“What are some of the books from *your* youth where the main character showed good old fashioned common sense and a great deal of integrity when challenged. In particular I’m looking for strong girl characters. One example off the top of my head is Pollyanna. For this project I’m not interested in current books.”
Oh and here’s the project. We don’t belong to an organized religion but I’ve always wondered (feared) if my kids are not getting the value training that they might be getting if we did (for the record, I think we do a pretty good job at home but we could always do better) . We’ve got some testing-life’s-boundaries bumps going on and so in order to right a path and to emphasize that your reputation and personal integrity are the two most important things you will ever own, I am going to start a “mother-daughters” book club with these older books where we are going to read the stories and then discuss the actions and decisions. It will be just like a ladies book club but without the wine and cheese.
“What other stories/books can you come up with?” I asked my Facebook friends.
This is what they came up with – a list that simply begs to be shared.
- Nancy Drew comes to mind…and maybe Heidi.
- All of the Oz books — In the books, Dorothy is clever, kind, brave, honest and true. She was most certainly the girl I modeled myself after. Because of the era, there are other components of the series that are less lovely, but L. Frank Baum clearly showed a little girl who had what it took to solve problems for herself.
- Anne of Green Gables and Pippi Longstocking come to mind
- “Knee Deep in Thunder” obscure but wonderful journey of self-discovery. Also “The Borrowers” series by Mary Norton- Arrietty (my daughter is named after her) is pretty fearless.
- Little House on the Prairie
- Little Women.
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
- A Wrinkle in Time. by Madeline L’Engle.
Also can’t ignore Harry Potter series; Hermione is the smart one!
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
St Francis of Assisi
Zorba the Greek
- A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter, which I believe is back in print. She has backbone in spades! I think I read my Mom’s copy from when she & her sisters were young – my grandmother still had a couple of shelves full of kid’s books in their spare room for many years. I think I acquired my fondness for Zane Grey there as well, but most of his female characters are disappointing in this regard.
The Dana Girls series (same author as Nancy Drew) were always my favorite mysteries, and they and their friends always seem to manage for themselves quite well.
- Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird
- Laura Ingalls
- 33 titles in The Happy Hollisters by Jerry West was actually written by Andrew E. Svenson(looked on Amazon they are $4.98 on kindle or $9.98 paperback) geard to 6 to 12 year olds . I read them all many times to myself and read them to my younger brother and sister. He contributed to established series as Franklin W. Dixon (The Hardy Boys) and as Laura Lee Hope (The Bobbsey Twins). The first volume in his own original series, The Happy Hollisters
- An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott. Still one of my favorite books ever. Any LMA book, really, but that’s the best.
- I’m also going to add to this list _ From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – one of my all-time favorites
- These are not that old but the American Dolls have great stories. I read the whole Molly series to my daughter when she was about 4 of 5 and when she was old enough she read them to herself. Then she read all the other series. I like Molly because if took place when my mother was about the same age.
- Nancy Drew! She was my inspiration.
- I loved Pippi Longstocking!
- Donna Parker mysteries
- “Call me Heller that’s my Name” she knew what to do when caught on a train trestle and the train came. Anne of Green Gables
- “Cowslip, Slave Girl “was a very good book don’t know if it is in print
- Nancy Drew, and Trixie Belden….They were my favorites growing up!
- Anne Frank
What favorite stories from your youth are missing from this list?
Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.
Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). (www.simplethrift.wordpress.com)
Pollyanna starts tonight.