I wasn’t daft on this week’s TTT prompt, so I decided to go right back to the start and relive some past topics when the current prompt didn’t inspire me!
Here are some of my favourite books as a child/very early teenager.
The “Wild at Heart” series – Laurie Halse Anderson
Laurie Halse Anderson is, famously, my favourite YA author and one of my favourite authors full stop. My aunt used to send these over from the US because I loved animals, and I devoured them. It wasn’t until years later – once I’d read LHA’s YA books – that I realised she wrote some of my childhood favourites. A lovely little realisation.
The Princess Diaries series – Meg Cabot
Easily one of my favourite book series of all time. Like I don’t even have anything else on top of that, they’re funny and even now like meeting up again with old friends.
Pig-Heart Boy – Malorie Blackman
Everyone knows Malorie Blackman for Noughts and Crosses, but the story of Cameron, who’s about to receive a heart transplant from a pig, was the well-thumbed book of hers that I read when I was younger. Definitely worth picking up if you haven’t read it yet!
Children Just Like Me – Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley
I have no idea how dated this book is by now but honestly I think everyone should be given a copy of this as a child. It’s basically a guidebook of different cultures presented by children between the ages of five and eleven (if I remember correctly). I absolutely adored reading it – the photography is brilliant and it’s great for showing kids what it’s like to grow up around the world.
The “Mates, Dates” series – Cathy Hopkins
Even though they touch on serious subjects (racism, teenage pregnancy, family illness are the few that I remember), these are just the most positive, warm and funny YA books I think I’ve ever come across. They’re on my list of old favourites to rebuy.
For a slightly more sobering point, I was desperately, desperately lonely as a teenager and craved the kind of fun and supportive friendships I read about in YA books. These filled a really bad void in my life.
The “Girls” series – Jacqueline Wilson
I remember reading these and being completely blown away that they were Jacqueline Wilson books – for late primary school/early high school me they were dark, dangerous and edgy compared to what I was used to from JW. They were my introduction to high school pressures and teenage experiences.
Almost Home – Nora Raleigh Baskin
Another gift from my aunt, this is a sweet MG novel about finding your place in a family and the wider world.
The “Animal Ark” series – Lucy Daniels
I ADORED these books. It was another series that tied together my love of animals and reading and they were so easy to read and moreish and emotional. I’m pretty sure I had the entire series and I read them again and again and again.
The Famous Five – Enid Blyton
Enid Blyton is one of those authors that I tend to cringe a little when I go to wax nostalgic about, because there are various examples of racism, xenophobia and classism in her work, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t include The Famous Five in a list of my favourite childhood books. I read them from cover to cover when I was in primary school, and actively wanted to be George.
(I’d like to thank my mum for, whether intentionally or not, keeping the particularly grim Blyton stories away from me.)
The “Nancy Drew Case Files” series – Carolyn Keene
I managed to unlock a memory from some deep recess of my brain while compiling this list. My mum produced a selection of these from the local library one week when I was ill (I think she thought they were the original Nancy Drew books, rather than Teenage Nancy Has A Boyfriend And Solves Mysteries). Literally had not thought about these for about twenty years and now I am DESPERATE to read them again.
I’m putting most of these on my TBR now, partly so I can have them for my daughter when she gets older and partly because I want to read them again. Dying to revisit my bookish youth…