One of my favorite books as a elementary aged student was the Newberry Award Winning, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Looking back on the book, it is obvious that it was written in a different time for a different audience, because the hero and heroine run away from home, walk around the city of New York by themselves and never seem to be in any danger.
One of the classic points of this book is how E. L. Konigsburg has the children face adult sized problems with intelligence and grace.
How did this book inspire me? For one thing, it provoked in me a love of museums. The children run away and live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. If you’re going to run away, why not sleep in a Queen’s bed? I also loved how responsible the children are; budgeting their money, and bathing in museum fountains.
To this day, when the Field Museum has sleepover parties, (they do by the way), I dream about going and pretending that I am Claudia.