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I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The First Novel I Ever Read and Other Books

The other day my sister and I were talking on the phone (a common occurrence) and because of my previous post about books that stay with you, we got into remembering the first books we ever read. I'm not talking like picture books here, I'm talking novels and full length books, books of over 100 pages that weren't about the illustrations, but about the words. Lots and lots and lots of words.

I was six and a half maybe seven years old when I read my first novel. It must have taken me forever, it must have been a challenge, as it was a novel Erva had read and she was like ten. But I clearly remember how proud I was when I finished it. The novel was called Treasure in the Little Trunk, by Helen Fuller Orton. It was the story of a pioneer family and a precious family heirloom, a necklace of gold beads. There were small ink drawings, but if I recall most of them decorated the beginning of each chapter.

The Angel in the Hayloft, by Katherine Niles was another book I read. It was much slimmer than Treasure in the Little Trunk, and had illustrations. Erva reminded me about it. It's the story of an angel, who hides in a hayloft while playing hide-and-seek with other angels. But she isn't found by her play-mates, she found by a boy. The story has some humorous moments like when the boy's mother decides they better hide the angle's wings and she cuts holes in a pillowcase and slips it over the angel's head. But then the angel looks like she has hump on her back, which sets up another whole series of problems.

The third book wasn't a novel, it was a biography of Mozart. Neither Erva or I can remember the name or the author of it. But we remember the little ink drawings with their water-color washes. We remember the little Amadeus sitting at his harpsichord in his little wig and his feet not touching the floor.

These were all read before I turned eight. Do you remember the first novel, or full length book, you ever read?


  1. The first two "adult" novels I read, both when I was about 8 or 9 years old, were Thinner by Stephen King and The Hunt For Red October by Tom Clancy. I got a hold of them from my brother and dad's collection because we were living in Japan at the time and English books were hard to come by on my own. Thinner made me wary of pie for months and I now know, having re-read The Hunt for Red October, that I completely misinterpreted it the first time around. :)

  2. Great topic!

    Hmm, the first novel I read was The Hobbit, and I think I was twelve. Until that time, I had no interest in reading - we couldn't afford to buy books when I was growing up, and the library wasn't remotely close by. My mom was a single mom, so she was too tired to trek across town all the time for books. So I never developed a love of reading.

    I think my dad gave me the color illustrated edition of The Hobbit for my tenth birthday. I finally got around to reading it a couple years later. Then, once I finished, I turned into a voracious reader. :)

  3. If I remember correctly, I believe my first "longish" book was Charlottes Web" and I read it in first grade.

  4. I honestly can't remember! How sad. But really it's because I read and read and read. It was probably a Ramona or Betsy (Carolyn Haywood) book? Maybe. I did used to read adult novels as a child, too--anything that looked interesting from my parents' Reader's Digest Condensed Books collection. I didn't realize what "condensed" really meant until later. Shortened, yes, but also cleaned up!

  5. I remember actually reading my first novel, The Island of Blue Dolphins, in second grade and being so confused at the end, when the island starts to fall apart. I was very proud of myself for reading such a longish book!

  6. Wow, those books you mentioned sounded great, Bish. I can't remember exactly the first book I ever read. I was really into the Little House books, the Ramona series, and Judy Blume. I remember loving "Where The Red Fern Grows" and all those tear-jerker books. I wish I could remember the very first one though. Fun stuff!

  7. I remember my first two 'grown-up' books I ever read...

    They were both from the Cherry Ames series..1943-1968...I found them in the library and for a long time had wanted to be nurse because of Cherry Ames...but I pass out at needles and I hate the sight of blood...grin...

    Cherry Ames, Private Duty Nurse
    Cherry Ames,The Mystery in the Doctor's Office

    The reason I remember these two books (other than the fact that I enjoyed reading them) was that Private Nurse was written the year my mom was born (1946) and The Mystery in the Doctor's Office was written the year I was born (1966) and over the year I have found both books and have them on my bookshelf to this day...

    p.s. I nominated you for the Lemonade Stand Award on my blog...Hugs..


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