TOP 5 FRIDAY: Bathtub books

on July 1, 2011 in I heart books., TOP 5 FRIDAY with 51 comments by

TOP 5 FRIDAY is when we each list five of our favorite things, depending on the topic. Feel free to join in via the comments or by posting on your own blog and linking back here. Play along. It’s Friday.

. . . . .

When I was a kid, I loved to read in the bathtub. It was the best. I would drain and fill the tub with hot water at least twice, depending on how good the book was. I didn’t so much care about being clean. I mainly cared about getting to turn the page.

I still have my original copies of these books – they have wrinkled pages and smudged words. It’s a shame how many times they were dropped in the tub. When the book was soaked, I was always more concerned about the fact that I would have to read something else than the fact that I had a wet book in my hands.

Summary: I was a book nerd.

And as you’ve seen from this previous Top 5 Friday, I still love to read [and it seems a bunch of you do too!].

Summary: I am still a book nerd. Proudly.

But today I shall list for you my five favorite books from my childhood. I wonder if you loved any of these as well?

[Sidenote: This is not a list of my favorite children’s books as an adult. We’ll save that for another day. These were MY favorite books as a kid.] [Double sidenote: I’ve been over-explaining myself for the last 31 years. Sorry bout it.]


#1. Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume

I always loved history and while I do not like horror books, something about Hitler frightened me to death- but Sally J. Freedman wasn’t scared of Hitler. And I liked that about her. She also got stung by a man-o-war and that fascinated me. I understood her. I remember wanting to dream as vividly as she does. We would have never been friends- I would have been jealous of her dreams. But I loved her and loved this book.


#2. Molly Saves the Day by Valerie Tripp

Like most of the girls in the 1980s and 1990s [and right now], I had an American Girl Doll. Molly was mine. [I’m sensing a theme… 1940s for the win!] I loved to read her books and dress her in the coordinating outfit. Molly Saves The Day was always a favorite. I learned about poison ivy and capture the flag. I could read this one year round.



#3. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Seriously. I’m freaking MYSELF out with the realization that I loved World War 2 era books something fierce.

I loved this journal. I would write ridiculously detailed journal entries thinking that someday, my childhood journals would be published. [Trust me. You don’t want to read it. Boring stuff.]

I thought Anne Frank was the bravest girl I knew. I cried every time the book ended. Probably still would.


#4. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

I thought Harriet was funny. This book taught me about how you can use a dumbwaiter to solve a crime. I also loved that she wore glasses. The first time I read the book I had just recently gotten glasses myself [watch out middle school, here comes braces too!], so I loved that Harriet and I both lived a four-eyed life. She was smart, a little shifty, and usually thought life was far more dramatic than it really is.

I have no idea why I related to that. πŸ™‚


#5. Garfield by Jim Davis

I don’t have a particular favorite Garfield cartoon book, but I checked them out of the library one by one and read them all. I laughed outloud. I always searched for the comic drawn on my birthday. I would take the book to my parents and read them the funniest lines. I mean, as a 4th grader to reading Anne Frank repeatedly for pleasure, I deserved a little comic relief, don’t you think?

I have honorable mention books this week- like From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, and Superfudge. I could keep going. I won’t. But you will…. πŸ™‚

. . . . .


What were your favorite books as a child?


  1. posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 4:47 AM  |  reply

    1. My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara

    2. Anything Judy Blume- Superfudge, Shiela the Great, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing, Freckle Juice

    3. Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books

    4. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

    5. Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

    Honorable mentions to- Stuart Little, Charlotte’ Web, Trumpet of the Swan, The Babysitter’s Club series, Sweet Valley Twins series, and the HUNDREDS of horse novels that I can’t even remember the names of

    • posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 1:03 PM  |  reply

      @elizabeth, Ohh, the Ramona books were awesome!

      • posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 2:22 PM  |  reply

        @erin, OK… so I don’t know how I forgot the Little House books!! Looking back, I think they were my absolute favorite! I have them on my list to buy next time we are in the States so that my girls can read them.

        Also, I loved Shel Silversteen poems. They seemed so edgy and funny.

