Wednesday, 21 September 2011

'The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives.'

This week I began my teacher-training course. In a year’s time, I will be a fully-fledged teacher and hopefully in real employment, which is both amazing and terrifying! So today I had a wonderful day mostly studying English and children’s books, and learned (kinda!) how to get children interested in books.

If Heaven exists, a pocket of mine will be like those seminars.

But it got me thinking: what were the books I loved as a kid? What inspired me the most? And also, what are all of your favourite childhood books?

And where did my thinking end?? With a list of course! So here you have it- Charlotte’s favourite childhood books/series/authors: (In no particular order)

1.Roald Dahl books. I read most of these, but my favourites were Matilda, James and the Giant Peach and The Magic Finger. I loved the anti-hunting message of The Magic Finger, the strong female role model of Matilda, (not to mention her awesome powers and her bookworminess- go bookworms!) and the magic of a giant peach going on a journey over the sea and through the sky whilst crewed by giant, talking insects. If I could steal anyone's imagination, it would be Roald Dahl's.

2. Dick King Smith books. Dragon Boy, Lady Daisy and Pretty Polly. If you’ve never heard of them but still enjoy reading children’s books, then look these up at once. My copies are battered from my multiple readings.

3. The Adventure Series, by Enid Blyton. A group of children have amazing adventures. This is basically the staple for any children’s book I’ve ever attempted to write. I was so enamoured with the series that at one point I told my mum I wanted two girls called Dinah and Lucy-Ann and two boys called Philip and Jack. Luckily I lost my enthusiasm for that idea. Ok, the books were sexist and racist, but when you’re eight, it’s easy to ignore the annoying stuff in favour of the good. I can’t read them as an adult though. Uh-uh. I've tried. Can’t do it.

4. Animorphs by K.A. Applegate. They lost their way after 20 books or so and a few ghost writers later, but in the beginning this was a gripping series with strong characterisation and a unique, SciFi premise. It was also a great way to learn about animals.

5. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. There is a lot to be said for a strong narrative presence, and the uniqueness of this series kept me reading long after the plot had turned absurd. Loved the film and this picture by the way!


 6. The Mennyms by Sylvia Waugh. These are probably not that well known but they are an amazing gem of a series about a family of life-size rag dolls magically come to life, that try to live in secret without being discovered by the real world. The twist in the first book is brilliant and the character of Soobie (who is completely blue, so can never leave the house) has left a lasting impression. If you’ve ever read the A Song of Ice and Fire series, he’s a little bit like a child friendly version of Tyrion.

And finally...

7. Jacqueline Wilson books. I loved The Bed and Breakfast Star, The Suitcase Kid, Double Act, and The Lottie Project. These books introduced me to a world I knew little of, but to be honest I was thinking less about that and more about just how engrossing the stories were. They always involved strong, first-person female narrators and wonderful complementary illustrations by Nick Sharratt. 

Harry Potter and Just William I’ve mentioned in other posts so I won’t repeat my adulation for them in this one. His Dark Materials, although loved, I read in my teens, so I won’t put it on this list either. There are many, many more I could have written about, but I had to stick to my absolute favourites or otherwise it wouldn't be: 'Charlotte's favourite books' but: 'books Charlotte read as a child' which would have made an extremely long list! 

So how about you? What childhood books do you remember fondly?


prerna pickett said...

The Witch of Blackbird Pond, read it in fifth grade. I also loved Animorphs...Nancy mind is running blank, but I know there are a lot more!

Selina said...

I remember the Mennyms! I thought nobody else had known about that book :P