Thursday, October 6, 2016

Adult Fiction Readalikes Based on Childhood Favorites

Often what we love as children stays with us long into adulthood – this is true of me, at the very least - from dearly loved movies to comfort foods to favorite reads. While the beloved classics of my childhood may not hold up under my more discerning adult scrutiny (ahem, Nancy Drew), that does not mean that I don’t get all warm and fuzzy when I think about Nancy’s adventures. Certain children's books are classic for a reason. Through their characters and themes, they become an ineffable part of our reading identity. So it only makes sense that thematically similar books, whether intended for younger or older audience, would be enjoyed based on said similarities That is my goal with these recommendations, to pair the books I loved as a child with books I've loved as an adult, based on their themes, characters, and storylines. Because who doesn't want to find out how Nancy Drew would fit into the world of adult fiction?!
~Rory O'Connor, "All Grown Up: Discovering Adult Fiction Based on Your Childhood Favorites"

In our peregrinations around the worldwide web, we found the nifty article referenced above (along with a similar list on Buzzfeed) and our interest was piqued. There are lots of children's books we love, but sometimes, to paraphrase Thomas Wolfe, it is hard to go home again. So, enlisting the help of our free eResource NoveList (which is useful for researching readalikes as well as for finding new authors and titles, fiction and non fiction for all ages), we made a list of some of our childhood favorites, and recommended readalikes based on genre, tone, character, subject, and/or writing style. Each listing begins with the children's book title, and the grownup readalike follows after the dash.

Caddie Woodlawn - The Flying Circus by Susan Crandall

A Wrinkle in Time - The Runes of the Earth by Stephen R. Donaldson

Kristy's Great Idea [Babysitters' Club #1]  - Sweetwater Creek by Anne Rivers Siddons

The Phantom Tollbooth - His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik

The Westing Game - Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz

Comet in Moominland  - Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore

Anne of Green Gables - Y by Marjorie Celona

The Egypt Game - The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue by Barbara Samuel

Little House in the Big Woods - O Pioneers by Willa Cather

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones - Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett [eAudio]

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - The Oversight by Charlie Fletcher

Are You There, God, It's Me, Margaret - A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

The Secret Garden - Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

Black Beauty - The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

The Wizard of Oz - Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

Goosebumps: Welcome to the Dead House - The Passage by Justin Cronin

Esperanza Rising - Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning - Redshirts by John Scalzi

Walk Two Moons - Power by Linda Hogan

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Harriet the Spy - The Moneypenny Diaries by Kate Westbrook

Betsy-Tacy - Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You by Alice Munro

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin

Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark - The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

A Single Shard - The Calligrapher's Daughter by Eugenia Kim [eAudiobook]

The Giver - Red Rising by Pierce Brown

The Little Prince - Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

What do you think of our recommendations? Let us know in the comments!

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