Sara Martinez’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.

Sara Martinez, Program Coordinator
5 – Tomie dePaola’s Strega Nona

My favorite book in Kindergarten was Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola. I remember my grandma reading it to my sisters and me on our weekly visits to her house. It also involves magical, never-ending pasta, which I desperately wished would happen to me whenever we read it.

10 – J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was my favorite book when I was 10. It came out during the summer, and I remember my sisters and I eagerly waiting on our doorstep for our copies to come in the mail on the morning of release day. We all finished it the next day and spent the summer theorizing about how our favorite series would end.

15 – Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky in one sitting. I wanted to read it before the movie came out the following weekend, and it instantly became a favorite book of mine. A lot of the quotes still stick with me and perfectly summed up life as a 15-year-old.

20 – Robert Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith and the following Strike series were my favorite books to read in college. This crime series is fast-paced and was a nice break from my assigned readings. J.K. Rowling wrote the series under this pen name, which definitely contributes to my love for it.