        • posted on Jul 05, 2011 at 10:19 AM  |  reply

          Ramona books yes! I loved her. And Shel Silversteen’s poems are genius. I still have Sarah Cynthia Syvlia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage out memorized. πŸ™‚

  2. posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 5:56 AM  |  reply

    No bathtub reading here. I would have drowned the books. I’m sorry to say I wasn’t much of a book nerd when I was younger. Some of these were assigned books that I had to read then fell in love with.

    1. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – I still have this book. One of the few I bought from the Weekly Reader Book Club, I think. It fascinated me that children would run away from home. (Not that I would ever do that. Well, only once and I only made it to the end of the road with clothes on hangers over my shoulder. There were no nearby museums to escape to and my sister wouldn’t go with me.) I loved the mystery of it all.

    2. Tom Sawyer – I still have this one, too. What can I say? Tom had a lot of gall and I loved him.

    3. Charlotte’s Web – I remember this being the first book I actually cried over.

    4. An Amelia Earhart Biography – I had to pick a biography of a woman for a report. In the school library I just scanned the shelves and picked Amelia. She was born the day before my birthday, too. That helped her make my list. πŸ˜‰

    5. My mind has drawn a blank.
    You really made me think this time. My childhood was substantially longer ago than yours. πŸ˜‰ As soon as I click Submit Comment I’ll think of one more…

    • posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 1:03 PM  |  reply

      @Southern Gal, I too did a report on Amelia Earhart and ended up being completely fascinated by her!

    • posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 3:50 PM  |  reply

      @Southern Gal, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was fantastic! I totally forgot about that one.

    • posted on Jul 05, 2011 at 10:20 AM  |  reply

      I actually didn’t love Charlotte’s Web… I should read it again to see why. πŸ™‚

  3. posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 7:59 AM  |  reply

    1. any and all of the american girl doll books, for sure. (sidenote: i had all of the dolls. all but two drowned in the flood last year.)

    2. nancy drew books

    3. number the stars by lois lowry

    4. the mandie books series by lois gladys

    5. if you wanna go way back to early childhood, the berenstain bears books.

    • posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 10:11 AM  |  reply


      Ah yes! the Mandie books!! those were awesome!

    • posted on Jul 05, 2011 at 10:23 AM  |  reply

      I loved Nancy Drew.

  4. Merideth
    posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 8:29 AM  |  reply

    OK, this one’s tough because I hated to read as a kid. My parents tried everything(including bribing me) to get me to read. As a kid, and as a teenager. I pretty much read when I had to, but there were a few times where I read on my own, and this is what I remember reading.

    1. Nancy drew and the Hardy Boys; I was into these books around 5th grade.
    2. A sesame Street book with Grover in it that I can’t remember the title of for the life of me. But, I checked it out of our town’s library frequently.
    3. comic books; just in general. My cousin and I were really into them in late elementary and middle school. I was a tomboy, so a lot of them were super hero ones like X-men, Spiderman, etc. I think I still have a box of my comics at my parents’ house.
    4. Comic strips; I read all the comics in the newspaper, along with my horiscope, on Sundays. Garfield was, and still is, my favorite. I still look for Garfield greeting cards when I buy birthday cards for people because they usually are really funny. I liked the Peanuts gang, too.
    5. The Big Red Dog; I don’t remember when I read this, but I was probably really young.

    Other than those, I had a couple of books of kids poems(A Light In The Attic), and I liked to look at the pictures in books on cats.

    • posted on Jul 05, 2011 at 10:24 AM  |  reply

      I read the comics every day when I got home from school!

  5. posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 9:17 AM  |  reply

    1. The Dear America and Royal Diaries series, particularly one about a pilgrim girl named Remember Patience Whittle and the one about Queen Elizabeth. [I also loved history. American Girl books were thoroughly read as well.]
    2. Island of the Blue Dolphins
    3. Little Women (and Little Men and Jo’s Boys)
    4. My Louisiana Sky. It’s the first book that made me cry.
    5. I also read every Babysitter’s Club book and every Boxcar Children’s book our library had. I was very familiar with the ordering system to get them from other libraries, too.

    I never could read The Diary of Anne Frank, since I knew how her story ended. I tried a couple of times, but couldn’t get very far because I’d get so sad and upset.

    • posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 1:04 PM  |  reply

      @Elizabeth, Elizabeth, your #2 was my all-time favorite when I was a child!

