12 Books You Should Read Three Times
12 Books You Should Read Three Times

12 Books You Should Read Three Times: Childhood, Adulthood, and Late In Life

As you age, you’ll find new lessons in books you enjoyed at different times in your life. As a child, you’ll see the underlying message behind books, but as someone in retirement, you’ll interpret that message differently. Try it for yourself and read these twelve books that mean something different at each stage in your life.

Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde

Written for ten-year-olds, Heir Apparent takes you inside a virtual reality game where death is lurking around every corner. A scary thought for children, and even more terrifying for those late in life as they see so many loved ones around them taken by illnesses, accidents, and unforeseen events. As a child, you watch the protagonist, Giannine, navigate her way to locate the magic ring, stolen treasure, and riddles. You see that there are so many opportunities in life and rereading Heir Apparent as an adult you learn that there’s no wrong path to take.


The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Teaching a child history with a twist keeps them engaged and begging to want to know more about what else was going on during that period. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón is probably too advanced for a young child to read on their own, but middle schoolers and high schoolers can benefit from its content. The more you know about censorship at a young age can help you as an adult formulate a better opinion about banned books and content not allowed to air on public media channels.



The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

An adult fairy tale suitable for children is the best fairy tale yet! The following passage sums up why this book is a good read as a child, adult, and later in life, “Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless, and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have.” The book’s element of magical realism drives this message home and shows us how stories can both reveal and shelter us for both the good and evil in the world.



Momo by Michael Ende

Reading the book’s summary at first, you wouldn’t believe that this is for those twelve and up. Momo is the story of a homeless girl (Momo) who has a magical talent that she uses to help all her friends. When a group of evil men arrives in her city one day, only Momo’s powers can save the day. It doesn’t matter your age or how much money you have. Momo proves that you can always make a difference in the world.




Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

Most people know the story of Peter Pan from the cartoons, and the original story written by J.M. Barrie is not much different. To read this as a kid is exciting! The idea of flying to another world filled with pirates, fairies, and civilizations, yet encounters is magical. Similar to Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane, you find out that you never truly grow up. Your imagination may shift with age, but you will always have one to escape to when needed.




The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Tom Sawyer is your classic trouble making kid that can sweet-talk his way out of anything! Sawyer lives in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, where he lives with his Aunt and half-brother. After getting into a fight, his Aunt punishes him to whitewash the fence, which he persuades someone else to do for him. Pawning after a girl named Becky, he convinces her too into giving him a kiss telling her that now means they’re engaged. While you usually see The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in high schools, you could do your own persuading and get a grade-schooler interested in what else one kid can do to adults.


The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper, George Hauman and, Doris Hauman

Children and young adult authors always know how to teach a wholesome lesson that carries with you throughout life. In this 48-page picture book created for three to seven-year-olds, you find that we can face the seemingly impossible and conquer it in the end. In your later years after much experience with people reaching out for help (or you yourself asking for help), you learn to stop, listen, and empathize with another’s problem.


The Once and Future King by T. H. White

Wart is a boy who is currently being tutored by a magician named Merlyn. The two are preparing for the future when Wart can unite the country by teaming up with the greatest knights and fairest queen of them all. Wart’s mission is to become crowned as King Arthur, King of the Britons. A futuristic fantasy, The Once and Future King is a laugh-out-loud story that you can enjoy at any stage in life. 




How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez

A father who plays a role in an attempt to overthrow the horrible dictator in the 1960s is forced to move his family to America to protect them. After years of living in the Dominican Republic raising four daughters, the family now finds themself in a foreign place. The daughters are adapting to life in the States while still adhering to their cultural norms. If you’ve ever wondered what it is like to move to a new country at a young age, you’ll understand after reading Julia Alvarez’s powerfully written novel.



Matilda by Roald Dahl

Children’s author Roald Dahl gives you a chance to view parenting as a child, as an adult, and as a grandparent in his book Matilda. Matilda doesn’t get along with her parents, and when she’s not dealing with them, she at war with Miss Trunchbull, her school’s headmistress. When all seems lost, and it appears Matilda’s met her match with these controlling adults, she discovers she has magical powers to use against her oppressors. No matter what age you read Matilda, you’ll notice the same theme, good triumphs evil.  


Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

Everyone has their own dandelion wine summers, and reading Ray Bradbury’s classic novel that takes place in a small-town will stir up memories at any age. In the summer of 1928, twelve-year-old Douglas Spaulding learns that summer is a bunch of established rituals; friends moving away, time machines, predicting the future, and so on. Maybe your summers haven’t included being transported to the Civil war, but you can probably relate to most of this semi-autobiographical novel.



The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Set during the Great Depression, The Grapes of Wrath is an American classic detailing what life was like when a country fell on hard times. In addition to the economic downturn, it was the social injustices America hadn’t figured out how to handle. A history lesson that shows how far America has come, children reading The Grapes of Wrath will see what it was like to be judge by your race. Adults and the elderly will read it to remind themselves to be kind to all and treat one another as you’d like to be treated.


You may read these books a few times throughout your life, but can you remember all of the character’s names? What about the minor characters? If you have trouble remembering names, sign up for our How To Remember Names Effectively video-based training course. You’ll learn how to recall names faster and easier than ever before. It’s the perfect course for any professional looking to succeed in their industry.

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