12.22.2008

My 100th Review and a Request for My Readers

Friday will mark my 100th review since I began writing in August.  Coincidentally, I had planned to post a review of EL Konigsburg's Newbery winning book, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler on that day.  This is a coincidence because, as I re-read this book, I realized that it is one of a handful of books from my childhood that I can actually remember reading and being influenced by, so it seems appropriate that a book that has been so important in my life will also have the honor of holding the mini-landmark title of "100th Review."  And, while I am reviewing this book on Fairy Tale Friday and it is not, technically speaking, a fairy tale, it kind of reads like one.  Although it was written in 1967 and is a story based in reality, so many aspects of it are now inconceivable that it may as well be a fantasy story.

Something else I realized as I was writing this review is that, while I considered myself a voracious reader as a child, there are only a few books I actually remember the details of some thirty years later.  I read or re-read every book that I review and I am sure I have read three times as many children's books in my adult life than I did as a child.  However, re-reading books from my childhood as an adult, reading any book for children as an adult, implicitly implies a certain perspective that I did not possess as a child reader.  As an adult, I was moved to tears by a certain aspect of "Mixed-up Files" that involves the main characters who have run away from home and their doting grandfather, who also turns out to be the lawyer of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler, narrator of the book, and is addressed directly by her often throughout the novel.  Looking back on my childhood memories of the book, I have no recollection of noticing this aspect of the novel or even registering that Saxonberg, the lawyer, was Claudia and Jamie's grandfather.  It didn't lessen my childhood enjoyment of the book at all, and it was an added layer that enhanced my appreciation of the book as an adult reader.

As I pondered this childhood oversight, I wondered if others might have done the same thing.  I greatly appreciate all of the comments that you, my handful of readers, have submitted over the last four months.  I genuinely value what you have to say and it helps shape my perspective and well as my choices in what to read and review.  I would love to do a post of adult reflections on books that were childhood favorites written entirely by my readers.  And, if you have recently re-read you favorite book from childhood, all the better.

So, PLEASE all thirty-seven of you out there - write me a little piece on your favorite book from childhood (chapter book, please, as those seem to be more influential and personality shaping) and I will put together a post, with cover art, sharing all of your thoughts.  And, thanks again to all of you for reading and commenting on my reviews.  I really love every minute I spend reading, thinking about and writing them!

5 comments:

Jeremy said...

A homework assignment! Last week I read The Mixed Up Files..." on your recommendation and loved it. It was creepy, though, because I remembered many parts of it as the story unfolded, even though I had no recollection of having read it. About halfway through, I noticed that it had been written before I was born, and could only assume that I had read it as a kid.

So that's my problem with your assignment -- I know that I read a fair bit as a kid, but remember almost none of the books specifically. We have some favourite picture books that my mom kept and which we've now read with our kids (so I can't forget those), but I really wish I could remember some of the earlier chapter books I had enjoyed.

Kimberbates said...

Ok, so this is going to be so hard to pick just one! And one that is still in print!

Richard said...

Hi Tanya,
I met you in the bookstore yesterday and just wanted to say congratulations on your 100th review! I've already passed your blog on to a relative.

I'm going to have to think about the chapter books. I was a voracious reader and will think about what my favorite was.

Tanya said...

Thanks for visiting & sharing. Can't wait to hear what books influenced you - and how they influence you as a writer now...

Kimberbates said...

It was so hard to decide! So I didn't, I chose two books that were some of the first chapter books I can remember reading and just loving as a kid in grade school. The Secret Language,(not sure of the author) and The Great Brain (Fitzgerald I think). Both books were in a different time period and the characters had different struggles. And yet I felt such a connection with these kids! I have enjoyed getting my daughter to read The Secret Language, and tried to get the boy to read The Great Brain.