As I drove to work this morning, I started thinking about the different books I’d read since I was a kid for whatever reason. There were quite a few of them; I remember always having some form of personal reading with me whenever I walked from class to class in high school, and my room has been full of books ever since I was old enough to read on my own. It occurred to me that I would like to pass on these books to my kids whenever I get around to having them (no rush right now). Here’s the ones I can think of I’d want them to read, in no particular order…
- The Chronicles of Narnia. I actually never read these as a kid, but when the movies came out, it made me wish I had. That, and CS Lewis is brilliant. I definitely want to have a set of these for my kids.
- The Lord of the Rings. Can’t have Lewis without his fellow inkling Tolkien. Though I’d probably wait until they hit eleven or twelve to give them the Trilogy, I’d definitely read them the Hobbit before bed when they hit seven or eight.
- Watership Down by Richard Adams. Although this book is used for political and religious commentary in a lot of academic circles, Adams wrote it based on stories he told his kids. I thought the book was exciting and something I would have loved to have read as a kid.
- Tumble Tower by Anne Tyler. I remember my mom reading this to me when I was little. It’s about a royal family living on an island somewhere. All of the family members are very clean and tidy, except for the princess, who keeps her room incredibly messy. One day, the waters rise and flood their castle, and the whole family takes refuge in “tumble tower” to escape the floods. The family winds up surviving because of her untidiness, basically. I think I liked this because i saw it as an excuse to not clean my room (But mom, if I don’t clean my room, I could save us from a flood!).
- Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss. This book made me want to see the world as a kid, and though we didn’t travel much when I was young, we still went places and saw things whenever we could. I’ve heard of other people doing this thing where they buy a copy of this book and have every teacher a child has sign it as they go through school, then present it to them after graduation. Definitely something I’d do for my kids.
- Any of the Cross Section books. These were really big books that had detailed, fold out pictures to show you the interiors of things like The Titanic, or the Empire State Building. They even had Star Wars versions of these, and they were awesome.
- Danger Guys. This was a series about two kids who often found themselves on different adventures (usually by accident). It’s not exactly original, but being a young boy and wanting exciting things to happen in my life made me love these books.
- The Harry Potter series. Started reading these in high school and I still think they’re awesome. However, given that they get to be pretty mature reading as you progress through the series, they’ll probably get them one at a time as they get older.
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Don’t remember reading this one as a kid, but definitely one I plan to own for them.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This blew both films out of the water. I remember my dad getting it for me after I watched the Gene Wilder version, reading it, then asking him, “Dad, where’s all the good stuff from the book?” Roald Dahl’s a little weird sometimes in his writing, but I definitely want to pass him on.
There’s definitely more I’d save for them, but these books take the cake, and as much as I want to hand them Moltmann’s Theology of Hope or Barth’s Church Dogmatics, it might be better to start them with something a little easier. They can read Barth when they’re in high school.
What about you? What books do you have in store for your kids?