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Her First Hundred Books

She told me one day that she was going to learn to read.

It wasn’t something we’d been talking about much, but in a house full of books and with parents who frequently read to her, she decided that she wanted that skill for herself.

She asked for some books to help her learn to read, so we went to the bookstore where I bought her a couple of learning-to-read story collections.

Every day for a couple of months she asked me to sit and help her until she could easily read them without assistance. At this point she began reading them over and over again, almost obsessively, until she had memorized them cover to cover, at which point she decided to move on to more substantial books.

Day 235 - Wings of Fire
She absolutely loves this series!

The first of these, Pinkie Pie and the Rockin’ Ponypalooza Party, she read with me by her side so that she could ask questions whenever she encountered a word she didn’t know well. Once she finished, she went through it again by herself. From then on, nothing has been able to stand in her way. No book has daunted her, regardless of length or complexity.

In the following year and a half she blasted through a hundred different novels, though she went back read some of her favorites more than once. Her taste in stories has developed considerably in the process, beginning with accessible books like her My Little Pony collection, moving through assorted classics like most of the works of Roald Dahl and E. B. White, C. S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander and Frank L. Baum. At this point she seems to have found a particular affinity for two types of stories: Fantasy/Adventure and Art Mysteries.

Becoming a reader was entirely her own choice

I could probably sit here and write all day about her reading journey and how much fun it has been to observe. I could talk about her favorite authors and the books she’s returned to again and again, and her constant desire to find new books to plunge into, but that would probably get a bit tiring. Yet there’s something vitally important in all of this: becoming a reader was entirely her own choice. No one forced her, or in any way made her read. She simply wanted to. The rest has simply been her pursuing something that she wanted to learn. Unschooling in action in the most amazing way.

Each Unschooler follows their own path, and hers is one of many amazing examples of how letting children pursue their interests and dreams can have wonderful results. Every child wants to learn things that are important to them. All we have to do is get out of the way and let them.

In case you’re interested, here’s the list of books that she devoured in her early days as a reader. They’re no all in exactly the order that she read them, but fairly close. The asterisks mark books that I know she’s read more than once.

