By Areesha Nouman 

When you think of the good old days, the times of your childhood before the worries of middle school, then high school, what comes to mind? Maybe the times we took for granted, the times when we didn’t have to worry about quizzes, tests, and hour-long assignments. Or maybe it’s the carefree, fun days of coming home with no homework and proceeding to watch TV all night long. I know for me, the books I used to read when I was younger are a huge source of nostalgia. While I still read books all the time now, from mystery to realistic fiction to historical fiction, something about those simple, hundred-page books I used to read before elementary school was special. From the bright covers, to the simple plots of kid-goes-on-an-adventure, these books have a special place in my nostalgic memories. 

  1. The Magic Tree House Series

To start off, the Magic Tree House series was probably one of my favorite series of all time when I was 5-8 years old. I have always loved mystery books for as long as I can remember, and I think it was this series that kicked off my love for the genre. I don’t know why, but there was something about the excitement, the adventure, that each of these books had, that captured the attention of first-grader me. I had an entire PHASE based on this series, from wanting a magic treehouse of my own, to fantasizing about traveling back in time and completing cool secret tasks like Jack and Annie did. I remember going through this entire series MULTIPLE times, and begging my mom to buy me the special editions with the fancy gold covers. I’m sure a lot of you guys loved this series too- don’t deny it. I know it was all my friends and I ever talked about at recess or lunch when I was younger. 

2. The Ramona Series

The Ramona series was another one of my absolute favorite books as a kid. This book series followed the life of a girl named Ramona, and all her experiences of bothering her older sister and having fun. Reading about a little girl that I could relate to in some ways, and being entertained by her experiences was something that I really enjoyed doing, and this series was definitely no exception. While it’s been a very long time since I read the Ramona books, I still recall trying to be like her and copying some of the things she did in my best efforts to annoy my brother and mom. 

3. The Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew Series

While this book series probably isn’t as popular as The Magic Tree House or Ramona, The Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew was a book series that made me feel really cool as a kid in second grade. While the actual Nancy Drew series was a bit too violent for the ripe young age of six, this version was something I could enjoy reading while still showing off that I was a fan of mystery and thriller, cool kid novels. Like the Magic Tree House series, these books were also about a couple of kids who went on little “missions” or adventures to save the day: the classic entertaining plot that all kids enjoy. I vividly remember running to the bookshelf in our classroom as fast as I could to snag an armful of these books before anyone else could get to them, and aggravating my teachers by knocking half of the books off the shelf.

4. The Who Was? Series

Yep, the Who Was books were a huge part of my reading list as a younger kid. I’m sure most of us can spot and identify these books from a mile away: the obnoxiously bright colors, the bubble letter font, the unmistakable giant hyper-realistic heads on the front covers… These books were an ICONIC part of most of our childhoods. From books about presidents to inventors to other historical figures, the Who Was? series was a set of biographies that elementary-school me turned to for social studies homework, required reading in school, and the world of historical reading. If only we were still allowed to use these as references for history homework… things would be much less complicated.

To conclude, these four book series, The Magic Tree House, Ramona, Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew, and Who Was? series, were four book series that were a huge part of my childhood and where my enjoyment for reading all began. Now, as the years have gone by, thinking about these books and the role they played when I was younger is a source of reminiscence and nostalgia for me, and probably for you all too. So, the next time you think about all those good memories and old times of the past, don’t forget about all these books and how they were one of the earliest ways for us to connect with the world when we were younger.