There are a lot of books that shaped my current mind set towards literature. I practically learned to read on C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. They were perfect for me when I was six, and they're even a nice diversion now if I've got a couple of spare hours. When I hit eight, I read Tolkein's The Hobbit. True fanatasy at its best, as anyone who's read it knows. Unfortunately, I haven't yet read Lord of the Rings. I know, I know, it's pathetic, but I've tried twice. Both times, other things just came up. They're on my list. Fifth grade introduced me to Alexander Lloyd's The Prydain Chronicles. These were the first books I'd read where death seemed a real threat, and it was the first series I'd read which told a single continuous story. This quickly became the standard by which I judged all other fantasy series. Madelyne L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time, and it's sequels were my first peek at the weird side of fantasy, as opposed to traditional dragons and dwarves and such. I liked them a lot, and to this day I value the damned strange. Finally, in sixth grade, Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series completely blew my mind. It wasn't as fantastic as elves and giants, and it wasn't as weird as alien brains and kything, it was just, simply, Magic. I can't truly describe it, but think Arthurian legend meets 20th century England. If you read one series of books on this list, make it this one.