  1. My Little Pony: Pinkie Pie and the Rockin’ Ponypalooza Party!, by G. M. Berrow**
  2. MLP: Rarity and the Curious Case of Charity, by G. M. Berrow*
  3. MLP: Applejack and the Honest-To-Goodness Switcheroo, by G. M. Berrow
  4. MLP: Fluttershy and the Fine Furry Friends Fair, by G. M. Berrow
  5. MLP: Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell, by G. M. Berrow*
  6. MLP: Rainbow Dash and the Daring Do Double Dare, by G. M. Berrow
  7. MLP: Starlight Glimmer and the Secret Suite, by G. M. Berrow
  8. MLP: Princess Twilight and the Forgotten Books of Autumn, by G. M. Berrow
  9. MLP: Princess Celestia and the Summer of Royal Waves, by G. M. Berrow*
  10. MLP: Princess Luna and the Festival of the Winter Moon, by G. M. Berrow*
  11. MLP: Princess Cadence and the Spring Hearts Garden, by G. M. Berrow
  12. MLP: Discord and the Ponyville Players Dramarama, by G. M. Berrow
  13. MLP: Lyra and Bon Bon and the Mares From S.M.I.L.E., by G. M. Berrow
  14. MLP: Daring Do and the Eternal Flower, by G. M. Berrow*
  15. MLP: Daring Do and the Marked Thief of Marapore, by G. M. Berrow*
  16. MLP: Daring Do and the Forbidden City of Clouds, by G. M. Berrow*
  17. MLP: The Journal of the Two Sisters, by Amy Keating Rogers*
  18. MLP: Equestria Girls: Through the Mirror, by G. M. Berrow
  19. MLP: EQ: Rainbow Rocks, by Perdita Finn
  20. MLP: EQ: Rainbow Rocks: The Main Event, by Perdita Finn*
  21. MLP: EQ: Sunset Shimmer’s Time to Shine, by Perdita Finn*
  22. MLP: EQ: The Friendship Games, by Perdita Finn*
  23. MLP: EQ: Twilight’s Sparkly Sleepover Surprise, by Perdita Finn
  24. MLP: EQ: The Legend of Everfree, by Perdita Finn
  25. MLP Friendship is Magic Omnibus, Vol 1., by Katie Cook
  26. The Critter Club: Marion Takes Charge, by Callie Barkley
  27. Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery, by James and Deborah Howe
  28. Howliday Inn, by James Howe
  29. The Celery Stalks At Midnight, by Jawes Howe
  30. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by Frank L. Baum*
  31. The Marvelous Land of Oz, by Frank L. Baum*
  32. Ozma of Oz, by Frank L. Baum*
  33. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E. L. Konigsburg
  34. Masterpiece, by Elise Broach
  35. Chasing Vermeer, by Blue Balliett
  36. The Silver Crown, by Robert C. O’Brien*
  37. Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, by Robert C. O’Brien
  38. Stuart Little, by E. B. White
  39. Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White
  40. The Trumpet of the Swan, by E. B. White
  41. The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo
  42. Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone, by J. K. Rowling
  43. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J. K. Rowling
  44. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J. K. Rowling
  45. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl
  46. Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, by Roald Dahl
  47. The BFG, by Roald Dahl*
  48. James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl
  49. George’s Marvelous Medicine, bRoald Dahl
  50. Matilda, by Roald Dahl
  51. The Magic Finger, by Roald Dahl
  52. Mandie and the Secret Tunnel, by Lois Gladys Leppard
  53. Mandie and the Cherokee Legend, by Lois Gladys Leppard
  54. Mandie and the Ghost Bandits, by Lois Gladys Leppard
  55. Mandie and the Forbidden Attic, by Lois Gladys Leppard
  56. An Army of Frogs, by Trevor Pryce
  57. Roller Girl, by Victoria Jameson****
  58. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis
  59. Prince Caspian, by C. S. Lewis
  60. The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnet
  61. Dorothy and the Wizard In Oz, by Frank L. Baum
  62. The Road to Oz, by Frank L. Baum
  63. Ava and Taco Cat, by Carol Weston**
  64. MLP: EQ: Wondercolts Forever: The Diary of Celestia and Luna, by Sadie Chesterfield
  65. The Wonderful City of Oz, by Frank L. Baum
  66. MLP: Starlight Glimmer and the Secret Suite, by G. M. Berrow
  67. The Book of Three, by Lloyd Alexander
  68. The Castle of Llyr, by Lloyd Alexander
  69. Taran Wanderer, by Lloyd Alexander
  70. Inkheart, by Cornelian Funke
  71. The Last Kids On Earth, by Max Brailler
  72. The Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade, by Max Brailler
  73. A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnet
  74. Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke
  75. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien*
  76. Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophesy, by Tui T. Sutherland
  77. A Dolphin Named Bob, by Twig C. George
  78. The Gallery, by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
  79. The Door by the Staircase, by Katherine Marsh
  80. The Goblin’s Puzzle, by Andrew Chilton
  81. The Secret Keepers, by Trenton Lee Stewart
  82. Under the Egg, by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
  83. The Wright 3, by Blue Balliet
  84. Dragon’s Green, by Scarlett Thomas
  85. Warriors: The Apprentices Quest, by Erin Hunter
  86. Wings of Fire: The Lost Heir, by Tui T. Sutherland
  87. Wings of Fire: The Hidden Kingdom, by Tui T. Sutherland
  88. The Borrowers, by Mary Norton
  89. Wings of Fire: The Dark Secret, by Tui T. Sutherland
  90. Wings of Fire: The Brightest Night, by Tui T. Sutherland
  91. Wings of Fire: Moon Rising, by Tui T. Sutherland
  92. Wings of Fire: Winter Turning, by Tui T. Sutherland
  93. Wings of Fire: Escaping Peril, by Tui T. Sutherland
  94. Wings of Fire: Talons of Power, by Tui T. Sutherland
  95. All’s Faire in Middle School, by Victoria Jameson
  96. The Calder Game, by Blue Balliet
  97. The Name of this Book is Secret, by Pseudonymous Bosch
  98. The Voyage to Magical North, by Claire Fayers
  99. Wings of Fire: Legends: Darkstalker, by Tui T. Sutherland
  100. Wings of Fire: Darkness of Dragons, by Tui T. Sutherland

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