"On his weekends off from working as a cook, my father often used the public library as a free sitter, dropping my brother and I after lunch and picking us up again just before supper. I suspect the librarians knew about that and correspondingly kept an eye on us; I recall being left alone in any number of nooks to lose myself in books. I’m immeasurably grateful for that time and space."
"I admit it: as a seven-year-old, I used to skate around the living room carpet on these wonderful glossy little hardcovers. Then I’d lose myself in Nate’s hard-boiled aesthetic as he shares his exploits solving various neighbourhood mysteries. The entire cast of characters is memorably quirky, but it’s Nate’s dry tone that carries the day for me in these books. Mysterious mayhem, a dogged sleuth, and pancakes. What’s not to love?"
"This is a fun series to read. All the clues are given in the stories and it’s just a matter of putting your best brain forward. Some of the originals may be a tad dated, but I still remember the case involving palindromes—oh and the one with the lobster! Oh, that lobster. Classic."
"An old-fashioned tale of an orphaned girl and a mysterious benefactor, this book is actually an expanded version of Burnett’s 1888 novel, Sara Crewe. I remember being riveted by Sara’s story in elementary school. I loved her ingenuity and determination in the face of daunting odds. It was also one of the first books I recall reading that featured a resourceful girl as the main character—a revelation and an inspiration."
"Speaking of resourceful girls…Aerin won my heart from the beginning with her awkwardness, but she earned my respect with her bravery and determination (there’s that word again!). Ok, it also helped that she fights dragons. DRAGONS! This is a wonderful story of magic, an unconventional princess, a loyal steed, and love—everything a reader could hope for. (This is a prequel to 1982’s The Blue Sword which I also loved and have read and reread over the years.)"
"I was a precocious reader and began The Belgariad at age 10. So although I didn’t understand everything in this book at first reading, I was completely swept up in this epic romantic fantasy series, where a select band of seasoned adventurers—and an often clueless young man— are caught up in the workings of sorcery, gods, and a dread prophecy. (What else?) Some of the writing and characterization is rather dated now, but I’ve got a soft spot for this series nonetheless."
"I can’t recall what age I was when I first read this one, but I do know I found it at my library in junior high school. (Three cheers for intrepid and imaginative school librarians!) This was my introduction to the Golden Age of Detective Fiction and what better guide than one of the Grandes Dames herself? Thrills and chills abound in this variation of the “locked room mystery.” While some may find it bleak, I remember I was totally enthralled by the dark tone of the entire story. (Have I mentioned my fondness for the macabre..?)"