My co-worker brought her daughter into work today, and I asked her about what she was reading (I had heard she doesn't like reading very much). She said her mom makes her read a lot of boring stuff, like Johnny Tremain, but sometimes she gets to read books about thoroughbreds. (They live on a farm... sorta.)
I asked her what Johnny Tremain was about, and when she said it was set in Boston... I was like -- "The one about the apprentice? A silversmith? He burns his hand??".
It suddenly all came back to me. A few years ago, I remembered reading this book, and thought of how seemingly dark it was to read at such a young age, but I couldn't remember the title. I thought it was "Johnny" something. Tight.
I think after I finish reading The Graduate (snooze... kinda), I will check out the books on this list (watch out for popup ads!). Notably, the ones I remember reading:
The Outsiders, S. E. Hinton (1968) - This was pretty tight. Ponyboy! Nooo! It was like a less effeminate version of West Side Story... for kids. It also had a great cover:
It's like that Queen video.
Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes (1969) -- HE BURNS HIS HAND ON MOLTEN SILVER AND FUSES HIS THUMB TO HIS PALM. NOOO, Johnnnny!!! DON'T PICK ON HIM!
The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger (1951) -- Wait... I read this as a senior in high school! What is this doing on a list of children's books, alongside several "Berenstain Bears" titles??? (I always thought it was "Bernstein," you know, like Leonard? At least I know how to pronounce it the way it's really spelled.) The inclusion of this book on this list is hella lousy.
James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl; illustrated by Nancy Burkert (1988) -- This had to be cool, because I remember liking it a lot more than the movie. Also, BFG. Where are you, BFG? You're not on the list... :(
Hatchet, Gary Paulsen (1988) -- Screw all these other books. Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad... how about "Go out in the woods and struggle for survival, Brian"??? This was Man Vs. Wild for young 'uns. Everybody wanted to spear fish and almost starve to death. And yet another award-winning cover:
The Giver, Lois Lowry (1994) -- I never read this: I tried. I got through a chapter or so. Everyone was telling me it was great. Whatever.
How to Eat Fried Worms, Thomas Rockwell (1975) -- I'm pretty sure I read this. Either this, or some other book where kids eat worms. It first introduced me to the term "Nightcrawler".
The Sign of the Beaver, Elizabeth George Speare (1984) -- The only thing I remember about this book is that it was the first assigned book when I joined GSP (gifted students program, yo) in sixth grade. And then Eileen Conway teased me by saying "You're the only one that does the assigned reading," which may have been true, because some of those students were, uhhh, truly "gifted."
The Chocolate War, Robert Cormier (1986) -- I might re-read this, although it is one of only a few books I really despised.
Not making the list -- I also really enjoyed The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and want to revisit that one. I think I also read Adam of the Road, although I don't remember anything about it except that I remember seeing it a whole lot in my room and on my bookshelf.