This week's book.chat with Jessica and her co-host Erinn is about war and historical books. I have to admit when I started thinking about this topic I was a little stumped. Most of what I read is what you would call "fluffy" reading or from the comedy genre. The only "historical" I have read recently would be with knights and castles and the Highlands and even those are few and far between. And you can pretty much eliminate the war factor from my bookshelf. I read Schindler's List and watched the movie but that's about as much war as I've read.
When I sat down and thought about it I realized that most of the historical books that I've read was from when I was a child. Classic children's literature is full of historical books from all time periods and social classes. They teach important lessons, explore worlds and let our imaginations run free.
Caddie Woodlawn / Anne of Green Gables / Little Women / The Secret Garden / Number the Stars / Summer of My German Soldier / Island of the Blue Dolphins / Little House on the Prairie
Each of these books holds a special place in my heart and I can just about remember exactly how old I was when I first read each book. Some were on my own and some were required for school but in the end each left a strong impression.
The first time I ever cried while reading a book was the first time I read Number the Stars. I remember sitting in my seat on the back part of the school bus and reading the final chapters of Annemarie and Ellen being so nervous about whether they were going to be okay that I almost missed my stop. I wanted to live in a covered wagon and play outside all the time like Laura in Little House on the Prairie and my first book crush was on Dickon in The Secret Garden.
I may not read many war and historical novels in my grown-up years but the ones from my childhood are are pretty top notch. Maybe someday my oldest will want to read them as well.