Monday, August 31, 2009

Sweet Repeats Contest

A good book is a good book, no matter how many times you read it. It isn’t just words. It’s an experience. During my teaching years, ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHIN always brought me to tears. SPOILER ALERT (If you haven’t read the book, skip to the next paragraph). Scott O’Dell’s story made me feel like I was the girl left on the island. When I read “oh Rontu!” after feeling the last heartbeats of my dog, my heart broke too.

So here’s where this post takes a turn for the happy. I want to know one kids' book you love and have read many times. Tell about it in the comment section. On Friday, September 4, we will put the names in the hat and pick one winner. The winner will receive a $5 gift card to Barnes & Noble to help purchase another book to be read and reread.

Please make sure I have a way to contact you (email address, twitter name, Bat Signal). If I can’t get up with you, I’ll have to pick another winner. Good luck and thanks for sharing.


  1. Just one kids' book--well, okay, Wringer by Jerry Spinelli. I have read it a ton--mostly because of teaching but this past year to put on my blog too.

    Margo Dill

    PS I also love Mr. Popper's Penguins!!! :)

  2. I've already gone through The Hunger Games at least 3 times. One time was with a highlighter and a pen so I could dissect it for pacing. I LOVE that book!

  3. THE HERO AND THE CROWN by Robin Mckinley. I've read it...oh, about twenty or so times. For a long time I'd read it every year on my birthday. It's beautiful!

    bethrevis@gmail .com

  4. MISSING MAY by Cynthia Rylant. It's so touching. I love to read it when I'm having trouble with the right wording and need inspiration. (melhig at yahoo dot com)

  5. I tend not to read books over and over (unless they are picture books) but one book I read repeatedly as a teacher was Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor. That book seemed to get better each time I read it.

  6. For some reason, Starring Sally J Freedman as Herself (Judy Blume) always resonates and never gets old. I also enjoy revisiting the books from my 'tween years (Mary Downing Hahn's The Jellyfish Season being a particular favorite). I have several first editions from Baum's Oz series; the stories have a whole new dimension as an adult. ~Christine

    @earlyink / @wordsonstyle

  7. I read The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede at least once a year. There are four books in the series and they are hilarious and very entertaining.

    twitter @msforster

  8. I had a terrific freshman year (high school) English teacher who knew the magic of these classics and led us as 15-year-olds through Alice in Wonderland and The Phantom Tollbooth. That was brilliant! Personally, though, I have always been partial to "Matilda," among other great Roald Dahl stories. Those quirky fantasies were as fun to re-read in college as they were to inhale for the first time in second grade.

  9. Okay, I have to pick two OLD ones. Black Beauty--read that at least fifty times and Treasure Island. Read that one about fifty times too. :)

    I hope someday someone will pick one of mine. WOOHOO!

  10. The first book that comes to my mind is Are You There God, It's Me Margaret, by Judy Blume. It was the first book I read over and over again as a tween - it really spoke to all the crazy emotions and desire to fit in that I felt during the pre-pubescent years.

  11. THE WESTING GAME by Ellen Raskin. I move back and forth between the UK and the States and can only take very little with me, but THE WESTING GAME always makes the cut. Clever, fun, perfect for a lazy day.


  12. There are so many that I read over and over, but, well, blush, I love the scariness of Coraline by Neil Gaiman. It must be that book, because my husband says, "Are you reading THAT book again?" I also use this book, along with several others,in writing workshops to show how an author sets up a story.

  13. I used to make my mother read me a picture book copy of The Three Little Pigs every single night. A little later in life, these became my favorites:

    Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher
    Into the Land of the Unicorns
    My Side of the Mountain
    Julie of the Wolves
    Island of the Blue Dolphins
    the entire Thoroughbred series
    Voyage of the Basset (by James C Christensen)

    (the best way to contact me is through email: rachel dot stark at hotmail dot com.)

