Books For… When You Want to Be a Kid Again!

If you were anything like me as a child, you were precocious, probably more than a little annoying, and you loved reading. Children’s books have really developed and expanded as a genre, including the whole tween and YA subgenre- I love that there is a never-ending stream of options for kids to find their reading fit! However, I still believe that the old classic series are where it’s at. There isn’t a ton of violence, they are classic mysteries, and there’s something different about getting lost in the past for a few hours at a time. Today’s post is all about my favourite books as a kid, so get ready for a blast from the past!

Books for... When You Want to Be a Kid Again


The Bobbsey Twins

My mom introduced me to The Bobbsey Twins when I wanted to get into reading Nancy Drew but at 6 wasn’t necessarily old enough to handle that. The Bobbsey Twins are two sets of fraternal twins (both a sister and a brother) that stumble their way into different mysteries and jams. Essentially, it’s Nancy Drew for a younger demographic, and they are wonderful. Nan, Bert, Freddie, and Flossie have all the curiosity that kids should have, and are more resourceful than most adults- it always made me feel like I could solve anything. It’s also good for families with an age range, as the older twins are eight and the younger four when it starts!

Boxcar Children

The Boxcar Children 

I was fascinated with the Boxcar children as a kid- four siblings who were orphaned who make their home in an abandoned boxcar? What, you are telling me they got to live in a fort?! Sign me up. They have an absolutely lovely grandfather who does find them, and it’s really one of those feel good mysteries that I think would go far in our fairly negative and hard to navigate world. However, if you do give this to a kid to read, keep an eye on them- they may go hunting for abandoned train cars that probably aren’t there….

Trixie Belden

I like to think of Trixie Belden as Nancy Drew-lite- she’s a little bit younger (only thirteen) and runs a detective agency with her best friend Honey. I loved Trixie! SHe’s great for girls who are 8-12-ish- I worked at a bookstore and parents would often come in asking for help finding books for their daughters that didn’t have any romance. Enter: Trixie Belden! (A little bit sneaks in towards the end, but it’s very minimal.) Something that I loved about her is that she’s pretty realistic; she often compares herself to her friends, complains about siblings, and just generally is a recognisable and normal kid!


Nancy Drew

Ah, Nancy Drew. If you’ve not heard of Nancy Drew as a girl, I kind of have to congratulate you- she’s one of those those literary characters that is suggested to every girl who reads! And quite frankly, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I personally prefer the classic Nancy Drew books that haven’t been updated for technology and generally but if you have a young reader who isn’t interested in “old” books, there are several Nancy books available that have been updated and written more recently! Also, if you have boys interested in mysteries, obviously The Hardy Boys are a fantastic option.


Anne of Green Gables

As a Canadian kid, Anne of Green Gables is the holy grail of children’s books. Written by Lucy Maud Montgomery at the start of the twentieth century, the series tells the story of an orphan named Anne Shirley who is the most ridiculous, precocious, and imaginative girl in the world. She sees beauty and drama wherever she looks, and while it would probably be exhausting to live with her all of the time, it’s so wonderful to get swept away in her day dreams. If you read all the way from Anne of Green Gables through to Anne of Ingleside (the seventh book) you will follow her into adulthood- this is a FANTASTIC series to read as an adult, you will enjoy it as much, if not more than when you were a child. (Also, if you are going to watch a tv/movie adaptation, I insist you watch the Megan Follows 1985 Anne of Green Gables and 1987 Anne of Avonlea CBC productions- they are still by far the most superior versions!)

What is your favourite book from your childhood?

Until tomorrow,
The Historian!

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35 thoughts on “Books For… When You Want to Be a Kid Again!

  1. Halee Pagel April 16, 2017 / 5:46 am

    I remember reading Nancy Drew in 1st grade and getting very scared! I had to put her books on the shelf until 3rd grade. Haha


    • anhistorianabouttown April 18, 2017 / 7:35 am

      They do have some fairly scary/violent elements for young kids- I worked in a bookstore and people automatically went to Nancy Drew for girls aged 6-14. A book probably won’t be appropriate for EVERY age in that range, even Nancy!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Charlotte Graham April 16, 2017 / 7:08 pm

    This post took me way back!! Nancy Drew was my absolute favorite series as a child. Before I was old enough to read, my mom would read me a chapter each night before bed. Then once I learned to read, I devoured them!

    I also loved the Boxcar Children — I thought it would be so cool to live in a train!


    • anhistorianabouttown April 18, 2017 / 7:46 am

      I read through all of the classic Nancy Drew so quickly and then read the new ones- they just weren’t the same!!
      I think that reading to your children is one of the best things you can do! It’s lovely time together, it encourages reading, AND it allows you to reread childhood favourites!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeremy@ThirstyDaddy June 15, 2017 / 6:28 am

    Fond memories of reading Hardy Boys and then the Agatha Christie books when I was a kid


  4. Ruth Daly June 15, 2017 / 7:25 am

    Lovely post! I read Anne of Green Gables again last year when I went to Prince Edward Island 🙂


  5. Traci York June 15, 2017 / 8:10 am

    *SQUEE* I absolutely LOVED The Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew books! I’m still heartbroken over the loss (thanks to a basement flood) of the three or four boxes I had that used to belong to my mother. I also remember Honey Bunch being part of her collection. A couple other of my favorites that I discovered at the library – the Encyclopedia Brown (Boy Detective) series, and a book called, “The Velvet Room” by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!


