Well, I was going to do the Chocolate Book Tag in honour of Easter Sunday, but I started answering the questions and was like, ‘Hang on… this feels familiar…’
So instead, I thought I’d mention some books that I loved as a child. I think of Easter as very much something I only cared about when I was a kid, and even then I wasn’t all that bothered.
Here’s the main books that jump to mind when I think about my childhood.
The Famous Five series, Shadow the Sheepdog, and basically anything else by Enid Blyton.
Enid Blyton was hands-down my favourite author growing up. She is the reason I wanted to become a writer. She was also the reason I tried ginger beer, and thanks to her books about secret passageways and hidden treasure, I got through a lot of boring family days out by imagining I was on a Famous Five/Secret Seven quest.
Matilda by Roald Dahl.
I was a big Dahl fan anyway, but Matilda was always my favourite because I related to her so much. (As in I related to her love of books, not to the family who hated her or the insane headmistress.) I also loved The BFG and The Witches, although that one always gave me nightmares.
Horrible Histories by Terry Deary.
These are still great educational tools, because it’s such a fun approach to history, and the TV show is fantastic. Even my niece, who sadly is not a big reader, really got into these books.
Please Mrs Butler by Allan Ahlberg
Our teacher used to read us poems from this book all the time, and to this day I still read several of them in her voice. It’s a wonderful collection and such a realistic painting of what school life was really like. Here’s a short sample from the title poem:
Please, Mrs Butler,
This boy Derek Drew
Keeps taking my rubber, Miss.
What shall I do?
Keep it in your hand, dear.
Hide it up your vest.
Swallow it if you like, my love.
Do what you think best.
Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing series by Judy Blume.
I actually can’t remember much about these books and had to Google the title, but I just remember really, really loving them. I hated little kids (despite still being a little kid myself) so I felt bad for the main character, who was struggling not to kill his stinky toddler brother. I don’t even know if I read the whole series, as I could only read what the school library had on offer, but this series started me on my Blume journey, carrying over into my preteen years.
Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling.
I know I mention HP a lot, but come on – you can’t do a childhood favourites post and not talk about this series.
Apparently at the age of 9, or however old I was when Potter took over, I was a bit of a hipster because I point-blank refused to read it due to all the hype. Then one night I was sleeping over at my friend’s house and asked her what books she had that I could read. The nearest thing she could find was a copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, so I griped a bit but read the first chapter anyway.
That was it. Page 1, and I was hooked. There was that brilliant description of Wendelin the Weird. There was that word ‘Muggle’, which I found hilarious. I had to ask her if I could borrow it. Within weeks, I’d finished it and asked my mum to find me copies of the other books (this was around the time that Goblet of Fire had just come out, I believe, and they had just released a trailer for the first film) and read them all. An obsession was born.
I had lots more books I loved, but these are the ones that moulded me. What were your favourites?