    • posted on Jul 05, 2011 at 10:25 AM  |  reply

      I loved Babysitter’s Club. Probably still do. πŸ™‚

  6. Kathy Krebs
    posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 9:18 AM  |  reply

    Since I still read children’s books to my 4th graders it’s tough thinking back to what I loved as a kid….

    #1 The Black Stallion books
    #2 Are You There God,It’s Me, Margaret?
    #3 Little House on the Praire series
    #4 The Great Brain series
    #5 biographies of American pioneers

    • posted on Jul 05, 2011 at 10:26 AM  |  reply

      I had the same problem, Kathy! That will be another list for another day for sure- books that I think kids should read today!

      I loved pioneers too. Caddie Woodlawn was another favorite that I forgot to mention.

  7. posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 10:10 AM  |  reply

    Love this!

    1. Dear America diary series….I had almost all of them.

    2. From the Mixed of Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

    3. Nancy Drew!!! I read ALL of them!!! also – lots of the Hardy Boys

    4. The Boxcar Children! I used to pretend with my sister that we didn’t have all the resources of our well-equipped home. We’d go into the backyard and pretend that we needed to be all creative and resourceful like the Boxcar children πŸ™‚

    5. Little House on the Prairie Series – Loved them and then my mom lent them to another family and they never gave them back πŸ™

  8. posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 12:15 PM  |  reply

    I am also a lover of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

    A Wrinkle in Time, Chronicles of Narnia, Little House on the Prairie series, The Five Little Peppers and How they Grew, Encyclopedia Brown, Lois Lenski books….

    I could continue for much longer but I think we’ve now firmly established that I was first picked for the spelling bee, last picked for kickball.

    • posted on Jul 05, 2011 at 10:28 AM  |  reply

      Encyclopedia Brown- yes!! Loved those!

  9. posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 12:19 PM  |  reply

    1. Eloise
    2. Amelia Bedelia
    3. The Babysitters club
    4. American Girl, most specifically Samanta
    5. The sisterhood of the traveling pants

    • posted on Jul 05, 2011 at 10:28 AM  |  reply

      Amelia Bedelia used to crack me up.

  10. posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 1:08 PM  |  reply

    What a fun list! I did not read in the bathtub, but I read pretty much everywhere else when I was a child–in the car, in school (with it tucked inside my textbook-oops), at the dinner table (my mom loved that). My favorites:

    1. Island of the Blue Dolphins. This book will always hold a special place in my heart, and I can’t wait to read it to my little girl. My fourth grade teacher read this to us, and I remember anxiously awaiting that day’s reading every single day.

    2. Little Women. I read this in fourth grade, and I was so proud of myself because it seemed so BIG. It’s a favorite to this day.

    3. The Ramona books. They cracked me up, and I just loved Ramona’s spunk b/c I myself had very little spunk.

    4. The Anastasia Krupnik books by Lois Lowry. Man oh man, could I relate to Anastasia!

    5. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. I read the poems in this book over and over again.

    Runners-up: Amelia Bedelia books; Berenstein Bears; Aesop’s Fables (I remember getting in trouble for reading this in bed when I was supposed to be asleep).

    • posted on Jul 05, 2011 at 10:29 AM  |  reply

      Shel Silverstein poems are the best.

  11. posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 1:09 PM  |  reply

    Oh my gosh, I totally forgot about the Little House books!

  12. Laura
    posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 3:00 PM  |  reply

    I love all the books you came up with (except Harriet the Spy, which I have not read) but if I were to try to come up with just 5 books, it would take years, so I just won’t try… πŸ™‚

  13. Lauren M
    posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 3:11 PM  |  reply

    I was a total bathtub reader too! I distinctly remember reading an entire Babysitters Club book in one sitting in the bathtub. I come from a family of readers, so they never blinked twice at this. πŸ™‚

    Some of my favorites as a child/young adult were:

    1. The Babysitters Club series. I think I had every single one of them up until 100 or so. Then I started getting to the age where it seemed weird that they always stayed in 8th grade and though they had birthdays, they never seemed to get older than age 13. Logic kicked in and robbed me of genuinely enjoying them after that. Dang. I also had all the mysteries and Super Specials. I recently came across all of them while helping my mom clean out the garage and I would not let her get rid of them! Too much of my childhood mixed in with them!

