot of my books from growing up are kept in my old room with my sisters, and they don’t read, so luckily they’ve got a safe home for now!
    Reading this made me super nostalgic for all the books I read growing up. The books you read as you grow up are always the ones that stay with you the most, I find!

    • kat

      Yes, definitely! I’m always trying to blog more about the books I’m currently reading, but
      I keep getting pulled back to pre-college books. They really set a firm foundation! As you read, I regret giving up some books, so tread carefully if you decide to give some up! Though with e readers I suppose it’s easier to collect them again in a place where they take up less space. Even though the physical book is better, it’s a good option. Good luck deciding!

      • Rebeca

        Thank you! I agree about the ereaders. As much as I like my ereader for its convenience, a physical book will always win out.

    • kat

      Sad, but true. People don’t value books as they used to, but they’re so full of knowledge that I just can’t understand why people shun them. Do collect them! One day this world will need a trove of books and there will be very few people with them. Happy reading!

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