Judy Blume, Karolyn Keene, Beverley Cleary, and Francine Pascal were some of the authors I read when I was in elementary school.
Fast forward thirty years and you’ll find my mini-me, Miss Q, reading Tui T. Sutherland, Erin Hunter, Dan Jolley, Chris Colfer and J.K. Rowling to name only five in her massive library.
The difference between me at nine and Miss Q at nine? Genre.
Where my cherished couldn’t-wait-to-read books were close to real life fiction: friendship, mystery, and twin sisters trying to navigate high school. Miss Q’s cherished must reads centre on fantasy. From the dragons of Wings of Fire, to the cats in the Warrior series, she is hooked. So hooked, I’m contemplating filling a wheelbarrow with books and leaving it under the Christmas tree.
I’ve always wanted my girls to love literature. Always followed my mum’s prescription of as long as they’re reading I don’t care what they read. So it makes me very happy to see Miss Q curled up with a book.
But I never considered my favourites wouldn’t be her favourites.
Enter my husband, the original D ‘n D (Dungeons & Dragon). Like me, he’s held onto a stack of books from his childhood. Like me, he’s always thought one day his children might want to read them.
Well guess what? When it comes to our eldest daughter, he was right.
Currently, Miss Q is plowing her way through Lord Of The Rings after finishing the Hobbit last week.
I still haven’t finished the Lord Of The Rings trilogy after starting it, oh, fifteen years ago.
Psychologists say after year one, fathers are the most important influencers on a child’s life. While this statement feels like a slight to me, the woman who birthed, nursed and hung out in the wee hours of the morning with our offspring, as I watch Miss Q and her father interact, sigh, I know it’s true: at the core of their twinned dragon hearts live souls of elf warriors.
Better luck next child, Nancy Drew, Super Fudge, and Anne with an ‘e’.
But even though Miss Q hasn’t bought into what I would have chosen for her, I really can’t grumble. I was the one who introduced her to Harry Potter, the portkey into the fantastical worlds now calling to her.
My nine-year-old’s eyes dance as she describes the inner workings of plots I’ve never dreamed of writing and my husband nods fondly, encouraging her to go on. I listen, trying not to be the third wheel in their love language of orcs, healers and rangers, finding comfort in this quote by George R. R. Martin:
A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.
So read on, Miss Q. Read on. Don’t let anyone, especially your mother’s nostalgia, hold you back.
Here is Miss Q’s current must-have reading list in no particular order:
- Kingdom of Wrenly
- The Familiars
- Warrior Series
- The Enchanted Forest Chronicles
- Dragons of Deltora Series
- Phoebe and Her Unicorn (there are now 4 books in this series)
- The Land of Stories Series
- Wings of Fire Series
- UpsideDown Magic Series