One of my favorite books as a child was “Five Little Peppers” by Margaret Sydney. I loved the story on how Polly and Ben had to be the “adults” in the family because their mother had to work.They were 11 and 10!!!! I always felt sorry for Polly and her trials, but she got through all of them. She had a nasty stove that could not cook things right at the beginning but a benefactor (Mr. King??) bought them a new one. She had to deal with bratty but too cute Phronsie as well as her two younger brothers Dave and Joel. What I didn’t know is that there are tons of sequels to the books after they go to live in the rich house following them into their 20’s. I never got to read the sequels. The book gets a bit dull after they go to the “big house”, the most fun is when they are poor and struggling but having interesting adventures. Poor Polly at one point almost goes blind but recovers. I looked up the sequels and it looks as if Polly marries Jasper King.
Did it INFLUENCE me? Well, it made me long for a loving family. I was always amazed kids so young could work so hard, and it it was really fair to have them do all that work….I need to get to read the sequels.
There were other books I read over and over as well. One was “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” by Joanne Greenberg. I began to feel as a teen that I must be “mentally ill” as I had no friends, etc..and wanted to have a miracle worker shrink like Dr. Fried save my life. Life on the Ward seemed to be an adventure as well. “Deborah” met her first real friend there and there is a scene later in the book where they escape for just a couple of hours that is priceless. The two girls feel real joy for the first time in their lives…it’s amazing.
I don’t remember being READ to as a child for some reason. I read really early but don’t remember the very first books except Clifford the Big Red Dog and the Ramona Books by Beverly Clearly. At the mental hospital the staff read us The Outsiders by Hinton? for some reason.
I also read all the “Laura” books of course including Farmer Boy. I used to sort of idolize Laura and her family until I found out Charles Ingalls was a Mason. ewww.