This summer The Seattle Public Library, in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures, is excited to offer a summer reading program for adults called Summer Book Bingo! In order to help you along on your quest to complete your bingo sheet, we have pulled together some book suggestions based on each category. Follow this series throughout the summer!
We recently asked our Facebook fans to tell us about memorable books from their childhoods, sparking a lively discussion. How fantastic then that this category was chosen for Book Bingo! Many of my favorites have a place on my bookshelves to this day and are always good when I need a comfort read. Here are a few, perhaps you enjoyed them too?
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – Growing up during the Civil War, sisters Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy share a tight bond. Each girl has a distinct personality and we witness them mature, fall in love and experience tragedy (poor Beth). Adapted into many different media–films, anime, even an opera!–Little Women remains popular to this day. I will always have a soft spot for Amy.
Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards (yes, that Julie Andrews) – Our heroine is a ten-year-old orphan who finds an abandoned cottage and spends time fixing it up. I identified with Mandy’s feeling of isolation and her desire to have something secret to call her own and was on the edge of my seat when disaster struck, resulting in a dramatic rescue.
The Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace – This semi-autobiographical series follows friends Betsy and Tacy (later joined by another friend, Tib) as they grow up at the turn of the 20th century. Adventures are simple and charming, centering on the girls’ friendship and life in a small town. I really enjoyed that the trio aged as the series progressed, culminating in Betsy’s marriage to her high school sweetheart.
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner – Instead of going to live with a grandfather they’ve never met, orphaned siblings Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny are determined to make it on their own. Although I read all 19 volumes by the author (new ghostwritten volumes continue to be published after her death), the original was always my favorite. Although I’m not sure that life in a boxcar, where the children set up house, really sounds all that appealing.
If I might cheat a little, I thought I would throw in a couple of recent series that I would have loved as a child. Rita Williams-Garcia’s engaging and spirited trilogy follows the three Gaither sisters, Delphine, Vonetta and Fern, as they grow up in 1960’s Brooklyn. The first book is One Crazy Summer. Jeanne Birdsall’s Penderwicks series features the adventures of four sisters in Massachusetts and is a great choice for Betsy-Tacy fans.
Inspired to pick up a book from your own childhood? Take a look at these lists to help jog your memory: