Last night I started this read aloud with the younger kids.
Ribsy by Beverly Clearly is a favorite I remember from my childhood.
This book takes place in the 1970's (at least from what I can tell by reading it) and the first chapter was in large part, sights and scenes from my childhood.
Sky and I were discussing it later that night, how I could see, smell, feel and touch Cleary's descriptions because they were the backdrop of my childhood. It was kind of humorous to have to describe for my kids what a station-wagon was, and Sky started in with a "do you remember?-" of the feel of the plastic faux-leather seats that were used in most of the cars then. Sky brought up the memory of how they hardened with age, began to crack and split and then poke you very sharply on your bare legs when you climbed in wearing shorts. All of this remembering-springing from Cleary's descriptions of the new car and plastic smell from Ribsy's point of view. She also described the family going to a shopping center, where the novelty and attraction were several stores in one spot, and a parking lot with plenty of parking and no parking meters. So, again a description was needed for my kids to understand a time before malls and its precursor- the shopping center.
The family read-aloud that began as a literature assignment has morphed into history.
It's kind of strange, being a relic of history past.
p.s. Neil Patrick Harris narrates the audio version of this book, and we thought he did a wonderful job with "Socks", if you are looking for a good audio book...