In no particular order, the following books are ones that I read in my youth and that can still be found on my lists of favorites:
1. Lone Wolf Series by Joe Dever
When I was a kid, I was obsessed with Choose Your Own Adventure books. The Lone Wolf series kicked that love up a notch by adding a bit of role-playing to the mix. I even remember the special trip I took to the local hobby shop in search for 10-sided die.
2. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
This book blew my mind as a kid to M. Night Shyamalan Sixth Sense proportions. It was such a cool mystery and unlike anything I had ever read before.
3. The Forbidden Game Trilogy by L.J. Smith
L.J. Smith was one of my go-to authors during my high school years. Her books always had just the right blend of supernatural and romance to them. Smith is probably best known for her series The Vampire Diaries, but The Forbidden Game was always my personal favorite.
4. Remember Me by Christopher Pike
I first discovered Christopher Pike at my middle school’s book fair. His books were dark and surprisingly adult and I was instantly hooked. I truly loved all of his books but Remember Me is the one that sticks out.
5. Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
I received this book as part of a monthly book club my mom had enrolled me in. The stories are downright weird and the illustrations are fantastic. I adore this book so much that I still have my original copy as part of my collection.
6. Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
This was another book club selection I received. I’m kind of ashamed to admit this, but I probably enjoyed this book because I was slightly smitten with the boy on the cover. As far as historical fiction goes, Johnny Tremain is a great read.
7. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
If this book was checked in at my school library, then it was pretty much a guarantee that I was going to check it out. This book was something of a sensation among my elementary school peers. I’m pretty sure it’s because one of the poems had the word “pee” in it.
8. D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire
In my opinion, this is still one of the best books on Greek Mythology ever made. It may not be as comprehensive as a college-level Greek Mythology compilation, but it makes up for that with its beautiful illustrations and readability.
9. Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
This is the book that made me open up my own detective agency when I was a kid. I had a drawstring bag with a magnifying glass, a pen and a notepad and I would solve cases for 25 cents apiece.
10. Choose Your Own Adventure Series by Various Authors
Want to teach your children the importance of the choices they make? Make them read a Choose Your Own Adventure Book. Oh, you want to go explore that dark, mysterious cave on yonder? Guess what? You’re going to die.