This is a list of some fav books that I loved growing up. I don't hear about these gems much.
The Velvet Room by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
I cannot imagine life without this book. I never see this on lists of favorite books and I don't understand it. The book was published in 1965 a year after the year I was born. Ms. Snyder has won three Newbery honors, but I just never hear her name when people talk about fab, fab children's writers. She is one of the greats to me.
This is a story about friendship, mystery, being lost and then finding a place in the world.
From Amazon: Robin was always "wandering off" (her mother's words) to get away from the confusion she felt inside her. It was not until Robin's father found a permanent job at the McCurdy ranch, after three years as a migrant worker, that Robin had a place to wander to. As time went by the Velvet Room became more and more of a haven for her--a place to read and dream, a place to bury one's fears and doubts, a place to count on.
Next up is Miss Hickory by Caroyln Sherwin Bailey
This one won the Newbery in 1947. I loved this book that for me celebrated the natural world.
Miss Hicory was a homemade doll made out of a stick with a hickory nut head, she has adventures, including having her head eaten, wherein she becomes a graft on an old apple tree.
Next up is a series of books that I remember throwing against the wall because I was shocked by what the author had to say. Throwing the book is an odd reflex I have. I have no control over this reflex; it is just something that has happened a few times to me. When I think about my books, I want to write books that are emotionally shocking in that way. This is Margery Sharp's series --The Rescuers, Miss Bianca and the rest.
A little girl that Miss Bianca is going to rescue is chatting to Miss Bianca and then we find out the girl is sitting on human bones; well, I tossed the book across the room.
Here are some other gems:
The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill
The Girl in the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Potter
Jack and Jill, Under the Lilacs and Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott
Miss Pickerell Goes to Mars by Ellen MacGregor
Have Spacesuit Will Travel by Robert Heinlein