Summer is my favorite season. And I’m not just saying that because my birthday happens to fall during the summer. (A mere three weeks from now for those who may be interested.)
Let’s be honest, it couldn’t be the birthday thing because, as a kid, having a birthday right before school started meant one thing—school clothes and school supplies as birthday presents. Plus you never had the teachers announcing your birthday in school, either. It was a bit of an elementary-school let down.
No, Summer has always been my favorite season for another reason—being outside. There’s something about 20 degree temperatures and a wind chill that brings the numbers below zero that makes me want to stay inside. Warm.
As a kid, my grandparents had a cabin on a lake. On that side of the family there are 18 years between the oldest (me) and the youngest (who was born the day I graduated high school). No other kids my age, unless you count my sister, who is three years younger than I am. And we spent a lot of summer at the lake. Just family, sand, and water. We spent a lot of time fishing and swimming. Even now I could probably tell you where the “drop off” was in that lake.
Given all that, I got a lot of reading done as a kid. A. Lot.
Don’t misunderstand. I still read a lot. And I read all year long, but there’s something about Summer that makes me want to re-read some of my favorite books from when I was a kid. So, without further ado, here’s “Nichole’s Five Favorite Classics.”
- Raggedy Ann Stories and Raggedy Andy Stories both by Johnny Gruelle. This set of books follows those beloved toys on adventures galore. And what kid doesn’t wonder exactly what the toys do when no one is looking?
- Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. Stranded on an island, a young girl has to survive alone with only her wits, a wild dog, and her little brother. This was one of the first “girl power” books I remember reading.
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I’m a little bit of a nerd and I really do love just about anything by Dickens. Hey, I love Shakespeare, too.
- Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe. Who wouldn’t love a vegetarian vampire bunny?
- Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Here’s another story about some strong women. And in the history of the United States, women didn’t get much stronger than living on the prairie. As an adult, I even drug my kids to see “the homestead” in DeSmet, South Dakota. (It was awesome!)
These are just five books I thought of off the top of my head. There are other books I loved as a kid and still love. Anything by Agatha Christie. Anything. Really. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe. Animal Farm by George Orwell.
With whatever’s left of the summer, I think you should grab a book and head toward your favorite relaxation spot. And if you aren’t the type who likes to re-read a story, or if none of the ones I mentioned sound appealing to you, I do have one other suggestion. Head toward http://secondwindpublishing.com/ You’re guaranteed to find something you’ll like there.