Childhood Summer Reading


Is there much better than summer reading on vacation? There seems to be a central mystery theme at the core of my reading when I was growing up. I still love a good mystery. Some were books I found at my grandmother’s house where I went on vacation and some were books I got through my little local library.

Here’s just a few of my favorites from summer reading as a kid –

Bobbsey Twins in Rainbow Valley by Laura Lee Hope  – This was a little book that I found in my grandmother’s house and I loved reading it every time I was there.  The two sets of twins, Flossie and Freddie and Bert and Nan, go on vacation with their parents to Rainbow Valley.  Many mildly scary adventures befall them on their trip.  I think the adventure on vacation angle appealed to my mind because I was on vacation at my grandmother’s house.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett – I think my recollections of this story could be a little bit mixed up with the movie at this point but I still remember the soft green of this paperback copy and the softness of the pages for some reason.  The story never got old for me.  Mary is an orphan after her parents die of Cholera in India.  She is frail and sickly but when she goes to stay with her uncle on the moor in England, the garden she finds helps her return to health even as she helps it.  Who wouldn’t like a little bit of Earth to call their own? And how much better if it’s a secret garden with a hidden door in a high wall?  It’s the magic of nature.

The Mystery of the Crimson Ghost by Phyllis A. Whitney – Like most teen girls, I was horse crazy. Of course, it didn’t help that I grew up on the same street where they held horse auctions every other Friday and I walked horses to cool them down after polo matches one year.  I spent years trying to find this book again because I didn’t have the title quite right.  I finally ran across it and found out it was by none other than Phyllis Whitney.  This was the perfect story for a horse crazed teenager with a love of mysteries.  Janey goes to visit her Aunt Viv on summer vacation and sees a mysterious crimson ghost dog across the lake.  There’s also a beautiful horse across the lake.  In order to ride the horse, she’ll have to figure out the mystery surrounding the crimson ghost.

What were some of your favorite childhood reads?

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