Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Top Ten Books from my Childhood that I Would Love to Revisit

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a prompt and it's up to us to make a list of ten books based on that prompt! If you'd like to join in you can do so here

This week's prompt for Top Ten Tuesday is childhood books we want to revisit. As you can imagine there was no way I could not do this prompt! It did help that it also counts towards me ticking something off of my Bloggiesta list as well. 

For the purposes of the list I decided to steer clear of my teenage years as the reading was very different and honestly, I'm really nostalgic for some of these books. They were my friends in the kind of way fictional characters can only be your friends when you're at an age where although you know they're fictional, you can't quite convince yourself they don't exist somewhere in the universe and that's ok. 

1. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett - kind of cheating since I plan on reading this over the next few days. Loved the story of horrible, stuck up Mary Lennox, her friendship with horrible, whiny Colin, and their discovery of the secret garden (and the film) as a child but haven't read it since I was below fifteen. Considering all the characters pretty much start out horrible, it's a beautiful book and very much about the importance of not being whiny or stuck up as far as I remember. It gives me an excuse to watch the film which I've owned for years but not watched since childhood as well! (Also as I was writing this I suddenly thought if I'm reading this I will also need to read The Painted Garden and then hello, Noel Streatfeild! Can open. Worms all over the place)

2. The Trebizon Series by Anne M. Digby - I think it was Katie I was talking to about these books the other day and I just came across them while perusing my shelves of children's books for this post. Not as great as the Chalet School books (also on this list) but still good solid boarding school books which made me want to leave home for boarding school immediately. 

3. Harry and the Wrinklies by Alan Temperley - my mum read this to my siblings and I as kids and I remember shrieking with laughter at it. A couple of Christmases ago I watched the BBC adaptation of David Walliams' Gangsta Granny (having never read the book. Terrible, I know) and it reminded me a lot of that and reminded me that I haven't read it in years. I probably will in a few years, once the boys are old enough :-) 

4. Anne of Green Gables and sequels by L.M Montgomery - Oh Anne, how I love you. Anne of Green Gables is pretty much what made being ginger in the 90s bearable. I have an undying love for all things Anne (although not quite as much as Katie I don't think) and haven't reread the whole series anywhere near as much as I should have. Plus I've never read (but now own both) Rilla of Ingleside or Rainbow Valley. There's a series reread in there somewhere!

5. Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer - I adored this book as a child but nobody else I know has ever heard of it. It's about Charlotte, who also goes to boarding school (are you sensing a theme here?) and sometimes wakes up in a totally different period of time as a totally different girl due to the magic of sleeping in the bed this girl used to sleep in. Amazing. 

6. Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss - Arguably the film is more from my childhood than the book is, but it had to go on there being that it was the book which basically started mine and Rhys' whole relationship. Another post for another time. Always a danger for the amount I will shout about the stupid kid who thinks it's a great idea to tie himself to ostriches and the blond and slightly slimeyness of Fritz/Ernst/whichever one it is who's slightly slimier than the other one. Nevertheless you can't beat classic shipwreck self-sufficiency in my book!

7. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr, The Silver Sword by Ian Serailler and Pied Piper by Nevil Shute - my collection of books I loved about the second world war from a non-British (or not set in the UK) perspective. I absolutely loved and adored the first two and read them over and over, and only read Pied Piper once but it's stuck with me all this time. I have a copy that I got in a charity shop but haven't actually read it since I was eight or so. 

8. Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit - Oh so much love. I nearly put The Railway Children on here as well because that's really my childhood love (just don't talk to me about the stupid remake of the film they did with Jenny Agutter as the mother. What the hell. Bernard Cribbins as Perks all the way) but then I remembered my mum reading us this as a bedtime story (she read us a lot of stuff as bedtime stories) and how she pronounced it 'Pasamead' instead of 'Samead' and it had to go on. I might actually reread this one soon too. 

9. The Chalet School Series by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer - I did not realise until I looked at my copy of The Chalet School & Jo while writing this post that these books were written in the 1920s & 30s! I knew they were old but I didn't really cotton on to how old when I was reading them as a child. Anyway they are the foundation of my desire to visit Austria (my sister now has an Austrian boyfriend so I may be getting closer...) and I never read all of them, so that's a thing that should probably happen soon...

10. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter - Pollyanna is pretty much the foundation of my One Little Word this year. Every time I start getting negative and forget about my word (gratitude) I try to play the 'just being glad' game. Another one my mum read as a bedtime story. Has the debatable perk of a Hayley Mills film to go alongside. Haven't reread it since I was twelve, so it's due really. 

What are some of your childhood favourites? I have an ongoing obsession with children's literature and a spare room full of books so I'm always happy to have recommendations for more to add to the collection!


  1. I remember reading The Secret Garden to my daughter and then she watched a movie adaptation. She loved it and I loved it as well. And Pollyanna, such a lovely story. Nice list! And I did go to my teen years and had such fun remembering.

  2. The Secret Garden is one of my all time favourite books. Great list! My TTT

  3. I've never heard of many of these. Fun to learn about so many great books. I loved Nesbit's Railway Children; I'm hoping to reread it soon.

  4. Am I the only one who feels that Swiss Family Robinson was boring?! LOL! Probably because I read it as an adult.

  5. Oh yes, Trebizon! I first read those when I was off school sick, and my mum brought the first one home from the library. I have the whole series but one in paperback - the penultimate book was reprinted by a small press several years back, and the last one was promised but I don't think ever happened. Apparently the last few books were published just as the school-story genre came to an end, so they didn't print many, and now second-hand copies are about £40 which is too much for a 150-ish-page paperback. But I finally read it when I got my smartphone and downloaded it as a Kobo ebook - the one and only ebook I ever paid for. Some closure nearly 20 years after I began the series!

    Also, <3 Anne, of course. Spring is the perfect time to read those books, I think.