23 June 2010

Ten Around Ten Challenge

This week I (The Big Sister) am going to turn ten.  Lately I find that I am not really too excited about getting older --I feel like I am in between, not really a kid any more and not ready to grow up.

My challenge for you this week is to list ten books that you read when you were around ten, like me.  Tell us about books that you read when you were in between --not exactly a kid and not exactly grown up... 

If you can't think of ten right away --start with one and then come back!

Try some other Challenges: Poetry in a Vacation, Haiku Your Book, On Ice in Antarctica, Bookshelf Challenge or What are you Reading RIGHT NOW! Take a moment and tell us where you are from and learn the easiest way to follow the project, click here.


  1. These are the books that came to mind --I had to look some of them up because I couldn't remember the exact title or author. Some of them I remember really well and others I want to re-read!

    Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson
    Wind in the Door and
    A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeline L'Engle
    Sounder by William H. Armstrong
    Enchantress From the Stars by Sylvia Louise Engdahl
    Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
    The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander
    Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
    The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
    Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson

    A recurring theme at Books for Walls is that books allow us to escape --and when I was your age I found myself living into books and finding ways of becoming more myself, even when it wasn't always fun or easy. Some of these books were really sad, like Bridge to Terabithia or the characters had very hard lives, like Island of the Blue Dolphins and Sounder --but they worked so hard to live it made me want to work harder too! This is a great Challenge Nadia, it really has me thinking... Thank you!!

  2. I was "around 10" 70 years ago, so it's next to impossible for me to come up with 10 books with any hope for accuracy. However, 2 things I know for sure. I read every one of the Nancy Drew books I could get my hands on.; and a favorite I read over and over was given me by an uncle: The Adventures of Robin Hood. It finally fell apart and I could never find another copy just like it or I would still be reading it today!

  3. Like jolynbarrett, ten was a long time ago, but I recall three things. Willard Price's books (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willard_Price) Amazon Adventure and South Sea Adventure were standouts about that time. And like Hardy Boys books, which my brother and I read voraciously, Price's books featured two brothers, at times best friends and at times rivals. Does this sound familiar, Big Sister? Finally, my brother and I read piles and piles of Classics Illustrated, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classics_Illustrated) classic stories in a comic book format. We had boxes and boxes of them, maybe from my Uncle Joe, who is 92 now.

  4. i second the nancy drew. i'll see if i can remember any others.

  5. It is hard for me to remember at what age I read certain books. . . but here are a few favorites that come to mind (and maybe The Mom will be able to tell The Big Sister if these are good choices for an almost 10-year-old!). Here are five for starters:

    The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

    The Gammage Cup by Carol Kendall

    Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

    The Arm of the Starfish by Madeleine L'Engle

  6. Here are some of my favorites from when I was your age: Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little by E. B. White, Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Wonderful Wizzard of Oz by Frank Baum, Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard & Florence Atwater and Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery (which has been one of my all-time favorites, along with the movie, which I still adore!). I also used to love comic books! When it was summer my sister and I would spend hours reading comic books laying in the grass in our yard and eating cherries, peaches and apples from our orchard! :-)
    Happy Birthday, Nadia!!

  7. When I was 10 I had a 7 year old brother who primarily annoyed me and a 2 year old sister I adored but who wasn't the companion to me then that she is now. Books and the characters in them were my best friends. I remember so many late nights tiptoeing into the dormer in my room to read secretly when I was supposed to be in bed and fast asleep. So many long, hot summer days when I would quietly slip out the backdoor (not wanting to alert my brother) to read in the long grasses of the field behind our house - my only interruptions the grasshoppers who would hop onto my book.

    Here are a few of my favorites from that age:

    The Borrowers by Mary Norton (I was fascinated by little people)

    The Wrinkle in Time quintet by Madeleine L'Engle

    The Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery

    The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

    The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

    The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and others by Roald Dahl

  8. Dawn from Traverse11:37 PM

    Dear Big Sister! Congratulations on being 10. Just wanted to post to say that your question has caused great conversation, not only in our house (my son, who is 10 thinks its an easy question :)) but also among friends on my Facebook account who were 10 with me, so very very long ago.

