Inside: 6 timeless books perfect for tweens to create lifelong readers – these are the books that made me fall in love with reading!
Deborah Lytton pens the Ruby Starr series, about a young bookworm who starts a book club at her school. My oldest daughter is also an avid reader and this is one of her favorite characters — she relates so much to Ruby!
Deborah kindly sent us the latest installments in the Ruby Starr saga, so I asked if she’d like to share the books that inspired her as an author and reader. I have to admit, there are quite a few on this list that are also my own personal favorites.
Like Deborah, there are certain books I read during my childhood that got me hooked on reading. I’m sure you have some too!
If you’re looking to encourage a love of reading in your own child, this list is an excellent place to start!
The Books that Fostered My Love of Reading
Note: For your convenience, I’ve included shop-able ad links to the books on our list; disclosure policy available here.
I love books. It’s the reason I became a children’s book author. I wanted to be a part of the journey of young readers as they discover the wonderful world of independent reading.
The books I read when I was young are still my favorites today. The characters in these stories inspired and challenged me and became some of my best friends.
In my new book series, Ruby Starr, the main character Ruby loves books so much that she starts her own book club at school. She too considers some of her favorite characters to be her best friends.
Here are some of the books that fostered my love of reading (and a few that fostered Ruby’s love of reading, too!)
— Deborah Lytton
6 Books Guaranteed to Make Kids Fall in Love with Reading
This Newbery Medal winning historical novel is based on the true story of a young girl named Karana who is left alone to survive on an island off of the coast of California for eighteen years. The story is one of survival and independence and challenges the reader to be brave even in difficult circumstances. I especially love the way that author Scott O’Dell transports the reader to another time and place.
Click here to find Island of the Blue Dolphins on Amazon (Paperback, Hardcover, Kindle, Audio versions available)
A classic fantasy series I think every young reader should experience for themselves. The world author C.S. Lewis has created is unforgettable and the prose truly beautiful. It is always recommended to read in publication order beginning with THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE. This is a great family read-aloud title. It also serves as a wonderful birthday party theme.
This classic was first published in the year 1877 and was ahead of its time for it told the story of a working horse’s life from his perspective. We experience each home along with Beauty, and he shares his thoughts and emotions with us in an honest and poignant voice. Teaching the reader about compassion for animals, the message is a lasting and moving one. For anyone interested in horses, it is a must read.
These mystery novels about the fearless and brilliant sleuth Nancy Drew might be over eighty years old, but they are just as exciting as the latest releases. Mildred Wirt Benson is credited with writing twenty-three of the first thirty books in the series under the pseudonym of Carolyn Keene. These first thirty are my favorites. Packed with adventure and intrigue, the stories are irresistible for young readers.
First published in 1911, this classic novel is a wonderful read aloud choice. The story begins when Mary Lennox is sent to live with her uncle in a shadowed mansion. She discovers a secret garden that has been locked up and neglected for many years. In nurturing the flowers to grow, she also nurtures the whole household and brings life and joy back to them all. It is a story that encourages readers to believe in themselves and to stay true to their own dreams.
Click here to find The Secret Garden on Amazon (paperback, hardcover, Kindle, audio versions available)
This book of incredibly charming short stories is a perfect read aloud before bed. It is also ideal for young readers because they can complete one story at a time. The main story about a girl who is given a magical necklace of raindrops engages the reader and sparks the imagination. Don’t be surprised if your own reader is inspired to begin writing stories of their own.
Click here to find A Necklace of Raindrops and Other Stories on Amazon (paperback, hardcover, Kindle, audio versions available)
Are there any books on this list that are your favorites too? (I especially love Black Beauty!) What would you add to the list? Share in the comments below!