I can’t remember all the books I read as a child, but two always come to mind because I read them again and again.


The Boxcar Children, by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I remember being enthralled with the idea of kids running away (something I fantasized about from time to time,) and making their own little house in a train car and finding treasure and a dog and picking cherries. I read it at least five times and now I’m reading it to my daughter.


The other was Wait Till Helen comes by Mary Downing Hahn. I think I may have been captured first by the cover, (creepy, huh?) but the story was so real and fascinating to me I checked it out of the library every other month during third grade. I guess it never occurred to the school librarian to recommend anything else.

I think a lot of kids get hooked on certain books and love to read them over and over. The main character in When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead, reads A Wrinkle in Time over and over. I related to that character a lot. Certain books are like a good friend you can count on and they stick with you.

What childhood books still stick with you?


  1. Liesl, Liesl, Liesl. This is why I like you so much. I loved THE BOXCAR CHILDREN as a girl. It continues to hold its magic now that I’ve read it with a third-grade book club and my own children.

    I’ve never read WAIT UNTIL HELEN COMES, but many of my former students have.

    • Lisa

    • May 4, 2010

    • 1:20 pm

    The Boxcar Children was my childhood series. Read them all. Loved them all.

    Then on my mission I just happened to get put in Putnam CT. The one and only place of Gertrude Chandler Warner’s boxcar. Awesome.

  2. Oh, I remember these two! I read both of them as a kid (my third-grade teacher read us about a million books from the Boxcar Children series over the course of the year). As I remember it, WAIT TILL HELEN COMES was especially haunting.

  3. I was completely stuck on Beverly Cleary’s Ramona series. Thank you for this post! I hadn’t thought of those books in years!

  4. I LOVED Wait Till Helen Comes. I read that book so many times. I still have it. Loved it.

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