    Hopefully we'll be back with a proper list, but in the meantime one that got us all nostalgic (and resulted in me buying it re-release form today) that I haven't see here yet was the Moomintroll series by Tove Janssen.

  9. Wow there are a lot of Moomin Books!! We LOVE to hear about the conversations The Big Sister's Challenge spark!

    The Big Sister says "all the birthday wishes make me feel GIDDY!"

    We love to read about all the other readers who sneak reading late at night (Big Sis is up with her headlamp late late late LATE! Thank goodness for SUMMER!)

    ... all we can say is MORE MORE MORE!

  10. Just thought of another one!

    Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

    Wonderful book...I think I need to read it again.

  11. Hello, I am a friend of John the Poet, AKA grandpa. When I was 10, my favorite books were the adventure series by Enid Blyton, a well known author of books for children in England. In the summer, my best friend and I would peddle our bikes to the Ben Franklin branch of the Detroit Library, fill our baskets with books and spend the rest of the day on the porch reading. They were named the Valley of Adventure, the Circus of Adventure, the Island of Adventure. To this day I could sit down and read on of them. My other favorite author was Beverly Cleary. two years ago, we went to Oregon and I had to go to the Beverly Cleary park and see the statues of Henry Huggins, Ramona, Ribsy and the rest of the gang.
    Happy Reading!

  12. I was 10 in the late 1950’s, a while ago for certain! I remember loving covered wagon stories. The adventurous and daring spirit of going west…over wild, even treacherous terrain…uncharted lands… all of it seemed romantic somehow. Camp fires using buffalo chip fuel! Eeeyw! How did they wash their long skirts? I didn’t know about Laura Engel’s novels, but would have loved them.

    Even circling the wagons and being attacked by Indians brought a new sense of mystery, fear, and excitement. Some of the tribes were friendly, but most often afraid of what the “white man” might mean to their way of life. (They were sadly correct.)

    Back then, unfortunately, most of the stories I read were from the viewpoint of the intruder and not the Native American.

    Happy Birthday Nadia! Enjoy being 10!

  13. I don’t recall everything about being 10, although contextually, I was in fourth grade at Platte River Elementary School and had lived in Taft, California for all of third grade I was ‘back’ in my hometown. At 10, my two little sisters were eight and three. At that point in time, the fun book collections that my middle sister & I had shared for years still existed (our home burned down when I was 12, so we lost all of our childhood books). I bet we read many of The Sweet Pickles books to our baby sister—they were some of our favorites… all tales of anthropomorphic characters. Classics in the Doctor Seuss, Shel Silverstein and ‘The Bernstein Bears” vein all ring a bell too. I too was a fan of many of the books posted about so far… The Little House on the Prairie series, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Secret Garden, as well as The Boxcar Children collection, The Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew books, any and all books by Beverly Cleary (I LOVED Ramona Quimby’s antics) and any/all ‘approved’ books by Judy Blume (Freckle Juice, Blubber, Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret, etc.). If I could, I’d return to the library and see of my elementary school and look into the books I had checked out over the years… I remember sending fan mail to Punky Brewster around that time (it may have been as an 11 year old fifth grader) and how I treasured the signature on the black and white image. Thank you Big Sister, for a bit of reminiscing. Fourth grade had its ups and downs, but all in all, it’s a piece of my history that now, I’ll remember with treasured book titles instead of unexpected loss and an art pencil ‘stabbing’. Thank you!

  14. Anonymous12:20 PM

    Great question Nadia!

    Your Mom and I read a number of the same books! I wonder why?! ; )

    So, here they are, best I can remember. Not quite sure about my age at the times of these particular books, but let's just say I was around 10 years old.

    Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson
    Wind in the Door
    Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
    Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
    Little House on the Prairie
    Nancy Drew
    Hardy Boys
    Boxcar Children
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    James and the Giant Peach (one of my favorites)
    I also read as many Judy Blume books as I could. (Some of them I had to wait until I was older...but I eventually read them all.)


