Tuesday, August 22, 2017

*Top Ten Tuesday* 10 Books I'm Glad I Wasn't Assigned in School

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Joood - Hooligan of Platypire reviews bossed me into doing this, so I guess this is a thing I do now. 

This weeks theme is Back to School Freebie, so I'm going with books that I'm glad weren't required reading when I was in school. This may seem like a strange sentiment from a book blogger, but my least favorite subject in school was reading. I seriously hated it as a subject, while at the same time getting in trouble for taking books out to recess to read. I've come to the conclusion that I really just hated being told what to read and when. Things like being told to only read two chapters out of a book at a time really grated on my nerves, and I ended up hating pretty much every book that was assigned reading (except for The Giver by Lois Lowry. That one I liked even when it was assigned reading). So here is my list of books I'm glad weren't assigned reading, because otherwise I probably would have hated them too.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar - I loved this whole series and have been gathering copies for my children to read. I hope they love them as much as I did.

Matilda by Roald Dahl - I read my copy of this book so many times that it literally fell apart. For that reason, I have purchased a couple copies recently, so that if either of my children enjoys the book as much as I did, we'll already have a back-up.

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder - This is another series that I devoured, and I'm actually a little bit surprised that Little House on the Prairie wasn't required reading at some point in my childhood, as it's set in Kansas and I'm from Kansas.

A Girl from Yamhill by Beverly Cleary - This was my favorite of all the Beverly Cleary books, and it's a memoir. I'm pretty sure it kind of reminded me of the Little House books though in style and whatnot.

A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter - I don't remember the details of this story very well, but what I do remember is that she earned the money that paid for her schooling by collecting moths and butterflies and selling them (none of which makes an appearance in the blurb on Amazon).

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry - I went through a horse phase in elementary school (I think a lot of girls go through a horse phase when they're around that age), and I devoured most of the books in this series as well as books like Black Beauty and the Saddle Club series. I never got a pony of my own though.

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink - This book is a lot like the Little House books and is set during a similar time period.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll - I can honestly say that I read the book before I ever saw Disney's animated version of this tale, and it was one of my favorite books of my childhood.

A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein - This might not be my favorite Silverstein collection (I'm particularly partial to his poem, Boa Constrictor, and I don't recall which collection that's found in), but I loved to read all his silly poems as a kid.

Goosebumps! by R.L. Stein - I still love these stories even as an adult (don't judge!) and absolutely devoured them as a child. I wish I hadn't lost my collection when my family moved when I was starting high school, because now I find myself having to rebuild it for my own children, and it's slow going.

So there you have it, exactly 10 books/series that I'm glad were never assigned reading when I was in school. Are there any books you read as a child that you're glad weren't assigned reading? I'm always looking for good books for my kids to read. - Katie 


  1. I was the same way as you. Assigned reading was the worst! Most of the time, the only books I enjoyed in school were the ones I got to pick for outside reading, though my AP English teacher hated that I'd choose books by VC Andrews and Anne Rice. Like you, I enjoyed The Giver when I read it in middle school. One of the few books I remember loving in high school that was assigned was Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder. I was a senior when I read it.

    1. I hated every book assigned in high school, which is particularly weird because I LOVED The Scarlet Letter when I read it on my own as a sophomore. Then when it was assigned for English class junior year, I hated it. Granted, I was not fond of my junior English teacher, so that may have had something to do with it. - Katie

  2. I enjoyed your list. I can't really remember many books that were required reading in school but I was always reading. (You know - hiding under the covers with a flash light type,) In my day the kid reads were The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew; Black Beauty (yes I had a horse phase and loved the Henry series too!), Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, Alice in Wonderland, The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights and of course, Aesop's Fables, Sherlock Holmes, Shakespeare and The Little Prince.
    Happy Reading!

    1. I remember The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew too, but I've never much been into mystery so they weren't series that I really got into. They were fairly established series when I was a kid, but still pretty much go to series (especially The Hardy Boys for boys), so I don't think your day was much before my day :) - Katie

  3. What a fun list! I've read several of these. Here is my TTT

  4. I agree with you, I love reading, but I hated being told what to read so as much as I wished I could have been assigned books I like in school, it's probably better than I wasn't because I wouldn't love them anywhere near as much if they had been assigned! Matilda was one of my favourite books when I was a kid too :)
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/top-ten-tuesday-121/

  5. What an interesting idea! Got to love the 'Goosebumps' series :') Also 'Matilda' was my favourite book growing up too, and I was never made to read it either!

    Awesome choices, feel free to check out my TTT list on book pairings for curriculum classics :)