Okay, on to fiction! It’s hard to pin down favorites, but here’s a few I always keep handy. Most of them are books I read years ago, so they are geared more towards teens then adults (although I think adults would enjoy them as well!)
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
I consider this one of the best fiction books I’ve ever read, hands down. It still appeals as much to me as an ancient nineteen-year-old as it did when I was a young teenager. As you read it, the characters come alive! The story centers around Johnny, a silversmith’s apprentice who finds that his life isn’t ruined even after an accident cripples his right hand. Johnny becomes swept up in the excitement, drama, and sacrifice of the Revolutionary War. There’s everything in this book- humor, romance, adventure.
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
If you’ve never read this classic, then you are missing out. A story of survival and courage that will enthrall you, I promise! Sam Gribley, a city boy, runs away to the Catskill Mountains to live on his own- and actually succeeds! I’ve always loved the ingenuity of Sam as he makes his home in the forest and uses the resources around him to survive and even thrive.
Calico Captive by Elizabeth George Speare
This is definitely a book that girls of all ages will love! Readers follow Miriam Willard, a Puritan young lady, through her captivity by Indians and eventually the French in Montreal. It has a really unique and captivating plot that has many twists and turns. Well worth reading!
Fair Weather by Richard Peck
Warning! You will probably bust a gut reading this! Richard Peck is SOOO good at writing hilarious fiction. Maybe you wouldn’t think that a plot centered around the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition would be entertaining. However, when you combine country girls, a rich old lady, an uncouth but endearing grandfather, a horse named Lillian Russell, and snapping turtles- it does. Trust me.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Lest you think that I don’t enjoy some more sophisticated books, I thought I would add this one. Until fairly recently, I didn’t think I would enjoy Sherlock Holmes- I thought it would be too complicated for me (I tend to prefer light reading). However, once I finally gave Sherlock a try, I was captivated! I particularly enjoy the short mysteries.
Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard
Another classic! I’m not a big fan of animal stories, but this one is really awesome. I think I really enjoy the chemistry between Danny and Red. I won’t get into the plot here, but take my word for it- it’s a classic for a reason.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, of course, but all of these are real winners. Some of them would be great read-alouds for the whole family, if you’re into that.
What are your fiction favorites?