My takeaway from books I read back in the day and reads I recommend for younger folks. There's a lot of Canada going on here, so please bear with me.
  1. Owls in the Family
    Wol and Weeps taught me to be kind to every creature, big and small. Though intended for young adults, there are some scenes of animal cruelty I remember were very upsetting.
  2. All Creatures Great and Small
    One of the first novels I remember my mom reading to me and the one that sent me down my first unfollowed career path to being a vet. Great for future animal lovers who want a BTS look at the profession!
  3. Mortimer
    I can still hear my mom reading, "Clang clang, rattle bing bang." But Mortimer was a little jerk and I think when I realized that, I was a better person for it.
  4. A Little Princess
    What I took away from this novel was the power of Sara's storytelling and the way she let her imagination take over and help her through trying times.
  5. Anne of Green Gables series
    Anne taught me to be proud of who I am and to say it loudly. Just as she was "Anne with an E," and most certainly NOT "Carrots," I too could dictate how others saw me.
  6. Emily of New Moon series
    I wanted to be everything Emily Starr was and would ever be. Reading this series was the first time I ever seriously thought about being a writer. A great read for little dreamers.
  7. The Story Girl
    Mom really pushed Lucy Maud on me and I'm so grateful she did. The Story Girl and The Golden Road taught me the importance of storytelling and gave the world Road to Avonlea❤️
  8. The Belonging Place
    I'm starting to realize that most of the books I read were about orphans. Anyway, this was my absolute favourite book. The lead character's name was Elspet and I truly believed nothing was better than that. I started to learn about and become interested in Canadian history reading Jean Little's interpretation of a family's move to Upper Canada.
  9. Little Women
    Another one first read to me by my mother and chock-full of lessons. I believe this may have been my first encounter with love and death in a novel. I'm sure mom had fun with that.
  10. Bridge to Terabithia
    Heart-wrenching. It's still hard to believe this book is for kids, but I guess I kind of get it? I remember having My Girl-esque anxiety about it though.
  11. The Diary of Anne Frank
    When I remember realizing my life was entirely different and much simpler than some other little girls' lives.
  12. The Harry Potter series
    Though each novel came with lessons of its own, overall I learned how family is whoever you decide to call family. They're the people who have your back. And obviously how cool it would be to be a wizard.
  13. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants
    Growing up, my core group of friends consisted of four girls. This series taught me to cherish them and to learn what each one of them meant to me.
  14. To Kill a Mockingbird
    People are not always who they appear to be.
  15. 1984
    Be sceptical and be scared.
  16. A Midsummer Night's Dream
    I became weirdly obsessed with this play when my favourite movie, Get Over It, came out😐 I'm not sure I took anything away from it, aside from desperately wanting to play Hermia in any and all further productions of the play.
  17. The Picture of Dorian Gray
    The source of my first real book report. I remember being thoroughly creeped out and learning (though my mother had often told me, but as a teenager I didn't believe her) that beauty isn't everything.
  18. The Handmaid's Tale
    I was likely too young when I read this, but I remember clearly being told to pay attention as Atwood subtly questioned how we submit to the role of gender put upon us by society.
  19. The Shipping News
    I didn't so much learn any life lessons, but I learned a lot about Newfoundland before I ever had the chance to visit the province. Her descriptive writing has stuck with me through the years.
  20. The Princess Diaries
    Most important life lesson learned ever: Not everyone will find out they're a princess at 14😩