I am continuing on with part 2 of my favorite children's fiction books and what made the cut on my new limited space shelves. I probably should give a list of what didn't make the cut, but that would be more challenging. Those books are in boxes. Truly 2/3 of this collection was boxed!
Some of my children were horse lovers. Dorothy Lyons is one of the few authors that writes horse stories for girls. These books always include a guy friend but there is no romance. They are hard to find as they are very collectible. I buy them whenever I see them. George MacDonald only made it with two of his books. He was a 'mentor' to C.S.Lewis. His books are OK, but his theology is a little mixed up in my opinion. Only two of his books made the cut. Everybody is familiar with Patricia MacLachlan because of the TV specials. She wrote 'Sarah Plain and Tall' and several others. I have enjoyed the books. 'The Bears of Blue River' is an old book that is recommended by Ambleside Online. My children have enjoyed it. 'Caroline and her Kettle Named Maude' is an American classic of historical fiction. 'Snow Treasure' by MacSwigan is one of my personal all time favorites! It is the story of how some Norwegian children saved the countries gold from the Nazis during WWII by taking it down a mountain on their sleds. I bet I have heard or read that story at least ten times!!!
On this shelf is probably my all time favorite children's author... Stephen W. Meader. You know he is good because he is hard to find and is VERY expensive to buy! Apparently many others found him to be a favorite. My favorite of his books is 'Trap Lines North'. It is the true story of two brothers in Northern Canada who have to keep their family fed by running a trap line. The book includes photographs of the two boys and some of the critters they hunted. This is a book that I have read several times to the children, usually during a blizzard! His writing is in the fashion of Horatio Alger. A young man works hard and is able to start a business and grow it. There is always some adversity to be faced. Many of his books are historical fiction and a few are sports or animal stories. These books have been reprinted but still cost $35 a piece. Keep your eyes open for these books at book sales and resale shops!
Cornelia Meigs writes historical fiction. Several of her books made the cut. They are not as great as some, but she does fill a few holes in my historical fiction timeline. Ralph Moody is a great author, and probably should not be on the fiction shelf. These books are his autobiograhy of growing up in the early 1900's with most of it spent out west. He was a cowboy and a lot of other things. He also has the theme that hard work and good morals pays off. Our family has all these books on the computer and we listen to them regularly.
'On to Oregon' is another wagon train kid's literature classic. Farley Mowat is a good author who writes about life in the north. 'Lost in the Barrens' is a story about two boys who get lost out in the middle of the Arctic and how they survive. It is a good adventure story. He also wrote a couple books about his rather unique childhood. He writes about his dog and living with owls. He also wrote a number of adult books. Some of his books are hilarious, especially the ones about his boyhood. I did read them out loud to the kids as there was one or two slightly objectionable things in them. Thus they didn't make the cut for the kids shelves, but you shouldn't skip them.
Elizabeth Nesbit writes a lot of fantasy literature for children and is a classic author. I never really developed a taste for fantasy reading, I am more an adventure story person, but those who do like these things find her writing excellent.
Howard Pyle writes about a lot of different topics. He is an old time author. He writes about the days of yore when King Arthur was still at the Round Table and there were knights and pirates and Robin Hood and mythology. The writing is definitely a cut above as far as vocabulary goes. My son T-Bob is an excellent reader but found the going almost too hard as a nine year old to handle these books. He still tells me that it was a mistake to give them to him then and he likes this kind of literature.
Kate Seredy is an author that should be known by all people suggesting books for kids. She writes historical fiction with an eastern european flavor. She writes about the time during WWII, and how it effected family life there. She has a very strong catholic christian belief. These are good stories that really hold your attention. Make sure you are aware they are sequential but can stand alone as well. 'Five Little Peppers' is another story about life in a family. Just comfortable fun. There is a whole series of books, but we got tired of them and didn't make them through more than the first couple. Elizabeth loved "Lazy Tinka' when she was a four year old. I read it out loud to her.
Of incidental note, C.S. Lewis series, 'The Chronicles of Narnia' did make the cut. It is on Elizabeth's school shelf to read together with me this year. Several other classics are on her shelf to be read. Feel free to ask me questions if you think something is missing that you would have kept or you wonder why it is here.
I guess I am going to have to do a part III in order to get all my favorites in. This is getting too long!