Reading has always been such a huge part of my life. Since I was tiny, I have loved getting cozy on sofa, blocking everything out and just spending the majority of my time reading.
Throughout my childhood I accumulated a few favourites (that are still in my collection today) so I thought it would be interesting to make a blog post about them as a sort-of trip down memory lane.
I have decided to split this post into two parts because I had too many books that I loved and wanted to talk about.
As a side note, these books are not in any particular order; they’re just books I love equally!
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
To me, this book was magical. Just the whole idea of a secret garden where you could escape to was really appealing to me as a child. I was constantly on the lookout for my own little secret garden. The book follows Mary Lennox, an orphan, who has to go and live with her Uncle in Yorkshire. I wouldn’t say Mary was the kindest child. In fact, she’s quite selfish and seriously unlikeable. Whilst there she discovers a secret garden and all that follows completely changes her life.
2. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
I was obsessed with ballet when I was younger. I used to go to ballet and tap lessons every Thursday so this book was incredibly relevant to me. It’s about three adopted sisters called Pauline, Petrova and Posy Fossil. All three of the girls were discovered as babies by “Gum”. Gum goes away on an expedition and the book follows the diverse and varied dreams of the three young girls.
3. The Chronicles of Narnia book series by C.S. Lewis
Perhaps by first foray into fantasy fiction as a young child, I borrowed these books from my best friend and read them the quickest I think I had ever read a book series. The books are set in the fantasy world of Narnia and, the first few books, follows four children who are sent to live in the countryside during the World War 2 bombings. Whilst exploring the house they find a wardrobe that leads them into this magical world…
4. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
I couldn’t count how many times I have read this book in my life, but it’s definitely into double figures now. Similarly to Narnia, the book is about young Willie Beech who is evacuated to the countryside due to the Blitz of World War 2. He is cared for by elderly Tom Oakley and the book follows the development of their relationship and the life of Willie as he tries to start a new life far from London.
5. Matilda by Roald Dahl
Potentially every bookworms’ favourite childhood book! Matilda lives with her very mean parents and has an incredibly difficult life with them. Despite all this, she teaches herself to read and, somehow, develops telekinetic powers. Matilda has to use all her brains and her powers to deal with her evil headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, and help her favourite teacher, Miss Honey. The film is amazing too!
6. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Sticking with the Roald Dahl theme, this was definitely another of my favourites! James Henry Trotter has to live a pretty tragic life with his two awful aunts. Everything changes when he discovers a magical peach and its crew of talking insects.
7. Molly Moon book series by Georgia Byng
I had bought these books in a bit of a panic when I was younger as my mum was hurriedly trying to get me to choose a book so we could leave WHSmith’s. I believe there are now six books in the series, however, when I read them there were only three! Molly Moon is an orphan who lives with terrible Miss Adderstone at the orphanage called Hardwick House. Whilst trying to escape her life, she stumbles across a book of hypnotism and discovers her talent!
8. Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson
I was given this book for free by my school to try and encourage us to read more (like I needed any encouragement) and ended up completely loving it! It follows Maia, an orphan, who has to move to Manaus (a town along the Amazon River). Her “new family”, the Carter’s, completely hate living along the Amazon River and try to live as British-ly as possible. Yet Maia is different; she has a connection to Manaus and the new plants, surroundings and different people excite her.
9. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
What could I possibly say about Harry Potter that hasn’t already been said. Simply put, it changed my life. The world of Hogwarts and Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley and the Burrow were pure escapism for me. I followed Harry’s journey eagerly and always pre-ordered the new book ready for the release date. I don’t think I truly realised how much influence Harry Potter was having on me until I reached secondary school (which is perhaps a story for a different day), but I am incredibly grateful for these books and this world.
10. A Series of Unfortunate Events book series by Lemony Snicket
Again, this was another book series that I borrowed from my best friend during my primary school years. There are thirteen books in the series and all follow the lives of three orphaned children; Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire. After their parents die in a mysterious fire they are sent to live with the evil Count Olaf, whose only aim is to steal their inheritance. Although this is a blog post about my favourite childhood books, I think the film, as one of my favourites as a child, deserves an honourable mention as well the recent Netflix series (both of which are fantastic!)
So there we go, part 1 of my favourite childhood books. Part 2 will be following shortly!
Thanks for reading!