May 13, 2008

Weekly Geeks 3: Memory Lane

This week's Weekly Geeks challenge is to write about influential books from your childhood. I am adding a little spin on things by writing about those books that stuck with me but that I can't remember their titles. If you can help me out with the title I will send you a book from my Paperback Swap queue.

Book 1
About the same time that I was reading Little Bear, I owned another bear book that gave me many hours of pleasure. I believe the bear family was full of many bear cubs, including twins named Flora and Dora. The bear cubs wandered through the forest but I don't recall where they were headed to. I just remember those twin bears because I was fascinated by their names. Don't ask why.
UPDATE: Tammy from Tammy's Book Nook solved this mystery for me. Fourteen Bears: Summer and Winter. I believe that is Flora and Dora on the right in matching blue snowsuits. I'll be ordering a copy of this book soon. Tammy, check out my PBS queue and let me know what I can send you.

Book 2
In 7th grade my teacher read several books aloud to us, like Animal Farm. One such book was about a young man who was being hunted in the desert. The predator shot at him with a pistol, the bullet going clean through the young man's wrist. When the young man finally made it to civilization, the investigators didn't believe him, saying he could have shot himself in the wrist. I just can't think why they thought he would have wanted to do such a thing. I remember being shocked that they didn't believe the man and instead accused him of foul play. That may have been the first time I was aware of injustice.

Book 3
Another book read by my 7th grade teacher was about a teenage girl who was struggling to fit in in school. At one point she and her friend try to dye their hair black. The hair dye is really thick and lumpy and it ends up turning her hair green, or something like that. When the girl's father sees what she's done he tells her, "No more hair-brained ideas." My teacher read this sentence twice, at the end of one reading and the beginning of the next, with the same "Oh Brother" tone in her voice. That was the only scene that stuck in my mind. (I usually spent this time writing notes to my friends or drawing pictures, bored bored bored.)

BTW, a while ago I wrote about the first book I read all the way through and what effect it had on me: Charlotte's Web.

So those are just a few of the memorable, or unmemorable, as the case may be, books from my childhood. Let's see what kinds of titles y'all can come up with.


Kerry said...

I'm afraid I don't know any of your books, but your story about dyeing hair reminded me that my red-headed younger sister once tried to dye her hair with henna and ended up turning it green. And I think Anne Shirley did the same thing in Anne of Green Gables. Maybe it's a red hair thing?

Trish said...

I'm not participating this week because I've been short on time, but I've enjoyed reading through other people's thoughts. I don't remember specifically what I read when I was a child (I still have a lot of books that were read to me), but now that you mention Charlotte's Web I remember it with fond memories.

Tammy said...

I think your first book refers to "The Fourteen Bears - Summer and Winter" by Evelyn Scott. I had this book as a child and LOVED it. In fact, I might have to see about buying another copy (no idea what happened to my childhood copy, there are a lot of kids in my family). Here's a link with more info, including pictures:

Petunia said...

Kerry-my Mom is a redhead. I grew up very jealous of her beautiful hair but I haven't met a redhead yet who liked her hair color.

Trish-I read it to my kiddos a few years ago and was reminded anew of why it is such a well beloved tale.

Tammy-That's it! I never would have guessed such an unimaginative name but I remember those illustrations. Thank you so much!