    2. The Wind Blows Backwards by Mary Downing Hahn. I read this for the first time in 8th grade. It definitely deals with some more mature content–romantic relationships, parental conflicts, even suicide. But I really appreciated the depth of the characters. And this book started my appreciation for poetry, as one of the main characters quotes poetry in the most beautiful, tragic, poignant way.

    3. Just as Long as We’re Together by Judy Blume. As an adult, I am sooooo not a Judy Blume fan. I vividly remember losing a little bit of my innocence by unwittingly reading one of her books. (Not the one I’m talking about here). But as an elementary age kid, I read Just as Long as We’re Together at least 20-30 times, no exaggeration. I loved the friendship between the 3 main characters.

    4. Sideways Stories From Wayside School by Louis Sacher. So creative and fun.

    5. Christy Miller series. Without a doubt, one of the most influential series that I read. I still am reaping fruit from decisions I made as a teenager because of the impact of Christy, Katie, and Todd.

    6. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. Still love it.

    7. Encyclopedia Brown. Totally made me want to be a detective.

    8. Like a few have mentioned, I too loved Ramona by Beverly Cleary. Classic.

    9. Archie comic books. I have no idea why I loved these so much! I would beg my mom to buy me one everytime we were at the grocery store, because they were at the checkout line. 95% of the time, she did. And I still love her for it. πŸ™‚ I totally wanted to be Betty. I thought she was so cute!

    As a younger kid, I loved Berenstein Bears, The Velveteen Rabbit, and the American Girl series. Way back when it was brand new, in the late 80’s.

    I could probably go on and on. I am so thankful that my parents fostered a deep love of reading. To quote another favorite blogger, Natalie Lloyd, “I believe that library cards and passports function in much the same manner.” So true, Natalie; so true.

    • posted on Jul 05, 2011 at 10:30 AM  |  reply

      Natalie is one of my favorite humans.

      EVERY book you mentioned I absolutely loved. When I met Robin Jones Gunn, I cried telling her how much I love Christy Miller. Oops. πŸ™‚

    • posted on Jul 05, 2011 at 2:08 PM  |  reply

      @Lauren M, I loved loved the Christy Miller series…I read it in high school….and I still go back and re read them all the time!

  14. posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 3:50 PM  |  reply

    Kirsten was my favorite American Girl doll! As for my list of favorite childhood books, I’m cheating and sending you all to a post I wrote last month on this very subject:

    Annie, you may be a book nerd, but I will contend that I’m a bigger book nerd:)

    • posted on Jul 05, 2011 at 10:32 AM  |  reply

      Bridge to Terabithia… sigh. Great book.

      (Not cheating- I LOVE reading your blog, so I’m glad you linked over!)

  15. Sarah
    posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 5:34 PM  |  reply

    1.) Amelia Bedelia (one of the first books i read on my own)
    2.) Raggidy Ann (don’t judge.)(:-))
    3.) The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes.
    4.) All the vowel books. (In case you don’t know what those are, they were little books that showcased one vowel per little booklet and showed how to pernounce it. I loved them.)
    5.) MARA DAUGHTER OF THE NILE!!! That was the book that made me fall completely, head over heels, no turning back, in LOVE with reading. And what made me fall in love with mystery and danger and supense. I SO wanted to be crafty and smart and quick on my feet like Mara. The downside though is that it was heavy in the godS department (it was ancient Egypt), and my God wasn’t even mentioned. Pooh. But, obviously, God used it to make me into the person i am today, so…

    • posted on Jul 05, 2011 at 10:33 AM  |  reply

      I love your list! Haven’t read most of these…. but I kinda want to. πŸ™‚

  16. posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 6:17 PM  |  reply

    I too, was guilty of reading in the tub….my mom would yell at me to get out because other people had to use the bathroom. I also used to lock myself in the bathroom to not be disturbed because it was the only room in the house that locked…I could read for at least an hour without being discovered.

    Here are my top 5
    1. Little House on the Prairie books
    2. American Girl books, Molly was my fav too! (I am jealous that you got an American Girl doll…I saved money for one, but in a not so good year, my parents used it to pay their taxes….I am not bitter anything.)
    3. Babysitter Club books
    4. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
    (I love Chocolate!)
    5. Little Women – Still one of my favorite books!

    • posted on Jul 05, 2011 at 10:33 AM  |  reply

      You should save up again and get you a Molly doll. She’s a good friend to have around.

