My love for stories started when I was in my mom's womb and she would read to me, and reading continues to be a huge part of my life. When I was younger, I had a book club with my neighbors and friends. That really encouraged me to read regularly. Books can transport you to different worlds, help you realize truths about living and following your dreams, and really good books can change your perspective and stay with you forever. These are a few of my childhood favorites, that, in my opinion, are timeless. I hope you get the chance to pick up some of these books - though they are written for children, I think that everyone can enjoy them! Happy reading!
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild: Ballet Shoes is a story following three adopted girls who launch themselves into performing arts to support their poor family. It's taught me loads of lessons about growing up and balancing studying with my other responsibilities and interests. It was first published in 1936, a completely different era to the one we live in right now, but I quickly fell in love with it when I was just six years old - it was the very first book I read for my book club. It's both humorous and moving, and I'm pretty sure I've flipped through this tattered copy over a hundred times...this is a book I'd recommend to everyone!
Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume: When Virginia Somerset moves into the apartment next to eleven-year-old Cornelia Englehart, Cornelia becomes fascinated with the older woman's stories about her adventures all over the world. I love this book because it fueled my love for traveling and seeing new places - and it was the first time I had ever come across the word 'audacious!' At its simplest, it's a tale about love, friendship, and crazy wonderful adventures. It's definitely a timeless story to me.
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall: One of the most charming stories I've ever read! This is the story of the Penderwick sisters' summer vacation in a rented cottage behind the sprawling Arundel Hall estate. These were girls that I immediately considered my friends, and as I continued on reading I naturally identified with them. It's been said before, but reading this book is like the literary equivalent of a summer day - easy-breezy, memorable, and laugh-out-loud funny.
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh: O.K, so this book might've guided me into my most annoying phase as a tween - keeping a confidential spy notebook and writing down my inner ramblings as well as what I really thought about everyone I knew - but it taught me to be curious, and it taught me that it's okay to be myself, and it's okay to have bad days. Harriet is just a kid trying to figure herself out, and this book deals with rejection and loss. But it's also ridiculously hilarious and optimistic.
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett: I've always been intrigued by mystery and suspense novels. It's a challenge to bury clues within text without giving the entire plot away. As young Petra Andalee and Calder Pillay solve the case of a stolen Vermeer painting, they uncover a chain of events intertwined with real-life art history. This book really makes you think and read between the lines. Plus, the illustrations are amazing!