Ellen Werner’s “Books That Shaped You” At Ages 5-10-15-20

Annie KennedyBooks, Inside WITS

Inspired by Pitchfork’s 5-10-15-20 feature, we asked the WITS staff to talk about the books that shaped them as they grew up. From Kindergarten favorites to the novels that got us through college, we’re excited to take this walk down memory lane, five years at a time.

Ellen Werner, Program Director
5 – Peggy Parish’s Amelia Bedelia series

My early years of my parents reading to me all blur together, but one of my absolute favorites from when I was about five years old was Amelia Bedelia. My dad used an outrageous voice for Mrs. Rogers, and my siblings and I thought it was too funny!

10 – Sharon Creech’s Walk Two Moons

Ten is a great age for books. I was about done reading a lot of the seemingly endless series like The Boxcar Children by then and moved on to having favorite authors, like Sharon Creech, who wrote Walk Two Moons.

15 – Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried

I wish all the amazing teen books that are out now were around when I was in high school! One book I remember really sticking with me as a fifteen-year-old was The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. I was reading a lot of short stories and had a great history teacher at the time, so the semi-autobiographical stories about the Vietnam War were of particular interest to me that year.

20 – Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis

A favorite book from my college years is Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. I’ve always liked learning about other people’s lives, especially girls and women living in different places and times than me. Satrapi’s book is a graphic memoir and was the first comic I had ever read. Highly recommend!