Part One of Three
If you’re a personal friend of mine (or you’ve followed this blog for quite some time) you’ll know by now that I’m a bibliophile and proud of it. I suppose it comes from being the daughter of a teacher. One of the best days of the year was going to the Scholastic Book Fair; that was when Scholastic would send all of their books, preschool to young adult, to all of the schools. Mom always got the teacher discount, and many books that were a big part of my childhood came from those book fairs. I’d like to share some of them with you.
- Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth by E.L.Konigsburg
This book is certainly very interesting. In a way, I expect that this was one of the books that stuck with me because of what happens in the story.
Elizabeth, the protagonist meets Jennifer on Halloween on her way to school after lunch; Jennifer claims that even though her costume looks like a pilgrim’s, she’s actually a real witch. They both seem to hit it off, with Jennifer and Elizabeth going trick or treating that night. The next day, Jennifer takes on Elizabeth as an apprentice witch, putting her through all kinds of tests and such; one such example is eating a raw onion for a few weeks. Elizabeth manages to make it work by eating a raw onion sandwich on toast with mustard; the only consequence is that she has horrible breath. Jennifer and Elizabeth end up being friends of a sort.
I won’t spoil too much more, but eventually Elizabeth and Jennifer get into a fight, but then they make up, and Jennifer actually is…well, I won’t spoil that for you, you’ll have to read the book yourself.
I really like this book because it’s something different; here you have two girls who are completely different from each other and yet somehow they become friends. It makes me feel like anyone can become friends no matter what their differences are. I like this book better than The Mixed-Up Files of Ms. Basil E. Frakenweiler, Konigsburg’s other book.
And because of this book, I actually used to eat raw onion sandwiches on toast with mustard. And they were delicious. I can’t really eat them now because of my more mature digestive system but once in a while I get a hankering. Hmm, maybe one day I’ll make one.
- The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
This book may have contributed it to my amateur interest in all things Ancient Egypt. Three kids—two girls and a boy—decide to create an Egypt game and pretend to be high priestesses and a high priest respectively. They’re joined by two other boys and pretty much have a grand old time. But then there’s a little bit of threat, and…yeah, you’ll just have to read for yourself. It’s got some obscure cultural references (it was published in 1967) but it’s a great read.
- The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson
This one came out about three years before another certain famous book about Kings Crossing Station came out, but it basically talks about how there a portal on Platform 13 is called “the gump” that opens every so often. The gump leads to a secret world full of trolls, ogres, wizards and magical creatures. When the newborn son of the king and queen is kidnapped, a rescue mission is underway. It’s a really fascinating book, and you should definitely read it. There’s some great nods to British folklore as well.
- The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
In 1687, seventeen years before Salem, Kit Tyler arrives from Barbados to Connecticut to live with her aunt and uncle after some unsavory situations; needless to say she doesn’t fit in well there. While there she makes the acquaintance of a woman who the village claims is a witch, and many events happen that lead to a dramatic climax.
I personally love this book because of…well, everything! Kit is someone I would want as a friend; smart, vivacious, headstrong, and valiant. In a way, I feel she set the standard for literary female protagnoists. If you can find a copy, read this book
So there is part one of this series. I hope you find these books and enjoy them as much as I have!
Have you read any of these books? What are some books from *your* childhood that people may not know about? Let me know in the comments down below!