It’s no secret that I love to read. I always have, and always will. My Mom often tells the story of how I learned to read. She had been teaching the 5-year-old me for a while, and I wasn’t making much progress. One morning, I woke up and headed downstairs to try reading a book. All of a sudden, I was reading with hardly any effort! My Mom asked me how I was doing it, and I said “The words are just coming into my brain!” XD
Ever since then, I’ve read practically any book I can get my hands on. I have quite a long list of favorites, but I somehow managed to narrow it down to just 10. So without further ado, here are my Top 10 Favorite Books!
#10: The Maze Runner – James Dashner
I had originally gotten The Maze Runner to pass the time on a 16 hour road-trip, but I “accidentally” finished it before we even left. This book had me hooked from the beginning. It’s a dystopian thriller filled with mystery, intrigue, suspense, fear, and much more. When Thomas wakes up in a dark elevator, the only thing he can remember is his name. Suddenly the doors open, and staring down at him is a large group of other teenage boys, who have also had their memories erased. Thomas is pulled out and into the Glade – a large open space surrounded by 4 towering stone walls. He soon learns that beyond those walls lies a massive maze, inhabited by monstrous creatures called Grievers. The boys have been trapped for 2 years, trying in vain to solve the maze and escape their prison. Why are they there? Why can’t they remember anything? Can they escape, or even survive? And who is responsible for their captivity? These questions and many more will run through your mind as you read the first installment in The Maze Runner Series.
#9: Charlotte’s Web – E. B. White
I have been in love with Charlotte’s Web ever since I can remember. When I was little, I liked to pretend I was Fern Arable, and I’d play with Wilbur – my stuffed pink pig. I’ve watched the movie over and over, and have read the book multiple times. The story follows Wilbur – the little pink pig who was the runt of his litter. He’s raised by Fern, a farm girl with a big heart for animals. As Wilbur grows up in the barn, he plays with Fern, eats his slop, becomes friends with all the animals. His closest friend is Charlotte, a black spider who has spun her web in the doorway of Wilbur’s pen. When Wilbur learns of his fate in the smokehouse, Charlotte is determined to save him. Throughout this adorable story of friendship and love, we learn of the value of our words and the impact they have on others.
#8: The Harry Potter Series – J. K. Rowling
It seems that everyone has these on their book list these days, but why? Why are so many people drawn to this story? Is it the magical setting? The diverse and unique characters? The classic battle of good vs. evil? These are just some of the elements of the Harry Potter series, not to mention the plot. When 11-year-old Harry Potter discovers he’s a wizard and is sent to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, his world is changed forever. At Hogwarts, he makes new friends (and enemies), is taught how to use his abilities, and learns of a dark and evil creature known as Voldemort, or “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.” As the plot unfolds throughout the series, Harry must face challenges, help others, and discover the truth. The way everything comes together in the end will leave you spellbound.
#7: Holes – Louis Sachar
“There is no lake at Camp Green Lake.” From the dry, hot detention center in Texas to Stanley Yelnats IV, this book is entertaining from beginning to end. My cousin recommended this book to me several years ago, and it’s been a favorite ever since. When Stanley Yelnats IV is falsely accused of a crime, he is sentenced to 18 months at Camp Green Lake. Every day, he and the other boys there must dig a hole 5 feet wide and 5 feet deep on the dried-up lake, in order to “build character.” Stanley not only shovels dirt, but also attempts to dig up the truth about what’s really going on at Camp Green Lake. This wacky, hilarious, and entertaining story is a great read, and I owe it to my cousin for introducing me to the gang at Camp Green Lake.
#6: The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
Katniss Everdeen lives in District 12 of Panem, the oppressive and futuristic country that was once the United States of America. Every year, Panem hosts the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death broadcasted live as a form of entertainment for all to see. Each District must randomly select 2 contestants – one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 – to participate in the competition. The 24 teens are then thrown into an arena to kill each other until only one remains alive. The winner is then rewarded with food, clothing, and money – things that the majority of the country envies.
