Biography might just be my personal favorite genre of books. I read my first biography in 3rd grade. It was titled Babe Didrikson – Girl Athlete and was from the Childhood of Famous Americans series. My latest read is about a favorite author, Lois Lenski (1893-1974). She wrote dozens of books, most notably her Mr. Small series and her charming regional books like Strawberry Girl and Judy’s Journey. Marit (dd 13) has gobbled these up over the years and has a shelf devoted to them.
I’m only halfway through the book, but last night I came upon a book list that I thought you might find interesting. Here is Lois Lenski’s list of books that she grew up on. It looks terribly familiar, doesn’t it?
Little Women, Jo’s Boy, etc. by Louisa May Alcott
We loved and read all her books over and over again.
The Wide, Wide World by Susan Warner
Elsie Dinsmore by Martha Finley
I must confess I loved and wept over both these books.
The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney
The Little Lame Prince by Miss Muloch
Poems by Eugene Field
Child Rhymes by James Whitcomb Riley
We learned and recited many of these poems.
The Birds’ Christmas Carol, Polly Oliver’s Problem, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Next to Louisa Alcott, Kate Douglas Wiggin was my favorite author. All her books were read over and over, and were dearly loved.
Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch by Alice H. Rice
This and The Birds’ Christmas Carol made a special appeal to me due to their humor and pathos.
The Wonder Book by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett
A great favorite, sentiment and all.
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
We loved horses because Mama did.
Helen’s Babies by John Hibberton
The following were general family books, owned mostly by Esther and the boys, but read by us all:
Robinson Crusoe; Swiss Family Robinson; Arabian Nights; Baron Munchausen; Prose Tales by Edgar Allan Poe; Uncle Tom’s Cabin; Pilgrim’s Progress. The boys had many of the Henry and Alger books, but I never read any of them.
Other books that we did not own, but may have borrowed from the Sidney Public Library were: Gulliver’s Travels, Grimms’ and Andersen’s Fairy Tales, Red, Blue, and Green Fairy Tales; Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates. We were awarded certain books as premiums by the Shelby County Fair, for schoolwork exhibited there.
– from Journey Into Childhood, The Autobiography of Lois Lenski pp. 68-69