* Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge for book bloggers, hosted by Lainey and Sam. The goal is for bloggers to choose their top 5 picks for the week’s given challenge, and you can find out more over on Goodreads! *
This week’s challenge is to pick your top 5 children’s books! This can include middle grade, which is great for me, because I never turn my nose up at a good MG rec. It would be way too easy for me to just name Harry Potter books for all of these (or at least the first 4, since OotP is where I feel the series shifted to YA, but that’s a post for another day…), so I’m officially banning Harry Potter and Percy Jackson books from this list (yikes!).
1. The Shivers Series by M.D. Spenser
This is a series of children’s/MG horror books that came out in the mid- to late-90s, and when I was a kid, I picked up the first book, The Enchanted Attic, from my local library’s children’s section with no idea what I was in for. I remember being really young – probably 8-9 years old – and these legitimately kept me up at night because they were so eerie! Even as an adult, I pick these up every now and then. They’re obviously geared towards kids in writing style, but I have to admit that a few of the stories still give me the crawlies.
2. The Goosebumps Series by R.L. Stine
Anyone who knows me and/or has ever seen my personal bookshelves in my home can tell you that I am still a huge Stine fan. I grew up on the Goosebumps books and their spin-offs, like the Give Yourself Goosebumps ones, which were some of my favorites. I think I owe my entire love of horror writing as a child to these books. They don’t hold up well at all as an adult, but they’re still silly and fun, and I do still enjoy his YA horror books, like the Fear Street series.
3. The Animorphs Series by K.A. Applegate
Animorphs was probably my first real introduction to the sci-fi book world, and I’ll forever be grateful for that. My library, as a kid, had about 30 of the books, but they weren’t all consecutive, so I remember getting so excited when we could go to the bigger library the next town over and I could scour the shelves to fill in the gaps. I reread them over and over, and as a teen, I even collected about a dozen of them from various thrift shops because I swore I was going to finally read the entire series from start to finish (joke’s on me – it never happened). I’d class these more as MG than children’s because of how dark some of the content was at times, but little 8- and 9-year-old me inhaled these.
4. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
First, what is it with the running theme of initial names in kids’ books?
Anyways, I digress. I haven’t read these in years, but they were some of my favorites as a kid. I probably reread the entire series 2 or 3 times from start to finish! I actually still own a compilation paperback with all of them together, but to be totally honest, I’ve been afraid to reread them since they’re technically Christian fiction and leaving the church gave me a bit of hesitancy towards anything from that genre. If you’re a non-religious person who has read these in more recent years, I’d love your input! (NOTE: I mean no offense to any Christians reading this! ❤ It’s only that it’s a little uncomfortable for me to read about religious fiction these days.)
5. Eragon by Christopher Paolini
First, you might be thinking, “Why just Eragon? Why not the entire Inheritance Cycle?” Second, you might be thinking, “Goodreads has this book listed as YA – why is it on your children’s list?” Well, first of all, I never finished the series. I picked up Eragon when it first released back in 2002, and I was a wee little 9- or 10-year-old (second, which is probably why it still feels like a MG book to me).
Anyways, despite never having finished the series (because Eldest bored me to tears as a little kid, and I DNF’d it – I still have the first editions of the first three releases sitting on my shelf, though!), I loved Eragon. More than words can say, really. I read the first book so many times as a child that my hardback is literally falling to pieces. If you open it, the entire spine comes apart from the pages because the binding is so wrecked. It is single-handedly responsible for bringing me into the high fantasy world at a very young age (yes, even before Harry Potter – but just by a few months!) and I will never, ever fail to give Chris the credit he’s due for introducing me to dragons, and elves, and magic. ❤
I have so many more children’s and MG books I could rave about here, but I’m late getting this post typed up, anyways, and sleep is calling me, so I’ll stop at 5. What are some of your favorite children’s and MG books? I’d especially love to hear any underrated recommendations and any newer releases!