SparkNotes Blog

What Three Books Were You OBSESSED WITH as a Child?

There is a Tweet making the rounds and generating a lot of discussion on Book Twitter. I myself have texted it to four people, and I’m planning on bringing it up later this month at Thanksgiving dinner to steer the conversation away from such divisive topics as 1) American politics and 2) how to correctly pronounce “pecan.” (We have this discussion once a year, and it always threatens to tear my family apart.)

Anyway, here is the Tweet.

Mine would have to be Harry Potter, The Phantom Tollbooth, and Dear America: Voyage on the Great Titanic, which I’m pretty sure messed me WAY up before I ever even saw Leonardo DiCaprio let Kate Winslet have the whole of that really big door.

You may think a person couldn’t possibly be summed up in three books. But I’m here to tell you that I like magic and puns and I am scared of the ocean, and that is pretty much my entire personality.

(Sidebar: does anyone else remember those Dear America books as vividly as I do? After I barreled through the one about plucky thirteen-year-old Hattie on the Oregon Trail, I spent much of my childhood being needlessly terrified of eating anything unfamiliar. You know, in case it was hemlock.)

So now, I put it to you: which three books from your childhood define YOU as a person? Relatedly, which ones terrified you to your core? That wasn’t part of the original prompt, but I’m curious.