Tag Archives: Jacqueline Wilson

Top 10 Children’s Books


Top 10 Tuesday is a meme hosted every Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish where bloggers compile lists of different top 10s. This week it’s a rewind where we pick any previous top 10 we missed. I’ve chosen:

Top Ten Children’s Books

1) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory- Roald Dahl Who doesn’t love a good Roald Dahl book? Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is my favourite, I only wish Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory really existed, it would be tons better than Cadbury World. I just found out there’s a pop-up version of this too, how awesome.

2) Not Now Bernard- David McKee I found this book very funny as a child, the idea that a parent might not notice that their son has become a monster! As an adult I can appreciate things about it which I didn’t as a child.

3) A Squash and a Squeeze- Julia Donaldson This is one I discovered working in the nursery. I love how dramatic the old lady is.

4) Special Powers- Mary Hoffman This was my favourite book for years and years. I used to borrow it from the library again, and again, and again. I probably should have saved up my pocket money and bought it. I would quite like to own it now but I have a feeling it wouldn’t meet up to my memories.

5) His Dark Materials- Phillip Pullman It’s been a few years since I last read about Lyra and her adventures, but I have re-read Northern Lights (or The Golden Compass if you live across the pond) more times than I can count. It was my favourite book for years. Even though it didn’t have such a big significance in my life I do actually prefer it to Harry Potter (Shock! Horror!).

6) Harry Potter 1-7- J.K. Rowling I’m sure it won’t take much browsing of my blog to realise how much I love Harry, and what an impact J.K’s books have had on my life. This blog probably wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t read Harry Potter.

7) Tom and Pippo- Helen Oxenbury another one I borrowed from the library again and again, this time when I was a pre-schooler. The tales of Tom and his toy monkey are cute and funny, and possibly where my obsession with monkeys came from.

8) The Alfie Stories- Shirley Hughes I loved the Alfie stories when I was little. I tried to share them with the toddlers at work recently, but I think maybe they were a little to young.

9) Bad Girls- Jacqueline Wilson I read a lot of Jacqueline Wilson books at the end of primary/beginning of secondary school. I think it was when I really started getting into ‘issue’ books. Bad Girls was my favourite.

10) Remembrance- Theresa Breslin was my favourite of a series of war books I read in my early teen years. I still have it on my shelves, and I’ve re-read it a few times. It still beats some of the adult war books I have since read.

11) (oops) The Hobbit- J.R.R. Tolkien I thought I had finished my list then I thought of this one. I’ve never managed to finish Lord of the Rings but I loved The Hobbit. My Mum read it to my sisters and I when we were younger and I still associate it with snuggling up on my parent’s bed.

If you have enjoyed this post you may enjoy my Children’s Hour feature.

 

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Children’s Book Week (Books for older children)


Yes that’s right book fans, it’s still Children’s Book Week. Today I’m looking at books for older children (i.e. children who can read for themselves). As before these are books I enjoyed as a child.

Image from The Book Depository

Anything by Roald Dahl.

Apart from the adult books obviously. I think I have read more or less every children’s book by Roald Dahl. I am still a particular fan of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I just loved the idea of a chocolate factory being like that, and I loved reading about the horrid boys and girls. I wanted to be Matilda though! I remember being disappointed in the Matilda film because it didn’t have my favourite scene from the book, where Matilda puts the parrot up the chimney.

Image from The Book Depository

Anything by Jacqueline Wilson.

Jacqueline Wilson was my favourite author for quite a few years. I read everything written by her up until I was about 12 and after then I read Falling Apart (which was more of a Young Adult novel, and now I think about it pretty depressing) a couple of times as a teenager. I always say I was a fan of Jacqueline Wilson before it was cool. I even wrote her a letter, and I still have the reply she sent me. My favourite Jacqueline Wilson book was probably The Lottie Project which I liked for it’s historical bits and its issue-y bits.

