Good children’s writers create stories that ring true for adults. Here’s six books you read as a child that you should reread as an adult.
1. Harry Potter
I’ve read the entire Harry Potter series twice, I plan on rereading them several more times, and reading them aloud to my children. Harry Potter is the series I wish I could forget and read again for the first time. But whenever I return to the books, I discover something new that I missed the first time. This series takes me back to my childhood in ways that no other story can and it almost makes me believe in magic as I did when I was young.
If you’re taking any of this list seriously, then you need to reread Inkheart. Inkheart is a book for book-lovers because it’s about book-lovers. In this story, the books come to life and the readers find themselves closer to the characters than they ever could have imagined themselves. Inkheart is the way I feel about my favorite books, and honestly the way I wish most books were.
3. Chronicals of Narnia
The Chronicles of Narnia is a beautiful and fantastical story but there’s so much that you miss as a child. Lewis wanted to be able to bring the Gospel to children in a way that they would understand. And while Narnia achieves that, the stories take on a whole new life when you read them as an adult. Their words carry more gravity and truth than they did when you were young and still figuring out the world you lived in. And regardless of whether or not you’re religious, you can still find truth in the world of Narnia.
4. Ella Enchanted
People hear Ella Enchanted and they think of the movie with Anne Hathaway in it, which in its own rite, is a fun movie. But the book is so much more beautiful, profound, and inspiring than the movie. And I don’t mean that in a book-purist sort of way. There’s just so much to Ella Enchanted that the movie fails to capture and so much that’s important to experience as a child and an adult.
5. Lord of the Rings
Tolkien was a little different from Lewis in that he wanted to convey simple truth rather than Biblical truth. (So basically if you think Gandalf is Jesus, you’re wrong. Sorry.) But the world of Middle Earth certainly does that. And just as the truth in Narnia takes on new meaning as you get older, the truth of LOTR grows weightier as you experience more of life. Personally, I find the perfect heroes in Middle Earth because I can see some of myself in them and they teach me that I can be my own hero, if need be. And that’s something I constantly need to be reminded of as an adult.
6. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
This is a book by Kate DiCamillo and although she has written many wonderful children’s books, I chose this one because it was the first children’s book I read that didn’t soften the harshness of reality but still maintained and cultivated hope. This is the story of a selfish porcelain rabbit who finds himself passed from person to person and gets to experience both the cruelty in the world and the love men feel for each other. This story will break your heart and piece it back together all at once.