Have you ever wondered what was up with all these authors trying to crush kids' souls in a few pages of their book? Or, more pressingly, trying to crush your own soul as an adult?
Here are some of the top nine books that robbed us of our innocence and somehow still make us ugly cry when we try reading them over again.
1. "The Runaway Bunny" by Margaret Wise Brown
Actual photographic evidence of me after finishing this book. (I'm kidding, Mom. I love you.)
2. "The Little House" by Virginia Lee Burton
Why are the seasons of life and change and growth expressed so eloquently in the journey of this little house, man?
OH, HELLO INSECURE 12-YEAR-OLD ME. Nice to see you again in the form of an elephant who has been brought low by the mocking words of a cruel parrot. Heartwarming ending, but gives you all the feels in the meantime.
4. "The Hundred Dresses" by Eleanor Estes
No, it's fine. I'm fine. I'm not ugly crying over the reach of words and regrets and things left unsaid and children who lie just to finally feel seen. IT'S FINE.
5. "Bye-Bye Baby" by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
The baby has no parents or family and is changing his own diaper, for crying out loud. He puts himself to bed. Nothing is okay.
Eventually, he goes around saying over and over, "I'm a little baby with no mommy. Will you be my mommy?" It's pitiful and precious because then he finds a mommy and a daddy and everything is right with the world.
6. "The Bridge To Terabithia" by Katherine Paterson
I was trying to stick with little kids' books, but how can you NOT include this gut-wrencher on a list of sad books? If you started this book like me thinking "Nothing too bad could happen — it is a children's book after all!" and then you're about to get hit by a train that you never saw coming. You will be hurting in ways you didn't know your heart was capable.
Side note: don't leave your daughter home alone with access to this movie on the laptop. Speaking from personal experience, the damage could be irreparable.
7. "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein
THE TREE. HE GAVE EVERYTHING FOR THIS KID. This tree 10/10 is the most selfless human I've ever known.
“... and she loved a boy very, very much — even more than she loved herself.”
8. "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams Bianco
Deathly ill children, loss, life, and stuffed animals. What could possibly go wrong?
'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.”
Nope. Still not over it. At all.
9. "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch
I don't even wanna talk about it, OK?