The other day, my little brother, who is 9, asked me if I knew of any books that he could read. I answered that I could probably point him to some good stuff. So I asked him what he had already read and what he recently finished, and I ended up recommending A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle.
He seemed a bit skeptical of such an 'old' book and asked me what sort of stuff was good about it. After thinking for a few minutes I answered, "You've read all the Harry Potter books right? Well I can say hands down that the bad guy in this book is way scarier than Voldemort."
After finishing the book (he reads really fast!), he agreed with me.
This experience has made me think back on all the great books that got me into reading in the first place. Stuff like Matilda, The Mouse and the Motorcyle, The Blue Sword, The Chronicles of Prydain, Johnny Tremain, The Secret Garden, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Phantom Toll Booth and many, many others.
I wish I had the time to go back and read them all. Now that I'm reading all this 'grown-up literature' I can't help but feel a certain longing for those books I read just because they were great stories, told in memorable ways.