Image from The Book Depository

Special Powers- Mary Hoffman

This book was one I kept borrowing from the library again and again. I really don’t know why I never bought it. Maybe because at the time I only got 50p pocket money a week. It would never have occurred to me to buy my own books when I could go to the library or ask my parents to buy them. And even then I rarely asked my parents to buy things for me, or at least things more expensive than a pack of sweets. Anyway the book. Special Powers is about a girl, Emily who is a pretty normal girl, boring even. She brings excitement to her life by imagining a fantasy land where she is queen. One day she meets a girl who has just moved to town with her strange family and her fantasy starts to seem more realistic. Special Powers is the first fantasy book I can ever remember reading. Although I’m not the biggest fan of fantasy anymore it still holds a special place in my heart, and this book lead me to some of my favourite books.

His Dark Materials Thrilogy- Phillip Pullman

Image from Amazon

To this day Northern Lights remains one of my favourite books (while I enjoyed the others I liked Northern Lights the best). I love the characters, all off them. Especially I loved Lyra, and Mrs Coulter and Lord Asriel were both fascinating. For a while I even considered that I might name one of my children Lyra. I would recommend these books to pretty much anyone, adult or child. I even managed to convince a few girls in my English class to read The Amber Spyglass one year when it was a nominee in a children’s book award (it didn’t win but if everyone else was put off by the size of it, like many in my class were, I’m not surprised).

Image from goodreads

The Adventure Series- Enid Blyton

I used to get teased by my sisters for reading these books. When I was a kid it really wasn’t cool to like Enid Blyton. The Famous Five was still popular but I always refused to read them because I didn’t want to read the popular ones (even now I often shy away from books which are very popular). I liked them though. They were exciting. I didn’t read them in order, but I don’t think it really mattered. I started off with The Circus of Adventure, and, maybe because I owned it and got to re-read it, it was my favourite. Oh and I liked the parrot (Kiki) and that one of the characters was called Lucy-Anne which is my name and my sister’s name together (Simple pleasures!). I also read all the Secret Seven books and particularly liked that one of the characters had a pet monkey.

Image from Amazon

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit- Judith Kerr

Yes the same Judith Kerr who wrote The Tiger who came to Tea which I mentioned in my previous post, but I did not realise it until yesterday! I often credit this book for starting my love of historical fiction. Or, more accurately fiction focused around war time. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is beautifully and sensitively written for children in a way that really gets into a child’s mind. Not just worries about war but little things too, like leaving your toy rabbit behind. I cannot let it go past though that I loved lots of ‘war stories’. Carrie’s War. Goodbye Marianne. Remembrance. A Little Love Song (although that came more as a teenager) Goodnight Mister Tom. The Dairy of Anne Frank. Tom’s Midnight Garden

I do not think I need to do more than mention my love of Harry Potter. I could not even link you all the posts for it! But if you type Harry Potter into the little search box on my sidebar you will find plenty! Or click the link and you will find out about my relationship with the Harry Potter books.

I feel I am missing so many books out but still special mentions go to. Heaven Eyes. Woof! Bill’s New Frock. The Family from One End Street. The Hobbit. The Peppermint Pig. The Sophie Books. Moondial, The Worst Witch, The Horrible Histories books, Witch Child.

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Looking back, teenage reading


I have been meaning to write this post for a while but I seem to be so busy recently I’ve barely had time to even think about it! If it were a few weeks ago I would have written it at the boyfriend’s house but his computer is broken so I left it.

Anyway on topic. Reading and reviewing Million Dollar Mates the other week got me thinking about the books I read when I was a teenager. I mentioned a little in my review about the other books by the author of Million Dollar Mates, Cathy Hopkins, but really the main reason I liked them at the time was that the main character was called Lucy. I do remember quite vividly a scene with an inflatable bra in one of the stories, but I remember little else about them.

Of course most regular readers of my blog will know about my Harry Potter obsession, and that was a big part of my time as a teenager, but I don’t want to talk about that I want to talk about the books aimed at teenagers which I still remember now.

