Hilary’s childhood collection

Proto-librarian at work: I put paper spine labels on my favorite books (how old was I? ten or eleven?), ordering them by how much I liked them, I think. Here are the ones I still have:

#2 : My Side of the Mountain by Jean George (1959)
#7: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1911)
#8: Stuart Little by E. B. White (1945)
#9: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (1952)
#11: Dolphin Island by Arthur C. Clarke (1963)
#12: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1967)
#13: Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry (1947)
#14: Brighty of the Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry (1953)
#15: A Book of Bosh: Lyrics and Prose of Edward Lear, chosen by Brian Alderson (1975) – just added 11/26/2020, it must have turned up when we moved
#16: Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers (1934)

I think Heritage of the Star by Sylvia Engdahl (1973) was #1. I re-bought my original edition but don’t have the same copy. Edited in 2020 to add: I do still have my copy of Jennifer, Hecate, MacBeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth by E. L. Konigsburg (1967 – inscribed to me because my aunt went to a reading), which I’m quite sure was originally labeled and would have been somewhere in the first ten because I liked it better than Mixed-Up Files.

4 thoughts on “Hilary’s childhood collection

  1. I’m a great fan of reading. I just came across your blog because I was looking for more information after reading John Pollack’s “Cork Boat.” I have a question? How do you choose what books you read? I mean, are they on a Best Seller list? Do you like the book jackets on the shelf at the library? Myself, I get stuck on an author and then read everything they’ve written before I move on to something else.

  2. Hi Kathy! Thanks for reading. To answer your question, it’s a mix–the world bombards me with books! I’m a librarian so I read reviews, (yes) choose from the cover or blurbs, look at lots of lists, get leads from other books, magazine articles, web surfing, and serendipity. I’ve become better about cutting my losses if a book doesn’t grab me within 50-100 pages. I really love books of book recommendations although at this point I have enough to last me for many lifetimes!

  3. After reading your childhood book rankings I was curious to find out what the missing #1 book was. Ok, and the remainder of the top ten, since a list with missing items is just to tantalizing/teasing, but mostly #1.

  4. I wish I remembered not only #1, but the other missing numbers. I would not have gotten rid of them, so either they were replaced by better editions, the numbers fell off, or they were lost…

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