These books gave me many hours of joy when I was young, and I hope that this post brings back some happy memories. May it even cause you to break out that old box of books in the attic so you can read them again. Or, maybe it will motivate you to find a copy so you can see what you’ve been missing out on for all these years! Here’s fair warning that they are not necessarily readily available, though. If they aren’t on Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com, try Abebooks.com and keep an eye out at community books sales.
Gone-Away Lake (1957) by Elizabeth Enright
- A brother and sister go to the country to visit their cousin, and while they are there, they discover a ghost town! A Victorian resort that has long been abandoned sets the stage for new friendships and adventures.
The Minnow on the Say (1955) by Philippa Pearce
- Two friends spend the summer together, and with an old riddle to guide them, search for treasure buried in the banks of the river Say. Adventure, mystery and suspense all wrapped into one wonderful story.
Tom’s Midnight Garden (1958) by Philippa Pearce
- As with all the books in this post, this one also stayed with me over the years. When the clock strikes thirteen, Tom steps out the back door of the house and goes back in time to the Victorian era. A ghostly friend and himself invisible, this book is charming and thoroughly entertaining.
The Trouble With Jenny’s Ear (1960) by Oliver Butterworth
- After an experiment with her brothers gone awry, Jenny can read people’s thoughts. Funny, endearing, and with a delightful ending.
The Twelve and the Genii (1962) by Pauline Clarke
- In this story, twelve wooden soldiers come alive and 8-year old Max must keep them safe, with the whole town against him. Had they once belonged to the Bronte children? Another delightful read!