The Fiction that Shaped My Childhood

If you want to write great books, you first have to read great books. The books I’ve read from my childhood have contributed to my writing style and reading tastes. Since what you read is a key component of what and how you write, today I’m going to show you the series I began reading. Roughly, they’re in order from the oldest to the most recent.


Fiction that Shaped my Childhood

Junie B. Jones Series by Barbara Park

Around kindergarten, I loved these books. Frankly, I don’t remember much about these other than that I loved whenever someone would roll their eyes at Junie B. Jones. Junie B. Jones would note how they were looking up at the ceiling, so she’d look up at the ceiling too. But she never saw anything up there. Hilarious, I know 😉

Fiction that Shaped my Childhood

Hank the Cowdog Series by John R. Erickson

Again, I don’t remember much about this series. I do recall that there was on owl named Madame Moonshine and a humorous description of Hank trying to describe a plane through his dog eyes.

Fiction that Shaped my Childhood

A-Z Mysteries Series by Ron Roy

This was my first series of detective novels. On the inside of the cover is a map of the town, Green Lawn, that I would trace my finger over, pretending to visit each place. I admired one of the characters, Ruth Rose, for her colored clothing coordination. She always wore the same color. If she wore pink shorts, she also wore a pink shirt, tennis shoes, and headband. I attempted this for a while, dressing in my favorite color: blue. It wasn’t difficult, since I always wear blue jeans anyways.

Fiction that Shaped my Childhood

The Nancy Drew Series by Carolyn Keene

I mowed through about 44 books in the series before stopping from sheer boredom. Not that they’re bad books, but after a while, they begin to get repetitive. Eventually, I only read on to see if the villain would capture Nancy and in what manner he/she would carry out this heinous deed.

Fiction that Shaped my Childhood

The Ramona Series by Beverly Clearly

Back when my homeschooling days were lax (2 hours of school per day. Heh… Don’t worry. My education has improved since), I’d spend a whole day devouring one of the books from this series. I have a sister that reminds me of Ramona, so it was nice reading about Ramona’s big sister, Beezus, who had to put up with all of this.

Fiction that Shaped my Childhood

The Boba Fett Series by Elizabeth Hand

I loved Star Wars (and still love it, as mentioned in the Sci-fi vs Fantasy Poll). Then I got into the Boba Fett series and loved Star Wars even more. Not only did I get an in-depth view of the Star Wars universe, but I got to meet Boba, a 10-year old striving to walk in his father’s footsteps while surviving in a dangerous galaxy. I thought he was the coolest character ever, and he was probably my first fictitious crush. He’s mysterious, strong, resourceful, but more importantly compassionate and honorable, except where Mace Windu is concerned. Needless to say, I went through a strong anti-Mace Windu face after reading this series. He grew up as I did–the series ends with him at 14–so I always felt that I could relate to him.

Have you ever had a fictitious crush on a character? What are your favorite character from books you read when you were younger? What books and series shaped your childhood?

Recent Comments

  • Brenna
    September 28, 2016 - 10:55 am · Reply

    Hmmm, there are so many authors and books I could mention, but I think I will go with Rudyard Kipling (Just-so Stories and The Jungle Book), A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner, and his children’s poems), and Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.) I adored all of these books around the time I was starting to write more- ages 7-9, probably- to the extent that I began to imitate them stylistically, Kipling in particular. That wasn’t a good thing, since he has a very distinctive style and I didn’t have the technical skills to back it up. Nevertheless, now that my writing is less imitative, I still love these authors and books- especially The Jungle Book and Alice. I still say “curioser and curioser.” 🙂

    On a completely different note, I could never have a crush on Boba Fett. He froze my favorite character in carbonite and sold him to an evil slug. 🙂

  • Hannah
    October 2, 2016 - 1:59 pm · Reply

    Those are interesting choices, Brenna – I never would have wanted to read those difficult old books when I was younger. I appreciate them now, but not then. 😉

    I read tons and tons of fairy tales and mythology – especially Greek/Roman mythology, with some Norse, Egyptian, and Irish. I adored every fantasy book (or close enough) that reached my hands – A Little Princess, The Little Mermaid (where she actually got punished for her bad decisions – way more satisfying), The Princess and the Kiss (about a princess who was wise enough to realize her suitors were so wealthy and important they wouldn’t appreciate her “kiss,” which looked like a firefly in a lantern). I am so mad I can’t remember the title but I adored one about a princess and her dad doing many adventures and bonding together. My dad and I were particularly close so I liked that one a lot. There was one about a king who disguised himself as a peasant to hear what the people really thought about his visit to their city. The Topsy-Turvey Kingdom was great because even then I loved order, and it made me so happy to watch everything go back to the way it was supposed to be.

    As you can see, I treasured many books, almost all fantasy. 🙂 After that, surprisingly enough, I read a lot of horse books and historical fiction. I didn’t get another fantasy book until I was a teenager, reading Bryan Davis’ dragon books.

    • Elizabeth Newsom
      October 3, 2016 - 12:32 pm · Reply

      Oooh. That’s a fun genre! I loved Greek mythology too. I’ve read the Princess and the Kiss! I loved the concept. The one about the king disguised as a peasant sounds fun 🙂 Have you heard of Undercover Bosses? The TV series?

      Huh. I’ve never really read horse books. And it’s not surprising you liked fantasy so much! 😉 Though it is a surprising that you took a break from that genre for so long.

      • Brenna
        October 6, 2016 - 11:03 am · Reply

        Just so you know, Hannah, my dad first read Alice in Wonderland to my sister and I when I was in elementary school. Then I re-read it on my own, eventually moving on to Through the Looking Glass. So I didn’t randomly decide to read those. And I first read Kipling for school, somewhere around third grade (I guess my mom likes to give a challenge!) although again, I re-read the books many times on my own. Sounds like you enjoyed some great books as a kid, too!

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