Today is World Book Day in the UK! When I was in primary school (between the ages of 4 and 10), I always looked forward to World Book Day because we would be allowed to go to school dressed as our favourite book characters, and we would also get a £1 book voucher that my mum would take me and my brother to use pretty much straight after school.
I’ve always been a reader, but I didn’t come to love books and reading as much as I do now until I was 11 years old, because the secondary school I went to had an incredible library. But, even as a child I did have my favourites that I would read over and over again. I could only remember a few from when I was very small, so my cutoff point for “childhood” favourites is 16 years old, because that’s how old I was when I started blogging.
The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson
I have yet to meet a single British person who hasn’t read a Jacqueline Wilson book. She’s pretty much the queen of British kidlit (she got made a dame for writing) and almost all of her books that I’ve read were read as a class at school. Not even for study reasons, just for storytime purposes. But out of all of her books (and there are a lot of them), The Story of Tracy Beaker stands out the most to me. Mainly because I watched the TV show based on it all the time, and also because it was kind of the first chance I got to read a book about kids who live in less privileged circumstances – in this case, kids who have been abandoned by their parents and live in a children’s home.
Fairy Treasure by Gwyneth Rees
When I was very small, I was really into fairies. But not scary evil fairies like from folklore, I mean cute nice fairies like the ones in Disney stories. Most of the books I had when I was little where about fairies but this is the book that I read the most. I can’t count the number of times that I read this book and it pretty much had a permanent spot under my pillow (i had one of those beds that was a bunk bed with one bunk and then a desk underneath it so i had no choice to keep books under my pillow. don’t do that btw, it breaks them.) I definitely wouldn’t read it again now because I’m way too old for it and I’m just not into fairies anymore.
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
This series is the one that started my love of Scott Westerfeld’s books, but because I’m a dope, I accidentally tried reading the third book in this series first without realising that it’s a series. Back then I was definitely of the mindset of “if the cover interests me, I’m going to read it and nothing can stop it” and the editions of Uglies
that I read were very interesting. They were block colours with photos of disembodied barbies on them, which were creepy and cool at the same time. I wish I could track them down because even though the copies I have now have beautiful covers, those creepy ones have so much sentimental value to me. And I’m not usually sentimental towards particular editions of books, so it’s a big deal.
The Mediator by Meg Cabot
I haven’t always been a big fan of ghosts but Meg Cabot was definitely one of my favourite authors when I was a teenager. The Princess Diaries
was my favourite movie ever when I was little and the DVD I have now is pretty beaten up from being used so much. I didn’t actually start to read her books until I was around 10 or 11 and I really got into them when I started secondary school because the school I went to had such an incredible library and had almost every one of her YA books. And yes, I read all of them. But The Mediator
was definitely my favourite because of how different it was to her contemporary books and also the dynamics that the characters have.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
I have no shame in the fact that Twilight
was one of my favourites when I was younger because I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. And it wasn’t a guilty pleasure when I was a teenager anyway because I didn’t think it was bad. Obviously, my mind has changed completely and I think the series has a lot of problematic aspects to it, but I do still defend it when it comes to the vampire lore in it. Yes, sparkling vampires are silly, but this is the only place where you will ever see them. Most of the vampire aspects of this series are silly but it is perfectly within an author’s right to write their fictional monsters however they want
. I’m not a fan of werewolves who are people who turn into actual wolves, but I’m not going to go around and say that authors who write werewolves like that are hacks who can’t write for shit. Because that’s not fair to do. Also, on a somewhat unrelated note: Carlisle is clearly the best male Cullen. By far.
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
I’m counting this series as a childhood favourite because I was 14 when I read the first book for the first time. I got the first copy from the school library and I’d put in a request for the library to get the second book, but I think by the time it got there, I’d finished school and went to a sixth form that had the world’s smallest fiction section in the library. So, I ended up buying the whole series myself and blasted through them so fast because I adore these books so much. My reviews of them are actually still up, and all three books are five stars for me. Naturally, I’m massively overdue rereading this series.
Enid Blyton collections
Even though my feelings toward Enid Blyton and her stories have changed dramatically since I was little (it’s a whole can of worms that i don’t really want to open right now)
, the story collections that I had were a bedtime staple for a very long time. I do still have fond memories of those books, but these days I find it very hard to relate to any of the child characters in Blyton’s stories because they’re so
1930/40s middle class that it can be painful to read at times. What I mean by that is stories of kids who attend boarding schools going to their country homes for the summer and then getting beat by their parents when they misbehave.
What are some of your childhood favourite books? Do you still like them or have your feelings changed?