The Broke and the BookishTop 10 Tuesday is hosted every Tuesday by The Broke and the Bookish. Guys, this is my first time participating in Top 10 Tuesday! I’ve done a few memes before, but this one has always caught my attention. I’ve never had the time to look at the list in advance, so I finally got around to doing it. I felt that this week’s Top 10 would be the perfect topic to feature. Now, some of these books are meant for older readers like myself, but all of them were very impactful on me. The majority of them I read myself as a young girl and felt that they offered me a lot and made me the woman I am today. My hope is that these books also pass on those same morals to my future children.
Top 10 Books I Want My Future Children to Read
1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Without a doubt, this is my favorite book that I read in school. I’m so glad I actually got to read it at such a young age as it teaches some really influential life lessons. The first one, be who you are and not what others expect of you. Scout runs around the whole book being boyish and reading when she’s reprimanded in school for doing so, but none of that phases either her or her father, Atticus Finch, despite the time period. The second is a little tougher: racism.
Atticus Finch defends a black man who has been accused of raping a white woman. Despite being OBVIOUSLY innocent, it’s hard to prove to a bunch of Southern racists that he wasn’t capable of such a crime. Atticus’s two children, Jem and Scout, are too young to understand why an innocent man is being accused of a crime simply because of the color of his skin. I was able to take all of these lessons to heart as a young eighth grader, and I want my kids early on to know and understand these lessons as well.
2. The Diary of Anne Frank
This was another book I enjoyed reading as a child. Anne Frank’s story of how she and her family were hidden in Amsterdam during the Nazi Invasion is an absolute must-read classic for anyone. It brings to life the injustice that the Nazis imposed on those of the Jewish faith just because they had different beliefs. Knowing what I know now about the Holocaust has helped me be a better person. I choose not to judge people on either race or religion.
3. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
This is a strange addition to my list, but one I’m adding nonetheless. It’s not because it is a fantastic story, but because I am 26% Scandinavian (Norwegian, to be exact.) I have always enjoyed learning about how the Vikings explored the world and left their imprint on other cultures. Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology is a retelling of the stories these Vikings told their own children, about how their gods came to be and what they fought for in their own lives. It can get a bit strange and gruesome at times, but I’m confident that these mythological stories can invoke wonder into the minds of my future children.
4. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
I only recently read The Handmaid’s Tale this past year, but my interest was immediately piqued by this dystopian world created by Atwood. It’s extremely relevant in today’s society, where men think they have the absolute right and power to govern what a woman can do with her body. This is an important work of fiction for readers today, and I want to make sure that my children understand that these injustices are just that.
5. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Nightingale brings me back to WWII Paris, and its story is one of bravery and courage despite adverse circumstances. Dianne and Isabelle live in Occupied France and both have their ways of saving the lives of French Jews through the Resistance. This novel shows that, no matter if the act is big or small, and whether or not recognition is received, it is always important to help those in need. Never live in fear, but choose to fight for those who don’t have a voice.
6. Atonement by Ian McEwan
This is another odd novel to add to my list. I wanted it here because I learned a very valuable lesson from it: actions have consequences, both positive and negative. You have to learn to live with the guilt if those actions cause negative repercussions, and some people aren’t easy to forgive. It’s important to speak up if something seems amiss, but be prepared to live with what comes afterwards.
7. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
This was another great read from my childhood. It focuses on the differences between social classes and gives readers an inside look into what happens when they collide. But, in the end, we see that despite differences in social class, people are still just people, with nothing different separating them. It also shows readers that judging people based on socioeconomic status is like judging a book by its cover.
8. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
How can anyone NOT include the entire Harry Potter series?? I fell in love with these books from the first time I opened Sorcerer’s Stone, and I never stopped. Each book was filled with magic, wonder, friendship and courage. These are all things that I want my children to experience as well. Obviously, evil men like Voldemort roam the world, and I want my children to understand that it’s not hard to stand up to them and fight for what’s right.
9. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
This is another series that I was hooked to from the start. Reading it at age 14 changed my life, and I’ve been in love with Middle Earth ever since. There’s something about the story that gives me a sense of wonder in how one man can create an entire world full of different people and languages. In the end they all come together to fight off an evil that threatens their world. I wish our own world was like that, but nothing is perfect. I also love the fact that even the smallest of people can change the course of history and inspire others.
10. Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
Last, but CERTAINLY not least, is Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic. Not necessarily because they teach valuable lessons, which they do, but because they were fun to read! I’ve always wanted to be a witch (a good one, not a bad one!) and these books brought me into a world where magic isn’t something big. It can be in the little things that surround you. Love is magical, and love is something I want my future children to not be afraid of.
And that concludes my first Top Ten Tuesday post! I had such a great time reminiscing with these books I read as a young girl. If my children are ANYTHING like me, they will be avid readers as well! Thanks for checking in with me on this fine Tuesday!