Monday, February 7, 2011

Happy birthday, Laura!

Today is the birthday of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House on the Prairie series and one of South Dakota's most famous daughters.

I didn't know that it was her birthday until I was searching for inspiration for today's blog post. I confess that I wasn't a big Little House fan as a kid. I didn't care much for horse books, or the idea of living on the prairie.

My youngest daughter, however, went through a big Little House phase. She is a huge history lover and the idea of Westward expansion fascinated her for a time. As an adult, then, I became well acquainted with the Little House story. I've even been to the family homestead in DeSmet, South Dakota, and seen the shack where Carrie was born in Kansas.

Even if you've never read the books or seen the television show (which ran from 1974 though 1982 and can still be found on re-runs), you know who Laura is. Isn't that amazing?

It made me think of what stories did inspire me as a child, so I thought I would share some of my favorites.
  • Anything by Dr. Seuss: Nothing can be too wrong with the world when you can be silly and laugh.
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell: This story of a young girl who risks her life for her brother only to be left alone for years on an island is inspirational.
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle: Another story of a young lady who does something incredible to save those she loves.
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell: Those who know me won't be surprised that I really enjoy satire and Orwell is one of the best.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis: Anyone surprised that I selected a series where children are empowered to save their world? I didn't think so.
I know there are more, but these were the first five I could think of. Now I ask you: What stories or authors from your childhood have stuck with you?



JC Phelps said...

A very good list! I'd put most of those books on my own list but here are some more.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

I was going to stop at five but I can not forget:

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Sonya Clark said...

I loved A Wrinkle in Time, as well as To Kill a Mockingbird and The Outsiders. Ray Bradbury was my favorite author as a kid - Something Wicked This Way Comes and Death is a Lonely Business my two favorite books by him.

Nerine Dorman said...

Charlotte's Web by EB White
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey

Those were the books that stood out the most.

Nichole R. Bennett said...

The Outsiders! How could I have forgotten that one! I was just talking about it with my kiddo...

Nichole R. Bennett said...

Bradbury is always a good choice, as well.

Nichole R. Bennett said...

Nerine, I've never read the Dragonriders of Pern series. I think we have at least one of them around here somewhere.... Maybe I should move one to the top of my TBR pile.