What to Recommend?

800px-Timeless_BooksThe other day a sixth grade student asked me what my favorite book was when I was her age, she was looking for a recommendation.   This question stopped me dead.  I couldn’t think.  I didn’t know.  How crazy is that?

Here is what was happening inside my head… There were SO MANY books I have read with my classes over the years, that they drowned out the books that I read when I was in sixth grade!  Only Three or four books surfaced and that is crazy because I read   All.  The.  Time.  The first ones to surface were…..

Black Beauty, This was my first book crush.  What could be better than a talking horse?

Watership Down. You know.  I am not really sure I remember what this is about?  Talking rabbits?  Displaced rabbits? All that is important was that I LOVED that book.

All Things Bright and Beautiful.  Set in the 30s in England, this is the story of country vet.  Another treasured book.

Where the Red Fern Grows  I have written about this book before, so it must rate very highly with me, I keep coming back to it.  Read it with tissues handy.

I looked over this list.  Hmmmm…. I was animal book nerd! Not many kids are these days.  But I sure was.

This conversation with a sixth grader prompted me to place “All Things Bright and Beautiful” on hold from our library, it came and I skimmed it.  It almost made me tear up.  So much nostalgia.  As I skimmed the book, I realized my memory was skewed, I must have read it when I was in middle school.  So what other book could I name from those lovely years?

The Outsiders… Sooooo full of angst.  My fantasy boyfriend was Ponyboy.  My best friend loved Darry, it was just like her to fall for the good boy.  Not me.  I loved dreamy Ponyboy.

Fast forward to high school.  Assigned books aside, there were a few I read on my own.

Dune... Not my genre at all.  In a moment of boredom I picked up my brother’s book and was sucked in.  I think it set the stage for my Star War’s fandom.

Salem’s Lot – Everyone was reading it, so I did too.  It had great writing, I will never, never, never dis Stephan King.  He is an amazing writer, but… my… god.  That book was terrifying.  It became part of my DNA. To this day I sometimes hear the scratching of a vampire’s fingernails on my window at night.

Gone with the Wind.  This one is a little embarrassing.  It was an obsession.  I bet I read that big old book four or five times.  To make it even better,  my friend loved it too and we would…. get this….. we would talk like Scarlet in a thick southern belle accent… throwing in a lot of “I do declares” and “Fiddle-dee-dees.”  Ahhh…  Good times.

So I am not sure I would recommend any of these books to that sixth grader, she is not the type that likes talking animals, and the rest are certainly not age appropriate, but she was awful sweet to ask.




2 thoughts on “What to Recommend?

  1. I remember reading Where The Red Fern Grows in my sixth grade class. Wow, did the tears flow. It’s one of the few books I can actually recall from my childhood. I read a lot of The Boxcar Children series growing up, if not all. Does your student like solving mysteries? That book series may be a hit with her.


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