When Katniss Everdeen volunteers to participate in the games to save her sister, she must use the skills she has to survive. Can she manipulate, out-smart, and change not only the players in the game, but also the authorities controlling it? From beginning to end, this book focuses on power that leads to oppression, and oppression that leads to revolution. It’s eye-opening in regards to what could happen in the future of our world, and how scary power really is. (If you’d like to read my thoughts about the messages in The Hunger Games Series, click here.)
#5: The Chronicles of Narnia – C. S. Lewis
It all started with a lion, a witch, and a wardrobe. Well at least for some of us. For others, it started with a magician’s nephew. But that’s another topic for another time. (Narniacs will understand…) Throughout this series of 7 books, C. S. Lewis not only tells a fantastic story, but also ties his characters, settings, and plots to elements of the Christian faith. As we follow the 4 Pevensie children and their friends Digory, Polly, Eustace, and Jill into the magical land of Narnia, each of their stories corresponds to a Biblical story or symbolizes something from Christianity. To children, these books are only fantasy stories, but as we grow older and re-read them, it becomes clear that there’s a deeper, more spiritual message woven into each one.
#4: Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery
Anne Shirley is an orphan – a spunky, imaginative, red-headed orphan. When Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert decide to adopt her, their lives change forever. Anne’s antics keep them on their toes, and her imaginative nature can sometimes get out of hand. I love this book because of how unique and different each of the characters are. Anne is a creative daydreamer, Matthew is a quiet and shy man, and Marilla is a stern but loving woman. Oh, and let’s not forget Gilbert Blythe – the outgoing but sweet boy with a major crush on Anne. These are just some of the characters in the book, and you will come to know them all as you read this timeless classic. (If you’d like to see my visit to Green Gables, click here!)
#3: The Hiding Place – Corrie ten Boom
The Hiding Place tells the true story of Cornelia (Corrie) ten Boom, a Dutch woman who helped hundreds of Jews escape the Nazi’s clutches during WWII. Corrie lived in Haarlem with her father and sister in their family watchmaker’s shop. She was raised in a Christian home, and her faith carried on throughout her life. Her book tells the story of how she and her family harbored Jews, were betrayed by a Dutch countryman, and were sent to Ravensbrück – a concentration camp in Germany. The tragic and horrifying things she endured throughout her life made her stronger in her faith, enabled her to reach many with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and allowed her to help people recover from the war. The true events and miracles told in this book are life-changing, and remind us that God is with us, loves us, and has a plan for our lives.
#2: Chasing Redbird – Sharon Creech
Thirteen-year-old Zinnia Taylor is the third of 7 children, and often feels overwhelmed by her family. She seeks refuge in her Aunt Jessie and Uncle Nate’s house next-door, and enjoys spending time with them. However, she believes she is responsible for the death of their daughter, Rose, who caught the whooping cough from Zinnia when they were both 4. When her Aunt Jessie dies several years later, Zinnia also believes it was her fault, and is grief-stricken. Zinnia then discovers an overgrown 20 mile-long trail that is over 200 years old, and was once used by Indians and trappers. The trail quickly becomes and obsession, and she is resolved to single-handedly clear the entire thing before the end of the summer. Zinnia uses the trail to escape from reality, cope with her grief, and think through her life. This book is a story of love, loss, and growing up, and I have loved it for years.
#1: Walk Two Moons – Sharon Creech
My aunt sent me this book when I was 12, and it has been my #1 favorite book ever since. It’s narrated by Salamanca Tree Hiddle, better known as Sal. When Sal goes on a roadtrip with her grandparents to visit her mother, she tells them the story of Phoebe Winterbottom. Phoebe is convinced her mother was kidnapped after she suddenly leaves home with no explanation. Switching back-and-forth from the road-trip to Phoebe, Sal’s story unfolds through the two tales, connecting at the end. This is the first book that ever made me cry, and it has a clear message: “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his moccasins.”
Well, there you have it! My Top 10 Favorite Books! I hope you enjoyed this post, and that you’ll check out some of these books if you haven’t already!
Have you read any of these books? Did you like or dislike them? Let me know down in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading, and have a great week!
– Meredith :)