This month, I’m going to focus on my favorite fall books. All of these titles take place in the autumnal months and highlight the greatness that is cooler weather and everything that comes with it. Soon we all will break out the sweaters, scarves and boots. I cannot wait! Without further ado, here are my favorite fall books…
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – J. K. Rowling
“Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts,
Teach Us Something Please,
Whether we be old and bald,
Or young with scabby knees,
Our heads could do with filling,
With some interesting stuff,
For now they’re bare and full of air,
Dead flies and bits of fluff,
So teach us things worth knowing,
Bring back what we’ve forgot,
Just do your best, we’ll do the rest,
And learn until our brains all rot” (Rowling).
Every fall I get the yen to read Harry Potter again, to start Hogwarts along with Harry, Ron and Hermione, visit Hagrid on the grounds, and try my hardest to avoid Peeves the Poltergeist. If you haven’t yet read Harry Potter, then, please stop what you’re doing. Stop reading this blog or anything else until you’ve read this amazing series. I’ll wait.
Fletcher and the Fallen Leaves – Julia Rawlinson
“The world was changing. Each morning when Fletcher bounded out of the den, everything seemed just a little bit different. The rich green of the forest was turning to a dusty gold, and the soft, swishing sound of summer was fading to a crinkly whisper. Fletcher’s favorite tree looked dull, dry and brown. Fletcher was beginning to get worried” (Rawlinson).
When the weather begins to turn cold, a fox called Fletcher worries about his favorite tree. The leaves are dying, and they make different sounds. Even though he knows that it’s autumn, he tries everything to save his tree’s leaves before animals and the wind take them. But no matter what he does, the leaves all fall. On the first winter morning, Fletcher discovers that winter isn’t as harsh as it seems.
Not only does this book have lovely illustrations, the story is fantastic, too. Fletcher’s determination to save his tree is commendable, and the journey he takes is bittersweet.
Flora’s Very Windy Day – Jeanne Birdsall
“Flora realized that being blown by the wind was comfortable, like riding along on a squishy flying chair. She decided to open her eyes” (Birdsall).
One particularly blustery day, Flora gets mad at her brother, Crispin. So mad, in fact, that she convinces the wind to take him away. However, she quickly realizes her mistake and gets swept up, too. Flora and Crispin encounter many things such as a sparrow, a dragonfly, and the man in the moon. Each time they ask her if they can take her brother, and each time Flora thinks of an excuse to keep holding his hand.
Yet another picture book with lovely illustrations, but I think what resonates with me most is the text. Flora gets frustrated with her sibling, and she tells the wind to take him away. Anyone with a younger sibling can understand this. But Flora quickly takes it back and decides to go with her brother to protect him. Despite her momentary rash decision, she loves her brother. This book explores a facet of sibling relationships and will not fail to warm your heart.
The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
“It was the sweetest, most mysterious-looking place anyone could imagine. The high walls which shut it in were covered with the leafless stems of climbing roses, which were so think that they were matted together. Mary Lennox knew they were roses because she had seen a great many roses in India. All the ground was covered with grass of wintry brown, and out of it grew clumps of bushes which were surely rose-bushes if they were alive…There were neither leaves nor roses on them now, and Mary did not know whether they were dead or alive” (Burnett 88).
The Secret Garden is an enchanting tale about a lonely girl’s search for friendship and belonging. Mary has moved from the dry heat of India to the cool moors of England, and in the midst of this culture shock, she finds a garden locked behind an ivy-covered door. But most everything is dead or dying from neglect. Can Mary save her garden before the roses and animals have all gone?
I cannot remember when I first read this book, but I do remember falling in love with it. Mary Lennox is an awful and spoiled narrator, but the magic of her garden transforms her into a relatable one. Mary, along with her friends, works to heal her garden, and, in return, the garden heals them.
How Rocket Learned to Read – Tad Hills
“Soon they were spelling words like F-A-L-L for the gusty time of year, and R-E-D for the color of the leaves. And each afternoon the bird read a story. She read stories about dogs and birds. She read about leaves changing colors and about birds flying South for the winter” (Hills).
Rocket the dog doesn’t know how to read, until one day a little bird decides to teach him. Rocket is just getting the hang of it, when Bird must fly South for the winter. Rocket tries to stave off his sadness during the winter by spelling and reading on his own, but it is just not the same with Bird gone. He cannot wait for Spring and Bird’s return. There is so much left to learn!
Playful and fun, this story is about friendship and the beauty of learning. Rocket doesn’t know how to read, but his new friend Bird stops at nothing to teach him how.
Larry Gets Lost in Boston – Michael Mullin and John Skewes
“They went into a tunnel
Then out the other side.
What adventure awaits
At the end of this ride?
What will we see in this place?
More important, he thought,
How does the food taste? (Mullin et al).
Told in delightful verse, this picture book follows Larry the dog as he wanders around Boston, searching for his human, Pete. Along the way, he encounters many iconic Boston sights, even the Make Way for Ducklings Statue in the Boston Common. Will someone help Larry find Pete?
The poetry of this book weaves with the non-fiction elements, telling a story about Boston and Larry and Pete. The verse is lively and funny, while the historical facts are neither cumbersome or out of place. I couldn’t help but follow Larry, all the while hoping that he and Pete would quickly find each other again.