Books Recommended By My Daughter

girl reading

I recently wrote a post about books my teenage son would recommend. My daughter thinks it is her turn now and has enthusiastically provided me with a list of books she has read recently.  She is a big re-reader so most of these have been read multiple times which is a recommendation in and of itself.  She is ten and all of these books easily fit into that age bracket.

children's books

First of all, we have a Nancy Drew mystery, The Clue of the Black Keys.  My daughter has been a bit obsessed with Nancy Drew lately and I enjoy watching it since Nancy Drew was a big part of my childhood too.  I wrote about it a bit here. They are fun, even if completely unrealistic, adventures.  Just notice some of the chapter titles: A Mysterious Diary, A Burned Letter, The Elusive Island, The Hidden Hut.  What more could you ask for?  Well, maybe an amazingly retro inside cover.

book endpapers

My daughter actually mentioned the first Mary Poppins book but I couldn't find her copy to photograph it so I used Mary Poppins in the Park instead.  I know she has read all of them recently.  Mary Poppins in the books doesn't bear much resemblance to the one in the movie.  She is much more acerbic.  I know adults reading the books sometimes are bothered by that but I have never met a child who is.  Again, we have a fantastic inside cover.

Mary Poppins--endpapers

The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright was a book I loved as a child and it is wonderful to see my daughter enjoying it now.  It is the first in a quartet about the four Melendy children who live in New York in the 1940s.  They decide to pool their allowance and every Saturday one of them gets to take it all and do whatever they want with it. After all, New York is full of enough adventures for anyone. It is a sweet and charming story and all the sequels are enjoyable as well.  My daughter also just read the next book in the series, The Four-Story Mistake.

My daughter's last recommendation is Five Have A Wonderful Time by Enid Blyton.  It is one of the famous five series and she loves these books.  I brought this one home for her one time when we went to London and she has been obsessed ever since.  They are some of her comfort books.  Four children and their dog have adventures during their summer holidays.  There is usually some mystery involved, adults are usually peripheral to the story, and the children seem to always be eating and planning what they shall eat for tea.  I wish I had known about these when I was a child, I am sure I would have loved them.  My daughter finished one the other night and practically forced it into my hands, insisting that I read it because she just knew I would love it.  I appreciate any book that inspires such enthusiasm.

It is good to see that the appeal of some books never dies.  The world changes but kids still like to read about adventures and mysteries and picnics by a campfire.


  1. I've read all of these! You know, you're right -- kids aren't bugged by the Mary Poppins of the books. I remember reading them as a kid and liking them fine, but then my mom read one and thought it was "too weird" and that Mary Poppins was unpleasant and unlikable. Well, yes, they're rather weird, but I still dug them.

    My son is enamored of the Melendy Quartet too -- he's 8, and Spiderweb for Two is his favorite.

    I read every Nancy Drew I could get my hands on as a kid. I liked the Hardy Boys and Trixie Belden better, but Nancy was fun too.

    I know I read some of the Five books as a kid, but I don't remember anymore which ones, or much about them. I get them confused with the Happy Hollisters in my memory.

    1. I think sometimes parents worry too much about the reaction kids will have to things like Mary Poppins. Kids kind of like the strange and the odd. Think about how slightly disturbing many fairy tales are.

      My daughter has read the first two of the Melendy Quartet over and over but we don't have the last two and neither does the library. She found them online and I promised to order them for her. I loved those when I was little too. She also really likes Gone-Away Lake by the same author.

  2. I preferred Gone-Away Lake myself -- we recently replaced my copy because I'd worn in pretty thoroughly out as a kid, and then my son read it like 4 times in a row and the spine fell apart -- pages everywhere, too many to tape back in.

  3. Strangely, I have never read neither Mary Poppins nor Nancy Drew. But I've been told the Nancy Drew ones are amazing and what am I waiting for? I guess since that classic women's author challenge is going on over at the Classics Club, perhaps I should correct that mistake some time this year. (After I finish the Anne of Green Gables books, of course.)

    1. I am not sure what you would think of Nancy Drew as an adult. I loved them as a child but they are very formulaic. I don't think you are going to be wowed by them as you would be by some other children's books but they are fun and worth reading just because they are such an integral part of so many people's childhoods.

      Anne of Green Gables I just love, though.

  4. AMary Poppins was written by an Australian who hid her true family history. An interesting story of itself. Lucinda