  14. Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo. I never tire of reading that one. :)

    Shari (

  15. Bunnicula. Silly I know but I love the characters, the way they interact and I think they are among the most fun mysteries around. Besides the puns are what drove my daughters and I to spend lots of time with them. Who doesn't love 'The Celery Stalks at Midnight'? We've grown up, read more Terry Pratchett/ Disc World series, But still…there's something about Bunnicula!

  16. I love a lot of the books mentioned in previous comments, but I rarely read books twice - so I will go 'younger' with my choice. I have four kids (now 6-11 years old) so I have read a lot of bedtime books at least four times - often 40+ times.

    One of my favorite bedtime re-reads is "The Best Nest" by P.D. Eastman, which starts with Mr. Bird singing:

    "I love my house.
    I love my nest.
    In all the world
    My nest is best!"

    "The Best Nest" reminds us what makes a house a home, that we "shall not covet..." and the grass is not always greener, anyway. It's a great message for the kids (and their mom) to hear over and over again.

    Thanks for giving me an excuse to read it one more time.

  17. Okay, this is more of a young adult book, but it is what comes to mind- Slam! by Walter Dean Myers. I read it out loud to my students in two blocks for eight years. That means that I have read it at least seventeen times and probably more. I love how he gets at the heart of the inner city teenage boy who has tough choices to make. Jo

  18. Hi Laura,

    The Phantom Tollbooth comes to mind as a favorite childhood book.

    take care!


  19. My kids are very young, so we often read books over and over! A recent favorite of my son is Tom by Tomie de Paola. It is a sweet story about a grandfather and his grandson. (It is funny too-I always laugh when I read it)
    For older kids, I've always loved The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I must have checked it out 100 times from the school library!

    Stephanie Boyles

  20. I loved Sign of the Beaver. I read it to my 4th graders one year and it was an amazing tale of friendship.

    Maythi Calvert

  21. I was introduced to From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Franweiler by Ms. Mary Ruth, the school media specialist who inspired me to become a librarian. I loved this book so much and continue to revisit it as an adult. I once met the author and was speechless for what might have been the very first time in my life. It was like meeting a rock star! I proceeded to babble stupidly about how much I love her book and how influential it was in my decision to become a librarian.

    I also keep a copy of The Westing Game in my (college library!) office. When I read it, I am suddenly on the porch swing at my grandmother’s house the summer I first read it. I bet I have read that book dozens of times, just to recapture that feeling. I can even picture where it was on the shelf in the public library in my home town!

  22. I don't know how old an age group you're considering to be kid's books. This is more of a teen's book, but I read HAVE SPACE SUIT, WILL TRAVEL the first time at about eleven.

    I don't know why, or just what it was that clicked, or exactly what happened, but I know exactly the scene I was reading when I suddenly realized that someone had written this. This book hadn't fallen off of a tree somewhere. No one had turned over a cabbage leaf and found it. Someone had made it up out of the magic of his own imagination.

    That was a stunning, eye-watering revelation. If Robert Heinlein could make stuff up, so could I. I decided I was going to be a writer. I allowed myself to be talked out of it for a variety of reasons over the next dozen years, but here I am now, writing and publishing and having people read my stories, that I made up out of my own murky imagination.

    Better forty years too late than never.


    PS: I make it a point to re-read HAVE SPACE SUIT, WILL TRAVEL at least once every year or so.

  23. I am enjoying reading about everyone's favorites. Kidlit includes Young Adult books, so share away. My reading list keeps growing. :D

  24. I probably read Charlotte's Web a hundred times. I'm not exactly sure why I loved it so much, but I just kept reading it!

  25. I liked THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING AT MCDONALD HALL by Gordon Korman. I bought it through a book fair and read it numerous times. I dont' remember what happened to my copy but I ended up buying it again for my son to enjoy. He loved the fun antics described within as much as I did. I also found out later that Mr. Korman wrote that book in the 7th Grade! Soooo jealous. He still continues to have a successfull career.

  26. I have to give two books:
    Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey
    The Phantom Tollbooth
    (lchardesty here and on twitter)