Today would have been Jean Craighead George's 100th birthday. She passed away in 2012 at the age of 92, but even if she didn't make it into the triple digits, her booklist did. George was a prolific author, writing over a hundred books - mostly for kids and mostly about nature and animals. As a child, animal books were all I ever wanted to read. E.B. White's stories were an early favourite and still sit on my shelf, alongside titles like The Wilds of Whip-Poor-Will Farm, Misty of Chincoteague, The Dog Who Wouldn't Be, Beautiful Joe, and Where the Red Fern Grows. When most girls my age were reading The Babysitter's Club series - well, I was reading those too, but I was also devoted to The Saddle Club . I went through a Jim Kjelgaard phase and a James Herriot phase, accidentally learning a lot about the American wilderness of the 40s and 50s and life in rural England in the process.