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It’s National Young Readers’ Day and we’re celebrating the only way we know how: by celebrating the fond bookish childhood memories of some of our favorite celebrity bookworms. Let’s dig into the bookshelves that sparked their imagination, long before they became household names.

 

Barack Obama: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

It’s no secret that former president Barack Obama is a voracious reader. Each year, he puts out an end of year reading list of his favorite books and this year he went above and beyond by recommending his favorite books of the summer! (Following his reading habits is better than Goodreads. Seriously!) So, it’ll probably come as no surprise that Obama has been a reader his whole life. Each year, at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, the president would read Where the Wild Things Are to the children gathered on the south lawn. Our favorite was 2016 when the president and first lady got super into the dramatic reading, but you can find clips from almost every year on the White House’s YouTube channel. And after eight years of story time, it’s likely Where the Wild Things Are became the favorite childhood book of a handful of youngsters as well!

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Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

 

 

Cokie Roberts: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The world lost the intrepid NPR reporter Cokie Roberts earlier this year, but she left behind a love of writing and analysis for the generation of journalists to come after her. She also left behind a true love of reading, remembering fondly her love of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. “I even walked around with a clothespin on my nose, trying to make it straight instead of pointing up” she said to Parents magazine, “just like the character Amy.” We think Roberts was perfect exactly the way she was, but can you blame her? Every young reader wanted to be one of the March sisters!

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Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

 

 

Hannah Simone: Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

While we’re all a little sad that New Girl is over and Hannah Simone is no longer gracing our television screens every week, we are really pleased to learn that Are You My Mother? is her favorite book from childhood. This perfect picture book about one baby bird in search of their home warms our heart every time we encounter it. It’s a beautiful tribute to family – both biological and chosen. And it’s been delighting children across the country since 1960. Talk about a legacy!

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

 

 

Anne Hathaway: The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett

We fell in love with Anne Hathaway from the moment she graced movie screens in The Princess Diaries – which we loved as a book before the movie was even a Garry Marshall dream project. (We miss you, Garry, but we’ll always have your director’s commentary for this movie.) It’s so wonderful to learn that Anne Hathaway is as big a bookworm as we are, starting with an intense childhood love of The Secret Garden. “I wanted to be Mary Lennox so badly,” she told The National in 2011. “I still have a soft spot for gardens and I’m always going off to see if I can find locked doors inside them.” Talk about completely relatable.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

 

 

Looking for the next great childhood book for a young reader in your life? Check out The GayBCs by M.L. Webb, a perfect primer on queer identity and vocabulary for kids and adults alike, and Kid Activists by Robin Stevenson with illustrations by Allison Steinfeld, a beautiful reminder that activism can start at any age – and that everyone was once a kid.


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Danielle Mohlman's picture

Danielle Mohlman

Danielle Mohlman is a playwright, bookworm, and library connoisseur. You can find her on Twitter and Tumblr. (She has a lot to say.) And on Instagram. (She never foodstagrams.) When she grows up, she wants to be Leslie Knope.