What books changed you as a kid?

For me it was A Wrinkle in Time. The 3 women, Meg as smart tomboy protag, the descriptions and settings in other worlds, the science.
Or Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. Ruthie’s awkwardness and loneliness and Aunt Sylvie’s ownership of herself.
There was this book called, Slake’s Limbo–I just recently reread it, and it also changed me. Beautiful story about a boy who lived under the NY subways and made a life for himself selling used newspapers.
I recently interviewed Maggie deVries for Vancouver International Writers’ Festival’s INK, and she talked about her aunt, Jean Little’s books. And The Secret Garden, or Sara Crewe. It’s funny how many writers talk about books that have some sort of isolated character, or special secret place.
How about you? What were your faves as a kid?
What books changed you as a kid?

5 Responses to “What books changed you as a kid?”

  • An interesting question, as many books in my ichildhood had meaning in different ways. I live inthe isolated Queen Charlotte Islands from age 7-11, when all books available had to be purchased, from a list. This experience though exposed me at an early age to first nation mythology, which perhaps influenced my rather existential view of the world.

    Others that were very meaningful are lost to me; two that I read numerous times, by the same author, I don’t remember the names of the books or author, and more than 30 years later still remember (and even tonight tried to find on google). One was the story of a mouse who lived in the subways of New York City, the other a story of a boy and a genie. Both were about themes of escape and acceptance, and I would love to find them again.

    Flowers in the Attic; James and the Giant Peach; and graphic true crime magazines all had equal attention for me for very different reasons.

    My question back would be – what do you define as being a kid? I’ve defined these choices from age 12 and younger.

    Thx for the thought-provoking question.


  • Hi, Kim.

    Great Question Cath!

    RE: Boy and Genie http://loganberrybooks.com/solved-l.html The Land of Green Ginger?

    The BookStumper is a fun site and if after searching it you cannot find it you may create a mystery to be solved by others for $2.00 I think!



  • Loved Flowers in the Attic as a child, read it when I was about 11 though and i tried to read it again as an adult…ick!

    That’s interesting that you didn’t have the exposure of a library–and good to have that early first nations influence. Some of the early books I read on my own were ones like Are you There God it’s me Margaret or Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and while I could relate to their problems, I couldn’t really relate to their NYC big city life.

    I think ‘as a kid’ maybe defined as 13 and under? Though I was reading some adult books at 13 I still enjoyed reading or rereading kids’ books.

    Oooh, I think I read that one about the mouse in the subways…I’m going to search for it too!

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