Who doesn’t love a good listicle? I was (and still am) an animal nut as a kid. I also enjoyed reading, so it makes sense that these two loves overlapped. What’s more, is that though I enjoy reading, I go with long dry-spells in which I just can’t find something that interests me. This certainly happened during my childhood. I was picky… I wouldn’t just pick up anything and read it. So, it was always nice when I stumbled upon an author I enjoyed and could read several books in a row.
- The Black Stallion by Walter Farley.
I discovered this book after staring up at a shelf in my older brother’s room one day. The colorful dust jacket was faded and torn, but I could see a horse on the spine. A horse! I liked horses, so I asked Mom what it was, and she informed me it was one of my dad’s old books. I climbed, monkey like, on the side of my brother’s bunk beds and grabbed the book. Good choice, young me.
- The Island Stallion by Walter Farley.
Similar to The Black Stallion, but still rather different!
- Big Red, by Jim Kjelgaard.
Another one of my dad’s childhood books. A book about dogs! (Also, the author has a totally awesome last name!) Truthfully, I don’t remember this one as well as I remembered The Black Stallion, but I know I enjoyed it when I read it.
- Redwall, by Brian Jacques.
We are now exiting the “realism” section of the list =D
Redwall, and the rest of the series, are a must-have for late elementary and middle school readers, especially those who love fantasy and animals. I consumed these books. I own all of them, still, and I’m eager to share them with my kiddos. I think Redwall might be the next non-Laura Ingalls book I read aloud…
- Hank the Cowdog, by John R. Erickson.
Fair warning, Hank the Cowdog is a gigantic series that gets super repetitive. That being said, these books are humorous, especially if you own dogs or have ever spent a lot of time around idiot cattle dogs. I think I understood more of the jokes than my kids as we listened to the audio book, but they liked it, too. This one is better for younger readers–kids getting into late-middle school might be bored.
I know I missed many great books! Please add to the list in the comments!