 

Image from Goodreads

Jacqueline Wilson’s ‘Girls’ series

Jacqueline Wilson was my favourite author for a while while I was in Primary school (about aged 9/10) and I read all her books that were out then. I even remember writing to her and getting a lovely handwritten letter in return. I loved Jacqueline Wilson before it was the norm. The first Girls book, Girls in Love was release in paperback my first year in secondary school (11/12) and seemed a bit more mature for me to read as a teenager. I enjoyed it enough to buy the next, Girls Under Pressure, in hardback (which I rarely buy). And I remember liking Girls Out Late best. By the time Girls in Tears came out I had started reading more adult fiction (I think it was the chick-lit years) but my little sister was reading Jacqueline Wilson and she bought it. I couldn’t quite resist finding out what had happened with my 3 favourite girls, although I remember little of the story now. I must admit there is still a small part of my that wants to be Nadine, but I’m certainly more of an Ellie, and happy with that!

 

 

 

Linda Newberry’s Shouting Wind Trilogy

Image from Goodreads

 

 

This series of books were my favourite for years and years. The first book, The Shouting Wind follows a young woman during the second world war. Kay joins the WAAF and most of the book is focussed around what it was like to be a WAAF girl, although ultimately the book is a coming of age story. The next book, The Cliff Path, follows Abigail, Kay’s daughter and the story of her running away from home with her boyfriend. The third and final book, A Fear of Heights, follows Abigail’s daughter Tamsin as she leaves for university. The trilogy is basically a coming of age tale which follows three generations of the same family, while still keeping up with the generations from previous books. My favourite has always been The Shouting Wind, which is a fantastic story set around WW2, which was the main reason I picked it up. Unfortunately the series now seem to be out of print, it’s a real shame as I never had my own copies (I borrowed them from the library) and would love to own them. I read quite a few other Linda Newberry novels after these but never found anything quite as good, although her adult novel Set in Stone is well worth a read.

Image from goodreads

Ann Brashares’ Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series

How much did I love the girls in these series. They seemed to be so much that I was and so much I wanted to be all at the same time. As far as teenage issues these are probably a bit less believable than the Girls series, but that’s ok. I enjoyed all the different issues I could get my teeth into. I remember especially liking Tibby, although it probably helped that her storyline was the most moving. This is another series I finished off when I was too old for it and my sister was reading it which got me wondering. I’ve never seen the film but I would be interested in seeing how the adaptation goes.

 

Image from Amazon

Anything by Paula Danziger or Judy Blume

Image from goodreads

 

Need I say more? Both genii when it comes to teenage fiction. Every possible teenage issue covered. When it came to Judy Blume I started off with the Fudge series (which was made into a TV series when I was a child which I loved). I remember especially loving Deenie because there was so much that spoke to me personally, and Tiger Eyes was the first book made me cry. As for Paula Danziger I loved her books with Anne M. Martin, P.S Longer Letter Later and Snail Mail No More. I remember being disappointed when I found out that Anne M. Martin was the author of The Babysitter’s Club which I couldn’t imagine reading at all.I also remember really liking The Pistachio Prescription and It’s an Aardvark Eat Turtle World

While writing this I found out Paula Danziger died in 2004. I don’t know how this passed me by for so long. Can honestly say I am shocked. What a sad loss.

 

Image from Goodreads

Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicolson Series

These books are what I imagined life as a teenager should be (but mine wasn’t). There was a certain element of me living vicariously by reading them. I must admit Georgia could be very annoying, but I also found the books hilarious so I put up with it. I think these are still being written, at the very least lots of them have come out since I stopped reading them, and even since my sister stopped. One of my overuling memories of this book is talking about ‘It’s okay I’m Wearing Really Big Knickers’ with my best friend and laughing when my Mum came in just as we were saying the title. I’ve never seen the film of this one either but I hear it’s not a good adaptation.

Peter Dickinson’s Eva

Image from amazon

When I talk about my love of books that make me think I always mention this one. It’s the first book I can remember that really made me think. Absolutely fantastic book I would recommend to anyone. When Eva is involved in a horrific accident she is saved by having her brain transplanted into a chimp’s body. Inside Eva is the same but outside is completely different. This novel challenges views on animal rights, and scientific progress. How far would anyone go to save the life of a person they love? I can only find a copy of this on The Book Depository so am unsure if it is still in print or not.

 

Special mentions go to The Teenage Worrier Books, Speak, The Point Teen Books (which I can’t find any information on but I read lots of).

 

Where possible the editions I read have been used as images in this post. The books may be avaliable with different covers.

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