Ten “Comfort Food” Books/Series by Jennie Albrecht
We all have our comfort food – chicken noodle soup, macaroni & cheese, chocolate chip cookies, ice cream. While these are favorite foods of mine, I also have a list of “comfort books”. These are my most favorite books/series/authors. This list is also my “go-to” list when I don’t know what to read, don’t feel like diving into a new book or when I just need comfort. They are also books that were favorites from my childhood. Reading the familiar stories and reconnecting with my favorite characters make me feel good. I have read these books over and over – so many times I have lost count. The characters have become my extended families. Here is my list of comfort books/series in no particular order:
Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
One of the first series I ever read. I instantly become a member of the Ingalls family when I read any of the books. Sometimes I choose to start at the beginning and read them straight through in order; and sometimes I pull one of my favorite stories and just reread those. I reread The Long Winter during the long winter months of January and February. I read These Happy Golden Years in the summer and fall in love with the romance of Laura and Almanzo each time. Each time I read the Little Books, I am in awe of the life they led and the choices they made and the struggles they endured. (I wrote another post for the Nerdy Book Club about my love of all things Laura.)
Betsy Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace
When I wasn’t pretending to be Laura, I pretended to be Betsy Ray. I made layer cakes and fudge and looked up the games and clothing styles of her high school days. I read Betsy’s Wedding so many times my first year of marriage, the binding cracked and the pages fell out.
Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly
I LOVE this story of first love! I usually read it at the beginning of each summer- the exact point where this book begins. Angie has never dated until the summer of her high school graduation. She meets Jack (a high school basketball star) while he is delivering baked goods for his family’s bakery. Set in a time before television, video games, and cell phones, Angie and Jack’s dates include cokes at the drugstore, country club dances, and swimming at the local lake. After a bit of a rocky start, they fall in love. Seventeenth Summer is an innocent first love romance which does not end up in the bedroom.
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
What can I possibly say about this amazing series that you don’t already know!! One of the few book series where I enjoy the movies just as much as the books. I love starting with book one and reading straight through book seven. Who hasn’t been waiting for their Hogwarts letter or wished they could actually perform one of the spells with your “wand pen”? I can “geek out” about Harry Potter anytime.
Meet the Austins series by Madeleine L’Engle
This is another wonderful family series written by the same author who wrote A Wrinkle in Time (also a favorite of mine). In the first book, Meet the Austins, we do meet the Austin family. The successive books continue telling us the story of their daily lives living in a small New England town, a camping trip across the United States, a year in New York City, and a summer at an island off the coast of New England. Vicki is the main character and the stories are told through her eyes as she comes to terms with puberty, boys, her looks, and her love of writing and poetry. They family loves reading, classical music, and just being together (very much like my own family).
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I obviously have a love of historical fiction and Little Women is one of the best known books historical fiction classics. I struggled along with Jo as she searched for her place in the world of family, friendship, love, and writing.
The Wish Giver by Bill Brittain
This is always my first read aloud when school begins each year. Three pre-teens visit a mysterious tent at a county fair and purchase a ticket that grants them just one wish. As with most wishes, strings are attached. My mother always read this book with her fourth graders and passed her copy to me when she retired. I love the connection between my teaching career and hers. And my students love the book too!
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, The Little House, Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton
These were some of the first picture books my mother read to my brother, sister, and myself. Just looking at the covers gives me comfort and reminds me of the days of reading with my mom on the couch. I bought a set for my classroom so I could share these as part of our picture book-a-day read aloud (which hasn’t quite been the book-a-day success I had hoped it would be).
Mandy by Julie (Andrews) Edwards
Yes, the author is THAT Julie Andrews. This is a darling story of an orphaned girl looking for her a place of her very own. She finds a small cottage beyond the orphanage yards and creates a home. This was one of the many books given to me by book loving neighbors who always brought me a book when they traveled. I still have many of the books they gifted to me. All of them inscribed.
The Big Tidy Up by Norah Samridge
The main character is named Jennifer who has a pink room and bedding – just like me. I read this book so many times I had it memorized. (I can still recite the beginning pages). This was also a book from my neighbors.
Jennie Albrecht teaches ELA to 5th and 6th grade high ability students in Ohio. She loves spending time with her husband, her cat Annabelle, and guinea pigs Hazel and Beatrice – all who enjoy books as well. She sometimes blogs at mrsalbrecht208.weebly.com Follow her on Instagram @mrsalbrecht20.