Books That Changed My Childhood


First, I would like to thank Between the Lines for nominating ShannonAThompson.com for a collection of wonderful awards, but second, I would like to thank the two latest reviewers of Take Me Tomorrow:

 The Modest Verge wrote, “The characters in this novel are just as complex, and just as complicated as The Timely Death Trilogy so if you enjoyed those characters you will love these. These are not just normal teenagers thrust into the unknown. These teenagers know that life can be upset in a single heartbeat. They know that lives can be irrevocably changed by the decisions or mistakes of a single person. This book is an adventure and I loved every single minute of it.” But you can read her entire review by clicking here.

Death on the Road focused on the genre in their review, stating, “It had a lot of action, was fast paced, discussed very serious things and made my first brush with YA dystopian fiction a pleasant one.” But you can read the entire review by clicking here.

Remember to send me an email at shannonathompson@aol.com if you want me to share your review of Take Me Tomorrow right here on ShannonAThompson.com! If you want to check out the novel, click here. I would love to share your thoughts.

Books That Changed My Childhood:

This was actually inspired by Cassandra Clare’s video Books That Changed My Life. I started compiling a list when…well, like any avid reader would say, it got a little out of control, so I condensed it down to times in my life, and I thought it would be fun to show the books that changed my childhood. Why is this important? I’m a big believer in going backwards. For instance, if you’re a writer and struggling with writing, I think going backwards to a time where you only wrote for fun can help remind you why you love writing in the first place. (But that’s explained in my old post Sharing Childhood Inspiration.)

So I’m sharing my list by starting at the beginning and stopping around age 14. That being said, I definitely can’t share all of them. I am only sharing the first ones that pop into my head, and I think this list would change depending on my day (which I think is the neat part!) I hope you share your lists below, too. So check it out. 😀

1. Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman – This is the first book I remember reading, but it’s also the first one I carried around…oh, just about everywhere. This might have been the first sign that I would be obsessed with books in the future.

 2. You Choose Stories: Scooby Doo Mystery – The amount of amazement I had for these was unreal. I could read and choose how the story went? I didn’t have to just read? Oh. My world changed. I loved reading these over and over and over again just to see how much one story could change from one event changing. This might have been the first sign that I wanted to be a writer.

3. Goosebumps by R.L. Stine – Oh, the delightful horror I had reading these books. These were actually bought for my older brother, but I had a habit of stealing his things, so I ended up reading these, too. And I’ve loved horror and scary stories ever since. I cannot wait for American Horror Story to begin.

4. Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene – I obsessed over these books. I loved the books, the computer games, and pretty much anything else associated with them.


5. The BFG by Roald Dahl – Again, my brother had an influence on this one. It was one of his favorite novels, and he gave me his copy to read. I had a house bed, and I kept this book in my shutters for years, constantly trying to figure out what I loved about it. Maybe it was the bone-crunching.

6. Dear America series – I had an entire collection of these books. I was obsessed. I could learn about history and be entertained. This was a new concept to me when I was younger.

7. Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osbourne – It’s safe to say that Twister on Tuesday might have been the cause of my phobia when I was moving to Kansas.

8. Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix – I felt like this was the first middle grade fiction book that didn’t hold back.

9. 1-800-Where-R–You series by Meg Cabot – Wait. So a girl gets struck with lightning and can find missing people? That’s…different…and totally awesome! Meg Cabot’s books definitely changed my perspective on fiction, specifically paranormal fiction and how unique it could be. She also includes badass women in her young-adult books. Who couldn’t like that?

10. Daughters of the Moon by Lynne Ewing – I’ve mentioned it once, and I’ll mention it again. I loved this series growing up. It was about four girls (the daughters of the moon) kicking ass, and it also revolved around mythology. Not only did this book further my obsession with the paranormal but it also reminded me of my favorite childhood show, Sailor Moon, and it reaffirmed my love for the type of fiction I grew up with.

