11 Children's Books That You Should Reread As An Adult
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11 Children's Books That You Should Reread As An Adult

Because the classics you loved are worth rereading again and again

11 Children's Books That You Should Reread As An Adult

As an education and English dual major, I've read a lot of children's books as an adult. As a kid, I loved reading books but I don't think I ever appreciated them the way I do now. I think that rereading the books I loved most as a kid have helped me to understand them in a way I couldn't as a child. They're a great break from all of the heavy books I read for my English classes and you can read most of them in a day or two, so here's a list of 11 children's books you should reread as an adult.

1. "Ramona Quimby, Age 8"

The book is one of many from classic children's author Beverly Cleary. You could read any of the Ramona series and get enjoyment from them, but I especially like this one because I can relate to Ramona's life struggles even more as an adult attempting to make sense of a world that constantly throws challenges at me. She experiences things we can all relate to, like being talked about and judged by someone. There was also that time I threw up at college orientation which is similar to Ramona's illness during class, but let's just forget I allowed that story to make its way into this article. The book is a Newbery Award winner which is all the more reason to read it again.

2. "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe"

This book will always and forever be one of my all time favorites. C.S. Lewis is famous for this series of books and it's justly deserved. The first book in the series is great to reread as an adult because the story has some seriously dark themes that go over the heads of the children who are meant to read them. After rereading it as an adult, I saw so much more in the little events that happen than the first time I read them. The scene Aslan is killed is surprisingly brutal for a children's book, but the symbolism in it isn't lost upon older readers. Try to reread the original and see how soon you end up reading the rest; it just can't be helped.

3. "Bridge to Terabithia"

No book made me cry harder as a kid than this one, and it makes me cry as an adult too. I read the book after watching the movie with Josh Hutcherson and Anna-Sophia Robb and the movie was a surprisingly good retelling to me. This book is amazing to reread as an adult because many of us can understand the pain and heartbreak that happens because we are older and have more experience with loss. While it's sad, it is also inspiring and full of hope; the transformation that occurs to the main character is realistic and has so much raw human emotion.

4. "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"

You might have your theories about Lewis Carroll and how he wrote his children's stories (he wasn't on drugs, just a little creepily obsessed with his friend's daughter), but this book is a great read. I wrote a paper about it for a class I took last summer and after doing some close reading you see just how violent the story actually is. Kids are spoon-fed the Disney version which is wonderfully trippy, but the original novel is far more messed up which only makes it even cooler as an adult. As a kid, I'm surprised I wasn't traumatized by a baby turning into a pig, but as an adult I kind of get the idea that Carroll was going for when he wrote that scene. This year Tim Burton's "Through the Looking Glass" is coming out so I'd recommend rereading the novel that inspired it and the original Alice novel before seeing it.

5. "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"

This is basically required reading for anyone who is graduating from anywhere so if you haven't reread it as an adult, I'm a little surprised. The book can help you to feel a little less worried about all that "adulting" you have to do all while seamlessly rhyming. As a kid, I always preferred "Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?", but "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" is much more inspiring as an adult.

6. "Shiloh"

As a kid, I couldn't get through this book because the idea of an abused dog made me extremely upset. As an adult, I will admit that I cried a little while reading this. If you're into psychology, the town in which the book takes place is an example similar to the bystander effect. The protagonist, Marty, goes against the town's "mind your own business" policy when he sees Shiloh the beagle being abused by his owner. The book is wonderfully written and can give adults a lesson or two about standing up for those with no voice and the ethics involved with being a bystander to wrongdoing.

7. "Amelia Bedelia"

Amelia Bedelia was a staple of my childhood; she was one of the most ridiculous characters in literature because she takes everything she hears literally. The antics she gets into throughout the entire book series kept me laughing as a kid and cheer me up as an adult. Each book has a moral lesson to be learned, but as an adult I feel like I get more out of the humor than anything. We could all use a good laugh from time to time so go to the library and read all of the Amelia Bedelia books you can find.

8. "Good Dog, Carl"

I read and reread this book a lot growing up; it's one of the first books I ever remember reading. It's short, sweet, and beautifully illustrated. The book follows a rottweiler named Carl who keeps his human out of trouble. It ended up being a series of 14 books, but the original is my favorite. I can't pick out the exact quality that keeps me coming back to this book, but you'll just have to read it for yourself to understand.

9. "Harry the Dirty Dog"

I realize that quite a few of the books on this list are dog-related, but this book is wonderfully sweet and worth reading as an adult. It centers around the themes of belonging and doing things that are good for you even though you don't want to do them. It's funny and adorable and there's a video of Betty White reading it that you really need to watch right now.

10. "The Phantom Tollbooth"

This book is full of puns, idioms, and other literary devices that children don't always get, which is why it's such a wonderful read as an adult. When I read it as a child, I didn't understand the humor behind Milo jumping to "the island of conclusions" but as an adult it's something that probably cracks me up more than it should. You really should reread it instead of just looking up the summary because the hidden humor is worth the time it takes to finish it.

11. "Coraline"

The only reasoning I need behind including this book is that it's freaking cool. Coraline is definitely a more mature book than it's children's literature stamp would lead you to believe. The story revolves around a young girl named Coraline who is transported to another world the same as her own except her parents are much different. In this world, her "Other Mother" showers her with all the things she desires which makes her want to leave her world for the other world as often as possible. Their difference seems great to Coraline at first, but she soon finds out that her "other" parents have a much more insidious agenda. It's been made into a film that I definitely enjoyed, but I have to say the book is so much better. It's got the creepiness of an adult horror novel combined with the moral plot of a children's book so it really is the best of both worlds (ba dum tss).

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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