Read Across America is a day held annually on March 2nd that encourages children in every community to read and also encourages parents and teachers to celebrate the joy of reading. It’s a holiday that has been celebrated since 1998 and falls on the same day as children’s book author Dr. Seuss.

We loved reading in our house. My mother subscribed to monthly book clubs where new Dr. Suess books would arrive or children classics.  And my sisters and brother and I loved out weekly trips to the library for the summer reading program.

So I asked the Crew what books were most influential--or just plain the most loved from childhood.

If you would like to be eligible for the drawing, make sure you comment below. Here's the question: What book was the most influential or most loved in your childhood.


I got these books for my ninth birthday, but my mother used to read to us from them all the time. I remember sitting at her feet (there were 5 kids in our family) and listening to The Cat that Walked by Himself and Rikki Tikki Tavi from the Just So Stories. And I would read them to my younger siblings.

Nan is giving away a copy of her March release -- TO CATCH A THIEF to one lucky commenter.


When I was young I loved two series of books. The Boxcar Children captured my attention in probably fourth grade and for years I fantasized living in a Boxcar! Then came the Little House on the Prairie Books and I fell in love with Laura and her family and the many adventures of life in what was then the frontier heartland. Growing up in the heartland is the inspiration for many of my Kinnison contemporary small town, western stories and my continued love of history in the stories I've written set in the late 19th century to the Victorian era. I was thrilled to be able to buy the sets for my children and cannot wait for my grandkids to be old enough to enjoy them. The values and family strength in these books is ageless.

I was always book-crazy as a kid, and devoured books like What Katy Did (and What Katy Did Next), The Chalet School series by Elinor Brent-Dyer, Trixie Belden's many adventures, various English boarding school series - seriously, I could go on forever. But one of the very first books that ever held me spellbound was The Children of Primrose Lane by Noel Streatfeild. As with many of the books I read in my early years, I have no idea how I got hold of it. It was published during WWII, well before I was born and was just there one day! It's a derring-do tale of six English children who stumble upon a German spy hiding in their ‘clubhouse’ – the only unoccupied house on their street. When the spy sets out to rendezvous with his contact, the children set off in pursuit.How I wished I were one of those kids! I'm scared to read it now in case my adult perceptions spoil that priceless first memory of kids being the ones to save the day.


I've always been a voracious reader. To this day, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE remains one of my favorites and I have a copy of it on my bookshelf. I loved the Nancy Drew series. I figured with a name like that, she had to be good. :) Another series I loved was the Meg Duncan Mysteries. It was a series of six books that followed Margaret Ashley Duncan and her best friend, Kerry Carmody on all kinds of adventures. It seemed everywhere they turned something exciting - and slightly spooky - was unfolding. It's a wonder I didn't grow up to be a mystery writer.  


There are so many wonderful books from my childhood, it's really hard to choose a favorite or even favorites! Anne of Green Gables stands out above the rest for a number of reasons, but maybe the most important reason is that I must have reread those books a dozen times! 

I also have a personal attachment to the stories. When my father's family originally immigrated to Canada (French Huguenots) they settled first on Prince Edward Island, which of course, as anyone who's read Anne of Green Gables knows, is the setting for the series. 

Years later, my parents did an east coast vacation and returned to P.E.I. where they connected with relatives that still lived (some of them still farmed) on the island. They loved it so much that they ended up buying a fifty-acre farm—the original home of my father's great, great grandfather.

I spent several memorable summer vacations on the island—and one Christmas holiday! I remember reading Anne of Green Gables—the entire series all over again at the farmhouse. Now that is the true test of a classic novel! One that resonates from childhood all the way into adulthood.  
This shot of the farmhouse is taken in winter from the cliff above the bay.



Just as with everyone else, I have so many memories of
favorite childhood books. My dad read to us from the time we were little until we were well into our teens and beyond--and then he read to my mom. So, books were very special to my family. It won't surprise anyone that my favorite series growing up was  "The Black Stallion" by Walter Farley. I lived, breathed, and reread those books so many times I knew them by heart. My very favorite was "The Black
Stallion's Filly." I imagined I owned Black Minx and had a farm just like Alec Ramsay's. The books kept my love of horses alive until I eventually got my own horse. I passed that love down to my daughter and she now owns the farm I always dreamed of having! I've even written my own horse books and dedicated my most recent one "Missing by a Heartbeat"--which takes place on a racetrack!--to Mr. Farley and The Black. It was kind of a dream come true. If you'd like to win a copy of that book--comment below! Happy reading!

To be eligible for the drawing tell us -- What book was the most influential or most loved in your childhood?



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  2. I now want to go back and read all these books!

  3. The book that i read was about Jane Eyre and i read and reread that so many times as it was left by in the foster home by the real daughter of the abusive people that took us in and she was in the peace corp so it was nice to go under the covers with my flashlight and read most of the night away! peggy clayton

    1. I'm so glad you could escape with the book. I'm so sorry you had to endure those foster parents. My heart breaks for you.

  4. A. A. Milne's Winnie The Pooh books were my fav when I was a kid.

    1. I loved A.A. Milne. (Especially his poems) My mother was British.

  5. Jane Austen's books

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    1. Thanks for stopping BN100! I didn't really read Austen until I was an adult.

  6. I loved The Secret Seven Series by Enid Blyton.

    When my son was little I subscribed him to the Disney book club. He still loves to read and so does my daughter. I do believe the love of reading starts early.

    1. I think you are so right! We loved when the subscriptions came to the house! I don't think I've seen that series I will have to look. Grandkids are great. I can re-read the old classics and see the new books too!

    2. I grew up in Australia so I'm not sure if the Enid Blyton books were as popular here in the US.

    3. My Aunt who lives in Australia used to send us books and you're right -- they were different!

  7. The Velveteen Rabbit for me.
    Kate Sparks girlygirlhoosier52@yahoo.com

  8. Box Car Children
    Tom Sawyer
    Ole Yeller
    Huck Finn

  9. When I was growing up I remember I had a book that had a collection of Shirley Temple stories which was one of my favorites, I also loved reading Judy Blume's books. I now read books to my Grandson's one is 4 years old & he loves for me to read to him & the other is 7 years old & he can read by himself but he still likes to have me read books to him. Thanks for your generosity.

    1. I love this! And reading to the grandkids is so wonderful!