Question of the Week: Who Were Some of Your Favorite Childhood Book Characters?


I loved the responses we got on the last ‘question of the week’, so here I go again.  This time, I’d like to know who some of your favorite childhood book characters were.

I’d have to start out with Mister Dog, the dog who lived by himself in a little crooked house and cooked up bones for himself in a pot and slept in pajamas.  That was one of my favorite Golden Books–and I’ve never gotten over the wonder of those illustrations.  I think they were by Garth Williams, the same incredible person who illustrated Charlotte’s Web and the Big and Tall book–I think that’s the name of it.

I would move on from there to Anne of Green Gables.  I read all the Anne books, and I understand why people still make pilgrimages to Prince Edward Island.  Anne had so much spunk, and she could never make herself do things according to how society wanted her to behave if she didn’t really believe in those things.  It didn’t matter that she had no real parents; she could handle anything that came her way.  And she got so much pleasure out of life!


My mother read a book called Miss Minerva and William Green Hill out loud to us–and she got all the accents right.  (It was based in Tennessee and written in dialogue.)  And I loved William.  He could not stop himself from getting into mischief, and he had a wonderful sense of humor. When I just looked for this book on Amazon, I was happy to see that the little red version, which is the one Mama read, has been reissued and is still available.

I guess my favorite character in my teenage years was Elizabeth Bennett, since she was so strong and intelligent, and even though he fell for Mr. Darcy eventually, she first had to know that he was smart enough for her and could meet her on equal footing.

In high school, my favorite was Holden Caulfield.  Maybe because I spent so much time in a German school, where everything was regimented, and you had to snap to attention around your teachers, and it was hard to know what you really thought or felt about anything, I was thrilled to discover Holden and his unconstrained mind and his absolute contempt for “phonies.”  He gave me a model for someone speaking the truth, even if he was supposed to be a little off his rocker.

Then, in college, my favorite character of all time was Joe Gargery in Great Expectations.  What a sweet and loving soul he is.  I could read the Joe speeches over and over, especially when he comes to visit Pip in London and is shunned by the young fool.

I would love to hear from our readers on this question, since we all grew up around the same time!  Please respond to the blog itself, instead of on Facebook!!!



6 thoughts on “Question of the Week: Who Were Some of Your Favorite Childhood Book Characters?

  1. I absolutely love Bernard Waber books, such as The House on East Eighty-Eighth Street, where Lyle, Lyle Crocodile lives with his loving family. I also love ELOISE, who is six and lives with Nanny, her pug dog Weenie and turtle Skipperdee on the top floor of the Plaza Hotel. Illustrations are a big, big part of what makes these books so memorable to me.

    Also, every June in celebration of summer freedom, I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which I checked out of the library on my first day of vacation. As I worked my way through my teens, I understood more and more in the book…

  2. Sadhvi, I loved all of Louisa May Alcott’s books, especially Rose in Bloom. And Karlene, I’m with you on the Litte House books. I remember wishing my mother would churn our butter. The store-bought kind just didn’t have the same appeal.

  3. I was a shy child, and books were my best friends. I loved the “Little House” series of books so much that I used to pretend that I was a pioneer girl. My teen years were spent losing sleep over Steven King stories. I couldn’t wait for his new books to come out in paperback so I could afford to buy them with my babysitting money.

  4. Wow, Linda, those are some impressive characters! I was clearly living in a different library. Thank you for sharing!

  5. My favorite books growing up were any Nancy Drew book, Little Women, later, Ray Bradbury.
    Books were a place I could go when the world was too much. Ha! How different it is today, when every child I see is on their iPhone doing something to take them away from the moment.

  6. Raskolnikov from Crime and Punishment, the unnamed narrator in Notes From Underground and Josef K from The Trial, Ivan from The Brothers Karamazov

    I was (to use a platitude) alienated as a teenager and these characters in one way or another embodied, expressed, or addressed that alienation. I liked the perverse comedy of both Dostoevsky and Kafka.

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