What Were Your Favorite Childhood Books? (PART ONE)


The mid 2000s were a golden age for YA books. And as kids, we grew up with these colorful and interesting novels. So the Canyon Echoes staff will be talking about our favorites as kids and evaluating whether or not they still hold up. This is just Part One. Part Two will be posted shortly.

Oliver Barnfield- 

A to Z Mysteries- A to Z Mysteries was the story of 3 kids who solved mysteries that each, inexplicably, correlated to all 26 letters of the alphabet. Did any of the kids notice that? Anyway, the stories were pretty good, but when the author got to the lesser used letters, he kind of ran out of ideas. Really? The Orange Outlaw? It was about an Orangutan who stole Oranges.

I’m pretty sure they were scraping the bottom of the barrel. Another extremely stupid book in the series was The Unwilling Umpire. OH NO! The Umpire won’t play in the baseball game! I wonder why? Looks like we got a mystery on our hands! Also, one of the kids was named Dink. Poor kid.

Magic Tree House- Another case of the author running out of ideas. Magic Tree House started as a very factual and edutainment type series about a brother and sister going back in time to historical locations. But slowly I guess the author got bored of writing books about real events and just started writing trippy weirdness.


And even then, the ones before that were slowly running out of steam. Like, why was there a whole book in the series called “Soccer on Sunday”? How educational. It’s just 100+ pages of two kids playing soccer.


Colin Johnson:

Origami Yoda, Big Nate

Origami Yoda and Big Nate are widely known children’s books that have touched the hearts of many, mine included. I’ve decided to pay a tribute to them in the collaboration article, by telling my thoughts about the two books, and giving a loose story synopsis. If you haven’t read them (which I doubt, although it may be possible), then if reading my text below doesn’t convince you to read them, I don’t know what will.

Origami Yoda has been around for many years, coming out in 2010. It reads like a documentary of students telling their stories about their experiences with Dwight and his (supposedly) magic puppet, Origami Yoda. The series continues and some weird stuff happens. All of the kids get girlfriends (except Murky because he’s gay. In fact, they find out he’s gay because he wears a pink shirt. Pretty discriminant right?). The books were kind of creative, but masterpieces for my 5-year-old brain. The best part was at the back of each book were origami instructions, which were really cool. In all the Origami books are kind of random, and talk about controversial topics in weird ways. It’s not that bad though.

Big Nate, on the other hand, is a masterpiece. The books tell of the stories of Nate Write, who is struggling to get by in middle school. Unlike Origami Yoda, these are at least 85% realistic, while the other 15% is at least semi-realistic although being a stretch. There are also comics, some of which are based off events in the books, while others are not. There are many likable characters, that have realistic flaws, that, somehow, don’t damper their likability.

Poor child.

Overall, Big Nate is a beautifully crafted, gem, while Origami Yoda is just… Eh. They both played major roles in my childhood, and I don’t regret reading them. Heck, sometimes I’ll pull out one of them (more likely Big Nate than Origami Yoda) and read it just for nostalgia or a good read with an interesting storyline (although they are pretty easy at my reading level). I’d say these books are pretty cool.

Baker Tuthill:

Percy Jackson- I don’t know about anyone else, but Percy Jackson was my favorite elementary school book series. I read all the books in the original series time and time again. I read the last book the whole way through at least 7 times (Second only to the 2nd Harry Potter book, which I read 13 times). The epic battle chapters and the interesting characters kept me reading: and once I started, I couldn’t stop. Personally, I loved the series, and I became so enveloped in the world of Percy Jackson that I read the Egyptian Mythology book, also by Rick Riordan. I was mesmerized by the cool powers that the characters wield. I mean, come on, what kid doesn’t fantasize about having powers to control water? Or air? Or whatever.

I don’t think Rick Riordan’s streak lasted forever. I think at some point he started to… run out of ideas. He did a series of Norse Myths? With the characters of Percy Jackson?