  15. When I was 10 I lived in suburban Detroit and I was a very busy little boy. I played baseball, rode my bike, rough-housed with the neighborhood boys, so I didn't read many books, but when I did read I read a lot of comic books. Marvel comics, Batman, Superman, Spiderman, my favorite was Aquaman.

    I didn't start reading literature until I was much older --until I was in my late twenties and then I felt the need to make up for lost time. And I devoured many classics like Moby Dick, Watership Down and The Count of Monte Cristo.

    I wish I would have read as much as I read now because I will never be able to read all of the books I want to!

  16. My summer is FILLED up with reading now! Thank you for all the great books I would really like more!

    And I want to hear more about the "Art Pencil Stabbing" from The Dreamer!

    Please keep posting, I would love to hear from other ten year olds! I just turned ten yesterday so I will post my ten soon, now that I am ten!

  17. One day in fourth grade, my art teacher had been reading to us from a book about pencil illustration and history. She decided to walk our class the short distance from our school to 'downtown Honor' so we could illustrate some of the old buildings still standing. As we took our place in line and began the short voyage down the grey concrete sidewalk from here to there, I found myself in line behind a boy classmate who was known for mischief and mayhem and general trouble-causing... needless to say I remember not being too thrilled. The young boy taunted and tried to tickle with his big fat-lead art pencil (we all carried our sketch pads and one of these school-supplied fat-black-pencils in our hands for the assignment). Needless to say, before the trek was complete, the young bully had gotten in my face, trying to 'duel' me art pencil to art pencil and in so doing, waved his pencil in my face enough to irritate me to swat him away. As he taunted me with the pencil & I reached to shoo him (like an annoying bumble bee) away, his pencil jabbed me in the right hand, breaking the led off into my hand, and causing me to bleed. To this day, I still have a lead mark in my skin. Big Sister: remind me to show you next time I see you!

    Moral of this story: don't shoe the annoying, buzzing 'bees' in your life. Stay calm, ignore them, and if you're lucky, they'll fly away!

  18. Here's a book to add to your list but it comes with a story, so gather 'round. My house is for sale, so I spend some of my time clearing out years of accumulation, including books. Last week a nun friend of mine asked me, if I hadn't cleared out everything, if I would consider donating books to her Congregation. I agreed and decided on culling the shelves in the library/den. I came up with 90 books and that left space on the shelves. So I decided to move some books from one of the top shelves in the bookcases in the living room, which I could no longer reach without standing on a stool.

    Many of these were classic children's stories. Among them was one titled, "Ben and Me." I had certainly seen it on the shelf before, but I never paid much attention to it. I knew it wasn't one of mine and it didn't belong to our daughters, but I couldn't get rid of it without looking into it, so I took it down. On the cover under the title it read: A New and Astonishing Life of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN * As written by his Good Mouse AMOS *** Lately Discovered, Edited & Illustrated by ROBERT LAWSON ** Well, this was intriguing, so I opened it.

    On the inside cover, written in a childish hand was "Joseph Barrett." Then on the fly leaf, this inscription:
    Merry Christmas
    To Joey
    From John

    Christmas 1939

    The copyright page read: Published October 1939
    Reprinted October 1939

    I smiled to myself. Joseph was my husband -- he would have been almost 10 at the time; John was his older brother, who then was in his teens. So I sat down to read.

    It's a delightful story in which Amos recounts that it was really he who was responsible for many of Ben's inventions and diplomatic triumphs (and disasters), and it gives some insight into what life was like in Colonial America.

    When I finished (still smiling), I went to my computer and discovered that this is not just an old out-of-date book. Not only is it available on line, it is in stock in every book store in my area!

    My husband was a person who often left things around to be discovered. So, whether or not it was his intention, I finally "discovered" this first printing of a 1939 book that was a child's treasured Christmas gift. And I'm excited to have a way to share with all of you this wonderful "Christmas in July" gift.

  19. I love Bridge to Terabitha! Such an inspiring book!