  17. posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 10:06 PM  |  reply

    I was/am an ADHD kid/adult. Which meant my nose was always buried in a book, except when I was in the tub because it was sure to take a dip. I still can’t even read magazines in the tub.

    My favorite childhood books:
    1. A Wrinkle in Time (which is still my all time favorite book)
    2. Step to the Music by Phyllis A. Whitney. I remembered the title and the author for this many years. Can’t find the book anymore. Out of print. Sigh.
    3. Babysitter’s Club
    4. Nancy Drew’s mysteries.
    5. Anything else I could get my hands on. I was constantly grounded to my room, and would go foraging for books. I’m also prone to “over-favorite” things, so whatever I was reading at the moment was my favorite.

    • posted on Jul 05, 2011 at 10:34 AM  |  reply

      I’m pretty much the same way… put the book in front of me and unless it is HORRIBLE, I’m going to read it.

  18. Mattox Miller
    posted on Jul 01, 2011 at 11:28 PM  |  reply

    The Silver Skates by Hans Christian Anderson

    I still love Anne Frank

    Perry ( it was a Disney book about a squirrel)

    • posted on Jul 05, 2011 at 10:34 AM  |  reply

      I still have my copy of Anne Frank on my book shelf.

  19. Brynn Morseman
    posted on Jul 02, 2011 at 8:50 AM  |  reply

    I’ve never joined in on the top five friday convo, but this was hard to resist!! I was a fanatic reader as a child (and still am!) and this got my brain whirling!! Here’s what I remember as being absolute favorites as a young girl:

    1. Pen Pals series – oh heavens, how I loved these! It was about four girls who became pen pals with four boys and the stories that ensued. Even as a young girl, I was a total romantic! πŸ™‚

    2. I am Regina by Sally Keehn – I read this book over and over and over. It’s a true story about a young girl captured by Indians; she takes on the Indian lifestyle and forgets completely that she was ever a “white man”… Oh, I loved!!

    3. To Kill a Mockingbird – required reading in 7th grade, and I thought it was the greatest book ever.

    4. The Giver – Still a favorite to this day!!

    5. A Face in the Water – I think* that’s the name of the book! It’s what pops in my head! All I know is it’s a mystery style book about a young girl who sees a face in the water and ends up befriending a ghost, and I thought it was absolutely fabulous… Ring a bell with anyone?

    That was a fun trip down memory lane. I’m sure I’ll be thinking of more all day! πŸ™‚

    • posted on Jul 05, 2011 at 10:35 AM  |  reply

      I read The Giver in high school and LOVED it. Have you read Gathering Blue or The Messenger? You should. They are AMAZING.

  20. Hannah
    posted on Jul 02, 2011 at 8:55 PM  |  reply

    I’ve never commented on the Top 5 Fridays, but this one is an awesome topic!
    1. Meet Felicity. I was such an American Girl fanatic, and Felicity’s first book was the first book I ever bought from my favorite bookstore in the world (Sundog Books in Seaside, FL). I remember climbing up to the balcony of the beach house and reading for hours.
    2. The Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. I’ve only read the first five or so, but I loved those books!
    3. Nancy Drew books. I collected the copies from the 1930’s and 40’s and still have them. It’s more than just a story, I have copies with awesome inscriptions in them too!
    4. Julie by Catherine Marshall. I tried to read Christy, but Julie is always my favorite. I read this in one afternoon in fifth grade.
    5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Um, favorite book and favorite movie and favorite play growing up. It consumed my life!

    • posted on Jul 05, 2011 at 10:36 AM  |  reply

      Julie is an amazing book. The flood at the end? Always stressed me out… in that good suspenseful way.

  21. posted on Jul 03, 2011 at 6:30 PM  |  reply

    I was obsessed with:
    1. The Elizabeth Gail series by Hilda Stahl
    2. South Seas Adventures by Pamela Walls
    3. The Seven Sleepers Series by Gilbert Morris
    4. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards
    5. The Hidden Diary series by Sandra Byrd
    Obviously, I liked reading series when I was younger πŸ™‚

  22. posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 3:27 PM  |  reply

    I LOVED Harriet the Spy! And the American Girl books. I don’t recall that particular Judy Blume book but I really got into the Super Fudge saga…thanks for this post! I’m right there with you on the loves of childhood and book fever.

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