Top 10 Roundup #10

Hello everyone, and welcome to the 10th edition of the Top 10 Roundup! Are you excited? I know I sure am! We’re going real personal with this one.  Well, not that personal.  Take a moment, grab your brain, dust it off, and put it back in your head.  You weirdos.

I love to read.  I may not read much because of video games, but, I do still LOVE to read.  Always have.  I’m the oldest of three, and as the first, my mother had plenty of time to devote to taking care of me (also, we lived in a town that, at the time, barely had 400 people in it).  So, what would my mother do? Read.  She would read EVERYTHING to me.  She read through all of the books that she had for me, and moved on to everything that had words.  I mean…EVERYTHING.  The backs of whatever she was preparing for food, any and all newspapers, even bottles of household cleaners.  Well, this lead up to me reading.  At the age of two…maybe two and a half.  It got to the point where I was reading out of Stephen King.  My mother specifically remembers me reading out of IT.  And after that, I stopped talking.  Mom thinks it’s because that’s all I wanted to do was read and learn.  Now, I know what you all are thinking.  But, the thing is, I don’t remember this.  Something about the whole thing of not remembering anything during the first few years of life minus the basic functions that we continue to do as we get older.

What does this have to do with my Top 10 Roundup? Simple.  Presented to you, in no particular order, are ten of the books in my childhood that I loved to read.

Remember, click on the book cover to go to the Goodreads page, and all of the synopses are pulled from the book’s respective pages.

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Sixth grade is just out of this world… Susan Simmons can tell that her new substitute teacher is really weird. But she doesn’t know how weird until she catches him peeling off his face– and she realizes that “Mr. Smith” is really an alien!

At first no one will believe her– except Peter Thompson, the class brain. When Peter and Susan discover Mr. Smith’s horrible plans for their classmates, they know they have to act fast. Only they can get rid of their extra-terrestrial visitor– and save the rest of the sixth grade class from a fate worse than math tests!

Let’s start out with a series that I didn’t read until I was in upper elementary school.  My Teacher is an Alien is a great and funny read for those kids who are already wanting to have a little bit of a challenge with some chapters, as well as an interest in something that is not necessarily about real things.

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Look Alive!
Amanda and Josh think the old house they have just moved into is weird. Spooky. Possibly haunted. And the town of Dark Falls is pretty strange, too.
But their parents don’t believe them. You’ll get used to it, they say. Go out and make some new friends.

So Amanda and Josh do. But these friends are not exactly what their parents had in mind.
Because they want to be friends…
…forever

Reader beware-you’re in for a scare!

Oh goodness.  I love these books! I’ve found a couple here and there since I’ve gotten older.  I remember when I was younger tracing the raised logo on the covers of the books.  It helped me sit still for a little while, at least until I finished the book that is.

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Sometimes weird things happen to people. Ask Jake. He may tell you about the night he and his friends saw the strange light in the sky. He may even tell you about what happened when they realized the “light” was only a plane — from another planet. Here’s where Jake’s story gets a little weird. It’s where they’re told that the human race is under attack — and given the chance to fight back.

Now Jake, Rachel, Cassie, Tobias, and Marco have the power to morph into any animal they choose. And they must use that power to outsmart an evil that is greater than anything the world has ever seen…

Ok.  By far, this was the book series that I was the most obsessed with when I was in school.  Seriously.  Out of the like 50+ main series books, and about a dozen spin-offs, I owned a very, very large chunk of them.  Still do to this day, actually.  Found them when I was cleaning out the closet that now holds all my books and movies (see yesterday’s post). I mean…I don’t know what drew me to the series…but, whatever it was, it kept my brain hooked. Plus, for those of you who read this series, who didn’t flip through the pages to watch the morph in progress in the bottom corner?

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Holmes and Watson are faced with their most terrifying case yet. The legend of the devil-beast that haunts the moors around the Baskerville family’s home warns the descendants of that ancient clan never to venture out in those dark hours when the power of evil is exalted. Now, the most recent Baskerville, Sir Charles, is dead and the footprints of a giant hound have been found near his body. Will the new heir meet the same fate?

