The Rival CofC's favorite childhood books

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While we usually ask you guys to send us your stories and your favorite things, we switched things up and decided to ask our staff about their list of favorites. And, in honor of the upcoming YALLFest celebrating young adult literature this weekend in Charleston, we decided to ask them about which books impacted them the most growing up. The books they answered with are quite the mix, ranging from classic American literature to medical tomes, but one thing’s for certain: they all had profound impacts on who they grew up to be.

“The Order of Odd-Fish” by James Kennedy

Photo courtesy of Amazon

Photo courtesy of Amazon

“I got [it] at a yard sale when I was like 12, and it was so surreal, and the characters and setting really drew me in. It was probably the first book that made me feel like reading was more than just a chore I had to do for school.”

- Adam Wells, strategist

“Beating Back” the Devil by Maryn McKenna

Photo courtesy of Amazon

Photo courtesy of Amazon

“[It’s what] inspired me to go into Public Health.”

- Alex Mielcarek, @can.us, strategist

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Photo courtesy of Flickr

“It opens the world of high-functioning autism to the rest of us. I read the book when I was in 7th grade, the play when I was a freshman in college, and now I am assistant costume-designing the play.”

- Laighton Cain, @candycainer, staff writer

“Chasing Redbird” by Sharon Creech

Photo courtesy of GoodReads

Photo courtesy of GoodReads

“It is about family, loss, and growing up. It helped me learn that life is complicated.”

- Sarah Shtessel, Director of Communications

“Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Salinger

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Photo courtesy of Flickr

“The universality of the Holden's feelings helped me understand that everyone is in a different place in life and that's okay. It's a book I like to come back to and reread often.”

- Daniel Cramer, staff writer

“The Chronicles of Narnia” series by C. S. Lewis

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“My mom had the whole series, and I remember it felt like the first book that seemed like a real, meaty book to me. I read it all when I was around seven years old, and it still has a major impact on my worldview today. Being able to read about (albeit fictional) kids my age who could go through trials and defeat evil at the end of every book really inspired me and made me believe that anyone can make a difference in the world for good, no matter how difficult it may seem.”

- Emma Grabowski, @emwhitney, Managing Editor

If you’re interested in young adult literature and would like a chance to meet and hear from some of your favorite authors (including Jenny Han and James Patterson), make sure to check out the YALLFest website for more information on events, visiting authors, and times!