March 9, 2012

Flashback Friday: Hatchet and Island of the Blue Dolphins

My mom always read to us before bedtime, so I have fond memories of the books from my childhood.
Furthermore, she and my dad encouraged us to read on our own as well.

My school teachers and Pizza Hut* also gave us incentives to read Newbery Medal-winning books, which were/are vastly more intellectually-stimulating than the Twilight and Harry Potter books of today.

Here are a couple of my favorite books from elementary school.

As a Boy Scout, I loved reading about a boy being stranded in the wilderness and having to survive on his own. I could just imagine myself in his shoes, and the excitement and fear of such a situation.
For a little reminder, here is the first 15 minutes of the audiobook:

Island of the Blue Dolphins
This book captivated me, and I'm pretty sure I used it for book reports in grades 4-6 (recycling is good, right?). Another tale of survival, this one includes facing the elements and nature, as well as invading foreign forces. Learning about and relating to a culture very different from my own also intrigued me.
Again, in case you've forgotten the writing style, here's the first 15 minutes of the audiobook:

Now that I've gotten a taste, I think I might have to re-read these again soon.

What were your favorite books from elementary school?

*Remember the program where as you read books you could earn a personal pan pizza? I loved that!


  1. It's funny that you mention "Island of the Blue Dolphins". My 5th-grade daughter is reading that right now for school. I don't think she likes it as well as you did's like pulling teeth to get her to read it.

  2. Harry Potter and Twilight should never be used in the same sentence. The story, writing, characters, and clues in Harry Potter are much, much better than Twilight. There's a reason the HP books inspired so many people even before the movies came out. (Just had to get that defensiveness out of my system.)

    My favorite books in elementary school were Racso and the Rats of NIMH, and The Castle in the Attic. I think I still have them somewhere... seems I've always been a fantasy girl at heart :)

  3. Keri, I'm sad that your daughter doesn't love "Island", but I imagine she loves some books that wouldn't even crack the cover.

    Megan, my apologies. I didn't mean to say that they're equals, just that I have fond memories of the books from my childhood. I've loved the Harry Potter series (movies, as I must admit I only read the 1st book). Great book selections for your elementary favorites!

  4. Ah, fair enough. I definitely agree that the books we loved to read in elementary school are always going to be awesome!