This week’s top ten prompt is “gateway books” or books that encouraged me to read (as hosted by The Broke and the Bookish). I’m altering the topic a bit and pairing childhood classics I loved with thematically matched adult fiction. So which childhood favorites paved the way for my reading choices as an adult? In no particular order, these are one I’d recommend.
10. If you loved The Witches by Roald Dahl, you should read A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Both feature families who like to talk about witches, both feature orphans who move in with a relative, and the main characters in both are battling evil witches.
09. If you loved Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter, you should read Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. Both feature heroines who are relentlessly optimistic and see the best in everybody (even when they shouldn’t).
08. If you loved The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson, you should read Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman. Both feature brilliant girls struggling to accept their current circumstances.
07. If you loved A Summer to Die by Lois Lowry, you should read Summer Sisters by Judy Blume. Both come to sad ends, but both tell the story of the bond between sisters (or two girls who feel like sisters). Both Lowry and Blume are modern icons.
06. If you loved Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, you should read The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Survival against all odds while battling a harsh environment features prominently within both books.
05. If you loved My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George, you should read Deliverance by James Dickey. In both novels, the characters feel the need to get out of the city and upon doing so, discover an entirely new side of themselves.
04. If you loved The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney, you should read A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams. The characters eat have to discover who they truly are, as well as who their parents truly are.
03. If you loved The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs, you should read ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. John Bellairs’ novels are an excellent precursor to all things Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Lev Grossman, etc.
02. If you loved The Borrowers by Mary Norton, then you should read Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. This one is a bit of a stretch, but both books have people living just out of sight.
01. The Best School Year Ever by Barbara Robinson and Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon. Ever wondered if you’ve failed to live up to your potential? These books are for you. The devilish Herdman family has to be complimented, per a school assignment, while Grady needs to fulfill the promise his first novel indicated. Zany disasters follow the characters of both books.
Also, do you know I’ve never read A Wrinkle in Time? Am I missing out? Which book made you a reader?
(Image found here, original source unknown)