This was the first Sherlock Holmes tale I ever read.  My parents had found me a copy of a young reader’s edition, in which they added in some illustrations and did some other things to the story to make it comprehensive for young readers.  Anyway, that’s where I got hooked to the world’s smartest detective lol.  Speaking of smart detectives…

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A Civil War sword, missing roller skates, a trapeze artist’s inheritance, a ghost who whistles, eight stuffed penguins… Is there any case this kid can’t crack? Introduce your favorite bookworm to boy detective Encyclopedia Brown, fifth-grade mastermind behind Idaville’s police force, “a complete library walking around in sneakers.” Each book is set up so that readers can try to solve the case along with the boy genius, and the answers to all the mysteries are found in the back.

I believe my Mom had these, or had found these for me to read when I was still in elementary school.  I loved that I could try to solve the mystery myself before I turned to the back to find the answer.  It was lots of fun, and I wish that more adult books did this.  But, wouldn’t that be cheesy?

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“See the piggy,
See the puddle,
See the muddy little puddle.
See the piggy in the middle
Of the muddy little puddle. “
And so begins this rollicking story-in-verse about a determined young pig who absolutely refuses to leave her mud puddle — much to the dismay of her family!
Charlotte Pomerantz’s tongue-twisting nonsense verse — made even more exuberantly hilarious by James Marshall’s illustrations — is sure to delight both children and adults.

This is a fun book! I love the story, and the illustrations are especially whimsical! I wish I could find this book again to have for my future children!

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Bismark the Buffalo is grumpy and unlovable until his friends teach him how to laugh and show him that wearing colorful underwear can be great fun.

How can you keep a straight face when talking about, and parading around in, underwear! Seriously! I can’t help but chuckle just thinking about the book’s ending.  This is a great children’s read, and I’m certain that parents would get one heck of a kick reading this book outloud.

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This spooky addition to Alvin Schwartz’s popular books on American folklore is filled with tales of eerie horror and dark revenge that will make you jump with fright.

There is a story here for everyone — skeletons with torn and tangled flesh who roam the earth; a ghost who takes revenge on her murderer; and a haunted house where every night a bloody head falls down the chimney.

Stephen Gammell’s splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories — and even scary songs — all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark.

If You Dare!

So, I found these at a library sale a while back, and Beth looked at me like I was completely insane.  But, I enjoyed reading these books all the same.  Yes, they were very scary reads, and they can still be terrifying, and I can’t wait to pass them on down to my children.

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Jack and Annie’s very first fantasy adventure in the bestselling middle-grade series—the Magic Tree House!

Where did the tree house come from?

Before Jack and Annie can find out, the mysterious tree house whisks them to the prehistoric past. Now they have to figure out how to get home. Can they do it before dark . . . or will they become a dinosaur’s dinner?

Another book series that I read a lot of of, but unlike “Animorphs”, I didn’t own many of these books. But, they are still really fun reads.  Plus, they helped my developing mind learn about a few things about history, at least in broad terms, along the way.

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A storm at sea washes a young pickpocket, Hugh, and a surgeon’s son, Raymond, overboard.  Landing on the strange island world of Dinotopia, Raymond and Hugh learn the meaning of real courage and true friendship, with the help of a reclusive Skybax named Windchaser.  

The last, but certainly not least, on this list is the series about humans and dinosaurs living in harmony.  Or at least, try to.  It was an intriguing series.  And while I have since grown out of it, maybe one day I can find a copy to pass down to my children so that maybe they could enjoy the series as much as I did.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for you folks.  Probably my longest post yet. Sorry for the length, but sometimes, that’s what you get when you reminisce.  Do you have any books/series from your childhood that you either read over and over again, or obsessed over? Until next time, I am the Baumeister, and I have been, obediently yours.

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