  6. fancypaperblog June 15, 2017 / 2:35 pm

    Love this! I blogged about my favourite childhood books once too. Loved it!


  7. Hannah August 4, 2017 / 8:21 am

    I’ve never read any of these. I always wanted to read Nancy Drew though! 🙂 Maybe when I’m home again I’ll try and write a post about the books I used to read as a kid! 😀


  8. fattymccupcakes August 4, 2017 / 9:35 am

    “If you were anything like me as a child, you were precocious, probably more than a little annoying…” OMG!!! Meeeeeee! This made me laugh out loud! I loved the Boxcar Children! Also, I loved Roald Dahl and Beverly Cleary! Ooh, and the Babysitters Club books!


  9. Becca Barracuda August 4, 2017 / 11:01 am

    I loved Nancy Drew!! But, to be honest, I never read any of the other series you mentioned. It’s never too late, though! On a somewhat unrelated note, it made me laugh that you used the word “precocious” twice in this post because my husband actually asked me what it meant this morning!


  10. emilypageart August 4, 2017 / 2:00 pm

    I loved the Boxcar Children, and read my fair share of Nancy Drew, as well. When I lived in DC for a year, I worked at a bookstore called Politics & Prose, mostly in the Children’s section. A major part of my job was reading the new kids books as they came in, and there are just so many good ones!


    • anhistorianabouttown August 4, 2017 / 2:03 pm

      While I discovered a bunch of new children’s books when i worked at a bookstore way back when, it makes me a little sad that they don’t seem to have the same timeless feeling that children’s books used to. However, whatever gets people reading!!


  11. iwillnotliveinvain August 4, 2017 / 3:31 pm

    Never heard of Trixir! My fave kids author is Emid Blyton… but also speaking of old youth series with the mysteries etc – i have a dair collection of Cherry Ames books… from the 40s-70s or so Cherry Ames took girls through what it was like to study to be a nurse and then be a nurse in all sorts of places. Usually there was a little romance (but Cherry as always is practical and married to her work), and usually has mysteries or problems to solve. A similar series is the Vicki Barr series. I’ve had a harder time finding those… but Vicki is a flight attendant instead of a nurse!


    • anhistorianabouttown August 4, 2017 / 11:45 pm

      Enid Blyton books are MAGICAL and in actually planning on buying a few on my Kobo for a trip down memory lane. I took her books on every trip I went on as a kid- I remember sitting in a campground in the forest in the Rockies, pouring through the Secret Seven adventures 😍😍😍

      I have read a handful of Cherry Ames stories, but not the Vicki Barr- which did you prefer?? Should I track down a Vicki??

      Liked by 1 person

      • iwillnotliveinvain August 5, 2017 / 5:09 am

        I prefer Cherry Ames because I’m in the health field and it’s fascinating to me how they used to do stuff back then. Cherry books are very much about getting girls interested in nursing and they don’t water it all down too much. But Vicki Barr is very similarly written style-wise (same original author – Helen Wells)…. so I guess it’s where your interests lie.


        • anhistorianabouttown August 5, 2017 / 7:29 am

          I loved anything that gave my brain information as a kid haha- I think I will try to track one down, see what my options are (library hopefully)! I find that children’s books feel very different as an adult, and I would love to read one of each together to compare!!

          Liked by 1 person

  12. hotmessmemoir August 4, 2017 / 10:42 pm

    You know, I haven’t read any of these. I always read Sweet Valley Twins. LOL!


    • anhistorianabouttown February 8, 2018 / 7:11 pm

      Trixie and Nancy- if only they had a crossover!! I attribute my love of mysteries to those two 🙂


  13. angelanoelauthor February 8, 2018 / 6:14 am

    At 6 you were reading the Bobbsey twins! I am so impressed. I’ve heard of all of these lovely books but never read them. The fact that I haven’t read Anne of Green Gables still shocks me. I feel like now, as an adult, I should go back and right that particular wrong. I did do that with the Narnia series and enjoyed them very much. But as a child, I truly loved Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’ll never forget those adventures. Thank you for the walk down memory lane (and the invitation to go back there again and create new ones!)


    • anhistorianabouttown February 8, 2018 / 7:11 pm

      Haha, I was a bit of a nerd and I read the Little House Books at 5, so I think my mom figured Bobbsey Twins were a good intermediate step 🙂 Oh, I would completely recommend reading the Anne of Green Gables series- it has a different feeling when you read it as an adult, but I think that it makes it an even richer experience! Which reminds me, I should re-read the Narnia series, that was a big part of my childhood- plus the audiobooks would be perfect for a long drive! Thank you for stopping by 🙂 I hope to hear more thoughts on your favourite children’s books!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. rachaelstray February 8, 2018 / 6:25 am

    I loved Nancy Drew books when I was younger I think that’s why I’ve enjoued Agatha Christie novels so much as an adult!


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