By Shari Randall
I stumbled upon an article about celebrities and their favorite books from childhood and of course I gobbled it up. (Former children’s librarian here.) This question – What was your favorite book when you were a child? – had just popped up at a book club I attended last week, and it kicked off a terrific discussion.
There’s a meme floating around the internet that says if you see someone holding a book you love, it’s the book recommending the person. If you share a passion for the same children’s book, there’s an extra level of magic and joy in that recommendation.
There’s something about this question that opens a door into a person that is so revealing. It’s an introduction to the heart of the child they once were. If someone has the same favorite book, it forms an immediate bond. When one of the book club members said that her favorite book growing up was "any Nancy Drew," so many of us broke out into smiles and cries of “me, too!” The British readers at the meeting bonded immediately when they learned that they both loved the books of Enid Blyton. (I’m adding Enid’s books to my reading list.)
Whenever I visit a Facebook party, I ask this question and it always gets enthusiastic responses. Readers love to talk about books, and especially love to talk about the books that sparked their enthusiasm for reading and made them a lifelong reader.
At the same book club meeting one reader announced that she had kept a list of the books that changed her life over the years and that The Wizard of Oz was on that list. Everyone was immediately envious – why hadn’t we thought of keeping such a list over the years? My list would certainly have my favorites: Nancy Drew (of course), Charlotte’s Web, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Westing Game, Jane Eyre.
What was your favorite children’s book or author?
Here are some celebrity picks:
Kelly Clarkson: Matilda
Jackie Collins: Enid Blyton
Elizabeth Gilbert: The Wizard of Oz
Stephenie Meyer: Little Women
Roxanne Guy: Little House on the Prairie
Ethan Hawke: The Hobbit
Barack Obama: Where the Wild Things Are
Rob Lowe: The Mouse and the Motorcycle
JK Rowling: The Little White Horse
Shari Randall is the author of the Agatha Award-winning Lobster Shack Mystery series. Her latest book, FATAL FUDGE SWIRL, was written as Meri Allen. You can pick up a copy here.