And there books that I loved with my whole heart because as a child I read passionately. If I didn't like something, I moved on. I can remember a friend being passionate about Julie of the Wolves, it never did anything for me. But it was the book that helped her discover the joy of reading. As an adult, I suppose I read less passionately. I do not tend reread as much and since I've become a writer, I tend to read more critically. But I still remember the experience and know that while a book might not speak to me, someone else may care passionately about it.
I am always delighted when readers write to me that they have loved my books. A fifteen year old girl in Essex recently wrote to me about An Impulsive Debutante, how she checked it out from the library and was now on the sixth reread in between studying for her GCSEs. I was also slightly nervous because I sincerely hope that she doesn't fall out of love with the book. But it was the sort of letter that authors long for when they start writing. To touch one person... It made me wish that I had been brave enough to write to my favourite authors...
Last week, I happened to discover a blog post by the Editorial Ass about childhood reading and the Magician's Book. Some of you may remember when Lucy reads it in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
Anyway, the blog got me thinking about favourite books I had as a child and I did a blog post on my own blog. And I wanted to get a meme going so that if others wanted to talk about their favourite childhood books, they could. And I thought I would repeat it here.
The invitation goes like this:
Name at least one book that you read as a child (ie 11 or under) that still exists in your memory as a perfect story. You can say why if you wish, or simply give a list -- your choice. It can be a story that you are now uncomfortable about having loved or were uncomfortable at some point and have now come back to or alternatively just one that you have always loved:
I put some of my favourites on my original post but here are some my other favourites (after if you are a Reading Child -- the library is full of magic.) Other authors who have posted their favourites on their individual blogs include: Donna Alward, Kate Hardy, Nell Dixon and Nicola Cornick -- in case you are interested.
1. The Princess and the Goblins by George MacDonald -- I discovered this because it was shelved next to the Mrs Piggle-Wiggle books in my library. I adored the tale. After I grew up, I discovered that JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis were also fans of George MacDonald as children. My children adored it as well and the sequel The Princess and Curdie.
2. Mara Daughter of the Nile by Eloise McGraw -- it is the book that made me realise that ancient civilisation romance/adventure was not only possible but desirable.
3. Dancing Shoes by Noel Stratefield. I loved all of the Shoe books but this one with Rachel who suddenly doesn't fit with Mrs Winters Little Wonders really struck a chord.
4. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett ( with illustrations by Tasha Tudor) -- I loved it and A Little Princess. I could wax lyrical for hours. In fact when we first looked at the house where we live with its very overgrown garden, I thought that it was a garden that just needed to be brought back to life.
5. Betsy, Tacy and Tib by Maud Hart Lovelace. I read all the Betsy-Tacy books. I adored the relationship Betsy, Tacy and Tib had and their adventures. I suppose in a way because of the setting, they were the books that first got me into historicals. I also loved the Lois Lenski illustrations.
6. A Little House on The Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I loved all the House books and the illustrations by Garth Williams. I was given this as a Christmas present when I was seven and immediately wanted to be a pioneer and travel in a covered wagon. But somehow the television series never lived up to my imagination. Later when I reread the books as an adult, I was impressed at hard Ma worked and the dangers they faced.
I will stop here, but I do want to know about books that touched you as a child.