Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Phases Booklist: Five Books from our Childhood

6:04 AM

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For avid readers like ourselves, identifying which books made us who we are is no easy feat. Instead, we decided to list down the books that have stuck with us. The books that made us fall in love with literature at an early age, and the books we spent our pre-adolescent lives enthralled with. Everyone has that one book from their childhood that they’ll never forget, and for us, we’ve narrowed it down to a list of five. These are the books that were once our best friends, the books that we stayed up reading under the covers holding a flashlight, and just maybe, these were some of your favorite books too.

1. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
“I keep thinking about a tale my nurse used to read to me about a bird whose wings are pinned to the ground. In the end, when he finally frees himself, he flies so high he becomes a star. My nurse said the story was about how we all have something that keeps us down.” 
I’ve always wanted to be a princess. Actually, I still want to be a princess. Whenever I think of memorable books from my childhood, I always go back to this one. Miri, a fourteen year old girl living in the fictional Mount Eskel, is whisked away into the land of ballgowns and ballroom dancing, when a “Princess Academy” is established near her hometown. Due to a royal decree, the prince will select a village girl to wed, but only if they go through the proper “princess education”. This book is sort of like the original Princess “Hunger Games”, long before Kiera Cass’ “The Selection” series. This book was one of the first that reminded me that staying true to yourself makes you a princess, in your own right. -Katrina

2. Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne

“Today, you taught me- no, you taught all of us- an important lesson. It is a dark day in the deep sea when we cause innocent creatures to suffer. The professor said we can conquer our fears through knowledge. But you taught us that our fears can best be conquered through compassion. Even we scientists must never forget to have compassion for all living creatures.” From Dark Day in the Deep Sea

Like a normal kid, I loved dreaming about things I couldn’t do. I dreamt about places I wanted to see, people I wanted to meet and adventures I wanted to have, like climbing up the Great Wall or even meeting Cleopatra. The Magic Tree House series was my way of fulfilling my dreams and adventures. What could be more thrilling than going a mission across the Savannah, or being on Pompeii right before Mt. Vesuvius erupted, all while being in the comfort of your own home? This series made history, geography and science interesting in its own magical, time-travelling and space-bending way.  -Chili

3. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

“People aren't either wicked or noble. They're like chef's salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict.”   
From The Grim Grotto

Lemony Snicket’s sprawling 13-book series follows 3 orphaned siblings as they flit from one unfortunate event (pun intended) to another in an attempt to run away from the mysterious V.F.D. and their notorious uncle, Count Olaf. Lemony Snicket, a fictional character himself, narrates the Baudelaire siblings’ story with a bright, refreshing eloquence to describe a dark and bleak world that my 10 year old self was all too fascinated to imagine. This series is perfect for kids who like the stranger side of things, and in retrospect, I think these books taught me a lot more about dealing with suffering and twists of fate than I would’ve imagined. -Chili

4. Nancy Drew Books and Notebooks by Carolyn Keene

“Do act mysterious. It always keeps them coming back for more.”  
From Nancy’s Mysterious Letter

Nancy Drew has always been a personal hero to me, for many reasons. Growing up, there was always a ready supply of yellow and blue hard bound books on my mom’s bookshelf, which survived through her childhood and through mine. The love of reading Nancy Drew books was one of the first things my mom and I bonded over. Plus, it definitely helped that they had the Nancy Drew Notebook series, which chronicled Nancy’s adventures through her younger years (a.k.a. my age at the time). Nancy Drew was probably my first peek into feminism, because, who better than a smart, quick-witted, crime solving, teen sleuth to be my first role model? -Katrina

5. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

This book honestly gave the younger version of me nightmares. It might’ve just been my active imagination, but everything in the book seemed ten times creepier back then. “Curiosity killed the cat” probably sums it up the best. Coraline revolves around the titular character’s adventures after moving into a strange new home. Naturally, being a kid, being told “don’t go through the door” means that you’ll do just the opposite, right? With a bunch of quirky new neighbors and a whole lot of buttons, Coraline discovers that things are truly never what they seem. -Katrina

Article by Katrina and Chili
Art by Tamika


Katrina Pimentel's biggest life goals include becoming a mermaid, and figuring out how many cupcakes she can eat without gaining weight. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @kkotrono.

Chili is a 5-ft. tall econ major with chronic ennui and a resting bitch face. As a self-proclaimed fan of all things culture and thrill, she enjoys riding roller coasters, naming paintings in Godard movies, and drinking spiked Korean aloe vera juice. Retweet her tweets @theroyalspice.

Tamika has been around some 18 years and now she's an art major. Loves salmon sushi and has a dog named Taco.


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