My Favorite Books Through the Years

When I was really little, I imagine I devoured books faster than the Very Hungry Caterpillar could ever hope to eat.  In fact, I have distinct memories of my elementary school years being spent at the reading station, working my way through every book, audio book, and reading lesson I could get my little hands on.  However, my favorite books were always either Winnie-the-Pooh books, of which nostalgia and pure love have kept me from letting go, or Dr. Suess’s Green Eggs and Ham.  I firmly believe the fact that my name is Sam played a very large part in my adoration of that book.

In the middle years of my childhood, I started reading chapter books very early on, a fact I was immensely proud of.  Books by Andrew Clements were a particular favorite of mine.  I enjoyed Frindle and I read The School Story more times than I can count.  I loved that book because it spoke to the writer in me.  It gave me the hope that, however fictitious this book may be, I could do that one day.  Maybe not exactly that way, per se, but I could write a book and get it published.  In all honestly, that book made the whole publishing process seem so easy, but I suppose that, to a very experienced author like Andrew Clements, it seems pretty easy.

I also loved books from Haddix, which I have mentioned before.  I practically lived for her Shadow Children series.  I would save my allowance dollars and the day I had enough to go purchase the next book in the series was the best day ever.  Those books still grace my shelves to this day.


In high school, I read as often as I could with my more rigorous academia.  I lived for Rick Riordan’s books about Percy Jackson and his friends, hated (still do) the movies that they “based” off of the books, and waited nervously for the days House of Hades and then The Blood of Olympus came out (I can do a whole other post about my feelings towards this series and that last book in particular, if anyone is interested).  Once that series came to an end, I decided to move on and discovered other authors. I read and reread Changing Faces by Wendy Lawyon, a gift from grandparents.  I fell in love with the other books by Haddix, stumbled upon the books of Jessica Day George, and was introduced to Shannon Hale’s masterpieces.

Since then, I’ve spent a lot of my time reading English literature from Beowulf to Frankenstein, discovering the poems, ballads, and epics (respectively) of Marie de France, Wordsworth, Sir Philip Sidney, Milton, and John Donne.  I’ve rediscovered my love of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice and found some new favorites.  That is to say, I haven’t had a lot of time to find modern fiction favorites.  Of course, I look forward to summer and more free time to return to the guilty pleasures of fiction and fantasy novels.

Those are some of my favorite books and authors over the years.  Do you have any favorites?  Have any suggestions for me to read in my coming free time (oh, how I can’t wait)?  Please let me know in the comments!

~The Wise Girl

Book Review: Just Ella

I love this book so much!  Just Ella is written by one of my favorite authors, whose novels I own almost all of and which have their very own shelf on my bookshelf-well, one of my bookshelves.  It is one of my top favorite books.  I have read this book many times, and I simply love the plot, the idea, the way it is written, the ending, just everything about it.

Just Ella is written by Margaret Peterson Haddix, who is also the author of Double Identity, Running out of Time, and one of my absolute favorite series as a child, The Shadow Children series, among others.  If you haven’t read her books, I highly recommend you do!

This book, though, is especially great.  Just Ella is a very different take on the classic Cinderella story, but don’t let that put you off!!!  I myself have read more twists on the Cinderella tale than I can count on my fingers- and probably my toes, too, for that matter!!!  This one, though, is different.  This book picks up where every other book leaves off and tells what happens in the “happily ever after”, and it may not be as happy as you expect.

Filled with romance, feminism, take charge personality, intellect, and a whole new spin on the Cinderella happily ever after, this book is a page turner and truly lovely.  I especially love the ending, because it really isn’t what you would expect.  It surprised me in many ways, and I adore a book that does that.  Just read it.  Seriously!!  It is very good.

Let me know your thoughts on Just Ella and any other books written by Haddix.  And if you enjoy this book, read Palace of Mirrors, the sequel to Just Ella.  Happy reading!!

~The Wise Girl