Oh, how I want to keep going, but I’m probably stopping around age 14. Maybe I’ll continue this list with the books that changed my life as I got older. It will definitely include 1984, but that’s for another post. For now, these are the top 10 childhood novels that came to mind, but what about yours? Did any books you read as a kid influence your reading decisions as an adult?


27 thoughts on “Books That Changed My Childhood

  1. I loved the Nancy Drew books! I only recently discovered that it was the original title and name, as in French Nancy Drew was called Alice Roy. I really loved these books and I liked that (in French) the main character’s name was my middle one.

    1. Who couldn’t love GooseBumps? It was too fantastic. Definitely turned me onto horror stories when I got older. I also liked Are You Afraid of the Dark, but I feel like GooseBumps was the more influential one.

  2. Meg Cabot was definitely a turning point in my reading life, when I was around 12- 13. I started reading the Princess Diaries after the movie came out, a series I never completed, but then I discovered 1800-where are you and my favourite, The Mediator! Both series were so good!

      1. have you seen there is a new SEVENTH mediator book coming out next year?! I think I’m going to die from excitement oh my lawrd.I recently re-bought the new bind ups of the mediator because my old ones fell apart- literally.

  3. I read a lot of Dr. Seuss as a kid. Also, I really liked ‘Just So Stories’ by Rudyard Kipling. They taught me that things in the real world can be ‘explained’ with a fictional story.

  4. The first book I loved and adored (so much I BEGGED my library to let me buy it off them, or to take an exchange – at 4 years of age) was Alapaca, about a stuffed rabbit and its owner. LOVED it. Next would be Roald Dahl, Jacqueline Wilson and Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries. Roald Dahl was just such a fantastic author (I purchased a 15 book set of his today for £15 because I don’t own them and I want them!). I always had copies illustrated by Quentin Blake, to me his illustrations go hand-in-hand with Dahl books. Wilson wrote books with adult themes but in a way kids could understand. Bulimia, virginity, bullying, parents with addictions, adoption – she touches on everything and does it so brilliantly, it helped me make sense of the world at a young age. The Princess Diaries was practically all I read for a year or two at the start of my teens – I just loved them. And obviously, the most important, or at least most loved books of my childhood was the Harry Potter series. Just. So. Much. Love.

    I used to LOVE the stories where you could pick the endings too, “adventure” books they were called weren’t they? I read them sooo many times to find out all the different ways the story could go and then marked my favourites so I could read it MY way any time I wanted. Do they have these for adults?? They should. Lol – great post!

      1. I need to find one of these STAT.

        Yea, the good news was they let me buy it, the bad news is I don’t know where it went and it’s so hard to find now!

  5. Oh! Some of these books came out when I was a bit too old for them — I was all about the American Girl Doll (history) books, but think Dear America would have been my cup-of-tea as well (though… why am I not reading them now? Hm.. I must fix this). Go Dog Go is an AWESOME book — I still have the copy we (me and my four siblings) all read when we were little. And BFG was one of my favorites (my fifth grade teacher read it out-loud to our class… so amazing). I read the Among the Hidden books when I was nannying some kids who were reading it — excellent as well.
    My top ones? The Babysitters Club (got me reading things other than picture books), Miss Rumphius (still a life philosophy of mine), and The Cage (Ruth Minsky Sender, a holocaust memoir) are the very first ones to come to mind.

  6. I was obsessed with Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown. I had forgotten about 1 800 and The Babysitters Club. A very ambitious librarian read The Hobbit to us in library class in third grade. I have pleasant memories of reading the titles from the bookshelves while she read. It greatly influenced me. Fantastic post! I haven’t thought about these books in years. I’m going to check out Jacqueline Wilson and The Just So Stories. ~Lynn

  7. I remember reading Go Dog Go to my younger sister. She loved that book. As for me, two books stand out that I remember reading more than once: Little Women and Island of the Blue Dolphins.

  8. I adored the Magic Tree House series. I read all of the ones that my elementary had. I also love anything C.S. Lewis. I eventually got really into Rick Riordan books, especially the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. And finally, Frank Peretti is still my favorite author to this day.

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