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Rachel’s Reads – May 2020

As the stay-at-home order continues, my news feed has been filled with images of parents and their kids attempting to figure out how to navigate this new world. Although I don’t have children, I have been enthralled at the activities that people have come up with and sympathetic to struggles that I can’t begin to comprehend. All of these photos have caused me to reflect on how I have been spending my time at home (it should come as no shock that I have been devouring books) and how I would have coped if a pandemic had happened during my childhood. I can imagine the overwhelming fear and the erratic disruption to a normal routine that affects everyone in the house. I can certainly see myself falling back on beloved characters and escaping into familiar woods, gardens, museums, and even Neverland. The memories of reading with my parents, curling up with a book, and hiding under the covers to keep reading through the night are clearer and more present today. As Robert Brault stated, “In childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking out. In memories of childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking in.” As I press my face to the glass of childhood memories, I thought I would share a few of my childhood escapes to hopefully give you and your children somewhere to visit while staying at home.

  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
  • Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
  • Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  • The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
  • Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
  • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  • Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The Borrowers by Mary Norton
  • Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl

As we continue through these uncertain times, and the desire to return to normality rears its head, I remind myself of this quote from Winnie the Pooh, “Rivers know this: There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” In the meantime, happy reading and stay safe and healthy!


Rachel became the publisher of The Independent in March of 2017 and then married her husband Jake in May. Their goldendoodle Einstein joined the family last year. Rachel is an avid reader and loves to share book recommendations. (Don’t miss her column, Rachel’s Reads in the Magazine!) She can always be found with a book nearby, especially while traveling (another of her favorite things).


Bailey Pianalto Photography


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