I'll admit that some of my reading was not intended for my age group at all. I learned to read because my mother kept reading to me, though she says my entire family was amazed that I fast-tracked the process, having been able to read with little supervision or guidance at age two (sadly, I can't say the same thing for my writing skills). I guess that's why my mind progressed so much faster, why I became more finely attuned to my surroundings, and why I continue to value my time alone reading (and sometimes secretly sniffing the pages of) a book.
- A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Before Hollywood bastardized it, TWICE. It was my first full-length novel and I read it on the Christmas of my seventh year, the same age Sara(h) Crewe was in her first year at Miss Minchin's Select Seminary for Young Ladies. I am forever angry at the classmate who borrowed my novel for her report, because despite all my reminders she never returned it (not as angry as I am with myself though, since I never seem to learn to stop being so generous).
- Nancy Drew mysteries. The old hardbound ones that my sister had are still at home. They were very female-affirming, which is something not a lot of mysteries - and particularly not the "new" Nancy Drew mysteries - are to-day.
- The Velveteen Rabbit, printed on a paperback colouring book. It is melancholy but beautiful, and it still continues to hold a lot of truth about life today. I was happy he was reborn as a real rabbit, though sadly reality is not always as kind.
- A hardbound storybook featuring stories from Hans Christian Anderson. I don't recall the exact title, and I remember we gave this away so long ago, but I'll always love it for having the story about the one-legged tin soldier and the ballerina with the original ending.
- Cordillera Folk-Tales. They were a refreshing change of pace from Western fairy tales (since they were as colourful and brilliant as they were violent XD), AND they were very Filipino. I felt very sad when I went to Baguio for the first time only to find that the people of the Cordilleras were no longer as extraordinary as the people in the books, but I am glad to say they are still as resilient and compassionate.
- The Did You Know? encyclopeedia-almanac published by Reader's Digest, and other similar books. I remember my mind being like a sponge, wanting to absorb things about history, geography and some sciences. Too bad it still refuses to include chemistry, economics, and all forms of maths. =_=0
- Encyclopaedia volumes and dictionaries in general. Learning new words was always exciting for me.
- EDIT: I forgot to include the Choose Your Own Adventures series. It was fun to try and get a different ending each time. And the fact that some stories are actually historical fiction (I have a book somewhere that's set in the middle of South Africa around the 1970s) makes this series a great combination of entertainment and education.