A Book List!

Biography might just be my personal favorite genre of books.  I read my first biography in 3rd grade.   It was titled Babe Didrikson - Girl Athlete and was from the Childhood of Famous Americans series.  My latest read is about a favorite author, Lois Lenski (1893-1974).  She wrote dozens of books, most notably her Mr. Small series and her charming regional books like Strawberry Girl and Judy's Journey.  Marit (dd 13) has gobbled these up over the years and has a shelf devoted to them.

I'm only halfway through the book, but last night I came upon a book list that I thought you might find interesting.  Here is Lois Lenski's list of books that she grew up on.  It looks terribly familiar, doesn't it?

Little Women, Jo's Boy, etc. by Louisa May Alcott
     We loved and read all her books over and over again.
The Wide, Wide World by Susan Warner
Elsie Dinsmore by Martha Finley
     I must confess I loved and wept over both these books.
The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney
The Little Lame Prince by Miss Muloch
Poems by Eugene Field
Child Rhymes by James Whitcomb Riley
     We learned and recited many of these poems.
The Birds' Christmas Carol, Polly Oliver's Problem, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Next to Louisa Alcott, Kate Douglas Wiggin was my favorite author.  All her books were read over and over, and were dearly loved.
Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch by Alice H. Rice
     This and The Birds' Christmas Carol made a special appeal to me due to their humor and pathos.
The Wonder Book by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett
     A great favorite, sentiment and all.
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
     We loved horses because Mama did.
Helen's Babies by John Hibberton

The following were general family books, owned mostly by Esther and the boys, but read by us all:

Robinson Crusoe;  Swiss Family Robinson;  Arabian Nights;  Baron Munchausen;  Prose Tales by Edgar Allan Poe;  Uncle Tom's Cabin;  Pilgrim's Progress.  The boys had many of the Henry and Alger books, but I never read any of them.

Other books that we did not own, but may have borrowed from the Sidney Public Library were:  Gulliver's Travels, Grimms' and Andersen's Fairy Tales, Red, Blue, and Green Fairy TalesHans Brinker and the Silver Skates.  We were awarded certain books as premiums by the Shelby County Fair, for schoolwork exhibited there.
- from Journey Into Childhood, The Autobiography of Lois Lenski pp. 68-69


  1. I noticed that she writes and illustrates her books. It's nice when they all have the same style of illustrations, I think. Here is a list I found of her books. http://www.mlb.ilstu.edu/ressubj/speccol/lenski/bib.html
    I never knew she wrote so many.

  2. There are some awesome titles here. Thanks for the suggestions. I look forward to reading them in our home.


  3. Another author to put on our "wanted" list :-)
    I found a book by Charlotte Yonge at a NZ secondhand online bookstore this week - A Book of Golden Deeds. It looks lovely! Just about to go to a 2nd hand book sale at our local Salvation Army store.

  4. Funny you chose Lois Lenski to write about this week. We just read Mr Small's Airplane this week after picking it up at a thrift store. I just grabbed it because the illustrations caught my eye.

    This list will be fun to go through. Thanks!!
    Bobby Jo

  5. Okay, I don't believe I've ever read a Lois Lenski book - though I've read a number that she grew up on. I do like a good biography - my pick for a vacation read.

  6. I appreciate this so much. I don't have a checklist anymore, but I like knowing that your blog has authors and books that are worth for when we need inspiration for good reads.

  7. I love biographies too... especially about Christian women in ministry. I just noticed that you mentioned one of Edith Schaeffer's daughters in your bio. Now she's an amazing woman!

    Blessings on your day,

    e-Mom @ Chrysalis

  8. I'm also fond of biographies! ...and old books. Love the list by Lenski. I read a bio a few weeks ago on Alcott from her childhood days. It was insightful, but made me rather dislike her father by the time I finished reading it.

  9. THANKS! I have not read a Lenski book.

  10. My mother taught elementary school and introduced me to Strawberry Girl when I was a girl. I remember pouring over the illustrations for hours. Your post has inspired me to share it with my daughter--thanks!