Nostalgic books that bring you back to your childhood

How good does the movie version of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret look? We are so glad they’re taking so much care making one of my childhood favorite books into a great movie! 

The Books Forward staff put together some of our other favorite books we loved growing up if you want to dive into more nostalgia.

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

The first book to make me cry?! This story about a boy growing up in the Ozarks with his two hunting dogs moved me and scarred me as a little kid. Is this why I’m a dog person?

The Face On the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney: I remember not being able to put this down until I discovered the mystery behind who Janie Johnson really was. And I still can recaall exactly what the plotline is today, which I think is pretty impressive!

The Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Alice was around the same age as me, and taught me all kinds of things about crushes, friendships and growing up. I have vivid memories of rushing to the library after finishing one of the books to check the next one out.

— Ellen Whitfield, vice president

The Cheetah Girls by Deborah Gregory

What can I say, I was heavily influenced by the hit 2003 Disney film, and I’m glad I was. I got to live out the wild metropolitan life of a New York city high schooler from the comfort of my Louisiana bedroom. I literally wore cheetah print and tried to get my closest friends to form our own version of the group with 9-year-olds. I always looked forward to the glossary at the end of each book defining all the lingo. Also, I’m still not over them completely erasing Aqua’s twin sister in the film franchise, but that’s another story.

— Jenn Vance, marketing director

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

I loved reading Harriet the Spy (and the movie was great, too). I listened to the audiobook for the first time as an adult a couple years ago, and the story still holds up as one of my favorites!

Angelle Barbazon, lead publicist

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

If you could live forever, would you? This is definitely the book that made me fall in love with reading! I was enthralled by the story’s fantasy elements, the youthful star-crossed romance, and the vivid descriptions of nature. This one is bittersweet, thought-provoking, and so well-crafted that it connects with readers of all ages!

— Jackie Karneth, senior publicist

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

I grew up in the golden age of vampire media and boy was I lucky. The way that Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy had a literal chokehold on me. I could not look away. I absolutely inhaled these books. Edward Cullen WHOMST? For me it was always about vampire daddy Dimitri Belikov.

The Mediator series by Meg Cabot

Nothing serves middle school angst quite like the The Mediator series by Meg Cabot. MOVE OVER PRINCESS DIARIES, because the number one Meg series in this lil tween’s heart goes out to this ghost-hunting baddie!! I actually faked sick to stay home and read these books when I was in sixth grade so you can say I, like our main character here, was a bit of a rebel.

— Layne Mandros, publicist

Smile: A Graphic Novel by Raina Telgemeir

I loved it because I could relate to fitting in a new middle school (after having moved around so much as a kid) and the struggles of growing up and becoming a teenager but in a fun and humorous way!

— Emily Kulkarni, intern

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

Despereaux holds a lot of firsts for me: first book I enjoyed reading in class, first book I ever reread, and first book I ever sobbed to. This story follows Despereaux, a valiant mouse who sets out on a quest to save his beautiful Princess Pea. Kate DiCamillo writes a touching story about hope and destiny that has stuck with me year after year. 

— Rachel Lachney, intern