My Favorite Re-reads: A List
I’m always intrigued when the topic of re-reading comes up. Sarah Mackenzie at Read-Aloud Revival recently did a blog post/podcast about the importance of childhood re-reading, and I wholeheartedly agree with her assessment of its benefits and virtues. Sarah says:
A first read is a wonderful experience, indeed. But a second, third, or tenth time through offers riches that cannot be found any other way.
It surprises me when people say that they don’t often return to books they’ve read before, because I love revisiting old favorites… and not-so-old favorites! If I read a book and thoroughly enjoy it, I typically re-read it a few years later (or even sooner).
In fact, most of my childhood reading involved paging through my favorites for the thousandth time instead of (gasp) trying a new book. I’m a fairly choosy reader and I was even choosier back then, rarely venturing farther than my Noel Streatfeilds and American Girls and Saddle Clubs. (Speaking of American Girl, I’m in the mood to re-read a few of those mysteries; I have Secrets at Camp Nokomis on my desk. I don’t believe they’re publishing any new AG mysteries anymore, which is too bad – they were fun.)
There’s a select group of stories that I revisit constantly. These are the books that rarely sit for long before they get hauled out and re-read start to finish.
The list of “perfect re-reads” will be different for everyone, but this is my list of all-time favorite re-reads (which means they’re just my favorites in general) that I will continue to revisit industriously for … well, forever. 🙂
Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy series, Emily of Deep Valley and Carney’s House Party
L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series, Pat of Silver Bush series (can’t I re-read these yet? I read them in autumn 2018… that was a long time ago!), Jane of Lantern Hill (pretty much every year), and the Emily of New Moon series
Pollyanna and Pollyanna Grows Up by Eleanor H. Porter (These are the sort of books you have to re-read because you pick up different subtleties each time)
The Judy Bolton series by Margaret Sutton
Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen (I’ve technically never RE-READ this but I read some of it and didn’t finish it , tried it again and loved it , was in the mood to re-read it but instead listened to the whole thing on audio  and I know I will revisit it again!)
From Anna and Listen for the Singing by Jean Little
Anything by Elizabeth Enright (I’ve read every single one of her novels and cherished each one. Time to re-read the Melendys again, right? No, not quite enough time has passed since I last went through the series…perhaps the Gone-Away Lake series! The last time I read the first book in the series was March 2018, that ought to have been long enough…)
What Katy Did and What Katy Did at School by Susan Coolidge
The Secret School by Avi
The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall (Let’s see, I read the first book in 2012 and re-read it in dribs and drabs for years and then read the whole thing again 2018 and listened to it on audio in 2019 and can’t I read it again yet??)
The Meg mysteries by Holly Beth Walker (I think it’s time to re-read The Treasure That Nobody Saw)
The Katie John series by Mary Calhoun
Hilda van Stockum’s Mitchells series, which are quite possibly the coziest re-reads you can imagine. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve re-read Friendly Gables, the third book in this unforgettably sweet trilogy. I think it’s time I finally tried her Bantry Bay series…I have never been able to convince myself that it will measure up. But maybe I will be proven wrong!
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
The Patty Fairfield series by Carolyn Wells (oh, these are such fun! And so…unbelievable! The first time I read the series, I tried to count how many marriage proposals Patty received, but it was a lost cause. The answer: far too many to count.)
Beverly Cleary’s Ramona series, but especially Ramona Forever
What books do you love to re-read? Which books are you always returning to? Leave a comment!