The books I read as a child have had a serious impact on the way in which I read today. They are the reason I am drawn towards certain books, or have prejudice about others. In many cases, a book mentioned by a character of another book is the reason I picked a book up, as is the case with many classics I have read.
These are five books (excluding the Harry Potter and the Narnia series – not because they were not hugely influential for me, but because I want to give a shout out to some lesser known books) that have seriously impacted on my reading.
The Naughtiest Girl by Enid Blyton
This is a ten book series about a young girl named Elizabeth who is sent to boarding school in an attempt to get her to behave herself. She is determined to cause so much trouble in the new school that she will be sent home. This series is so funny and enjoyable to read and is one of the main reasons I love books set in boarding schools. This series was not finished by Enid Blyton, but by Anne Digby. However both authors are very enjoyable to read.
The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
This is another series that is simply amazing. We follow three children as they discover a field guide to goblins, fairies and other fantastical creatures that are living much closer to them than they realize. I love this series because as well as a great plot line and solid characters, it also has beautiful illustrations. This really enhances the way in which the creatures are imagined. They may just be some of my favourite illustrations from my childhood.
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
There are thirteen books in this series, an unfortunate number if you will. The Baudelaire children become orphans and move from one extreme circumstance to another. There is a fantastic array of eccentric characters that are funny, dangerous, nasty and loyal – though not all at once. These books also have brilliant illustrations that have remained with me until today.
Tiger, Tiger by Lynne Reid Banks
I have a feeling that this book is what sparked off my love of historical fiction. It is about two tigers who lead very different lives in ancient Rome. One becomes the pet to the daughter of a wealthy family, while the other is trained for a more gruesome life. This story weaves the two tales together in a beautiful and heart breaking way.
The Casson Family series by Hilary McKay
These books focus on a family that is very artsy craftsy, and for this I loved them. Each book follows a different member of the family, each of whom I grew to love. The characters felt as real as people in my own life. They are books that made me feel good every time I read them and are a fun and nostalgic series.
There are always some books that will stay with you through all of your life. These are a small few of mine.