To get ready for the Read Across America event Saturday at Towne Square Mall, I stopped by to see librarian Patti Moore at Newton Parrish Elementary school.  As soon as I walked in the room and saw the shelves full of books, I had instant flashbacks to the library at Thruston Elementary School where Mrs. Nation was the librarian.  And almost just as instantly, I started recalling the books that she used to read us and the ones I used to love reading myself.  And, to my surprise, many of the same books were at Newton Parrish.  LOOK!

I know my Thruston peeps are going to remember that book!!  The Boxcar Children??  I LOVED that book and I'm pretty sure just about everyone in our classroom was ready to become orphans and go live in a boxcar like those kids.

And what about these??

Hardy Boys mysteries!!  Seriously?  Are you kidding me?  LOVED those books when I was a kid because I'm pretty sure that I spent the formative part of my childhood believing that I was Shaun Cassidy.  I know a bunch of my friends loved reading The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books.  They were flippin' awesome.

And speaking of brainiacs and sleuths, remember these?

I think we all realized Encyclopedia Brown was a little bit of a nerd, but he was still a rock star and I think we all secretly wished we were that smart.

But of all the books I saw on Friday at Newton Parrish, none brought back memories quite like this one . . .

Oh, my Lord.  Just shoot me now!  Oops.  Maybe that's the wrong choice of words.  But, come on!  Why didn't anyone tell me how this book ended before I picked the thing up and started to read it?  It's no wonder I cry in Benji movies and every time I see that ad for the Humane Society.  I blame this book for me being a complete basket case when it comes to animals.  Damn you, Old Yeller!

Oh, but speaking of animals in peril, did you ever read any of these?

Photo by Patty Moore

Jack London books?  How cruel were those?  You're just happily reading along about how some poor schmock is lost in a snowstorm with his trusty dog and then, all of a sudden, he starts getting cold and hungry and realizes he could eat the dog and then use its skin as a fur.  You're an evil man, Jack London.  Evil, I say!

I had a blast visiting the Newton Parrish Elementary school library and it brought back a flood of memories about ours at Thruston.  It brought back so many memories that I even started recalling books that Patti was unable to help me find.  Thruston, remember this one?

Photo from

I think every single wannabe boxcar kid at Thruston was convinced that, if we really did become orphans and live in a train, that we could make plenty of money if we had a geiger counter like Miss Pickerell!!

I've shared some of my favorite books and memories from my elementary school library.  What are some of yours? Share your favorites in our Facebook discussion below!