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April 30, 2013 / ljbradburn-Smith

When I was a young warthog

It might not surprise you that I have pretty much always loved books, it was definitely before I grew hair anyway (which would have been much more impressive if I hadn’t been bald until I was 3 ;-))

So here are my Top 11 (I just couldn’t whittle it down anymore!) favourite books/series growing up.

1. Harry Potter by J.K Rowling – I first read the Philosopher’s Stone when I was 13 and have never looked back. They are still my favourite books of all time, in case you didn’t read that properly I said OF ALL TIME. Dedicated I am, sophisticated I am not 😉

2. Malory Towers by Enid Blyton – Boarding school for girls. Even though I really don’t think boarding school would have been for me, this world fascinated me, particularly the lacrosse matches, pranks and the midnight feasts – condensed milk and sardines! yum?

3. The Tulip Touch by Anne Fine – Creepy and memorable. When Natalie moves house she befriends the Tulip, a mysterious and disturbed child. She soon becomes entangled in Tulip’s web of manipulation and finds herself the unwilling half of a dangerous and obsessive friendship. This books challenges our perceptions of both good versus evil and nature versus nurture. Apparently I found this book so interesting that I leant it out as my best friend has just told me that she saw it, after all these years, a few months ago, around her mum’s house.

4. The Mennyms by Slyvia Waugh – I wasn’t ever very in to dolls, when I was younger, my brother played with my Barbies more than I did and he was the one that cried was sad when my mum gave them away (sorry to name and shame Ruaidhri) but even I couldn’t pretend I wasn’t interested in living, life-size dolls who secretly live alongside humans. This book made me look at my neighbours in a whole new light.

5. The Twins at St Clare’s by Enid Blyton – another boarding school book, this time with stuck up twins. Anyone would think that I couldn’t wait to get away from home (which is laughably far from the truth) but I just liked to feel part of the comradery that existed at Blyton’s fictional schools.

6. The Wreck of the Zanzibar by Michael Morpogo – Winner of England’s Whitbread Prize, in 1995, this is a brilliant book that I vividly remember reading on the window seat of a beautiful villa that my family rented in France one year. (Free tip: Morpogo’s alliterative name is also a handy one for the celebrity name game.)

7. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli – The wonderfully unique Stargirl takes her new school by storm. Every girl wants to be her and Leo wants to be with her. She captures the imagination of her peers through her unconventional behaviour and her refusal to be embarrassed for being herself. However, her popularity doesn’t last and she soon becomes disliked for the very things that made her so loved in the first place.

8. The Silver Crown by Robert O’Brien – I adore this book. It is one that I think about at various times in my life, even though I read it years ago now. The book about Ellen who finds a silver crown on her pillow and later returns home to find her family gone ignited my young, vivid imagination and sucked me in to the strange, mysterious journey with a constant threat.

9. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman – Still a favourite, I recently bought them for Ben for Christmas so that I he could reread them. Beautiful, sereal and dark they follow Lyra and her dæmon Pantalaimon to places that are beyond our wildest dreams. Philip Pullman is a true genius!

10. Old Magic by Marianne Curley – Another young teen novel that fed my mystical, magical obsession fascination. The new student at Kate’s school (I have just realised how many books start that way!), Jarrod, fascinates her. She realises long before he does that Jarrod has special powers and must learn to harness them. Magic, teenage love and time travel- Winning!

11. Are you there God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume – Coming of age story – everything a girl needs to know from periods to religion.

p.s in case you hadn’t already guessed from the title I also liked the Lion King rather a lot!



Leave a Comment
  1. SandySays1 / Apr 30 2013 9:14 pm

    A great selection – know 7 of them – but…How about adding Judy’s Journey, The Lion’s Paw, and Tom Sawyer. Each of those tell a youngster a lot about human interaction and realities young humans face.

    • ljbradburn / May 2 2013 12:16 pm

      Thanks 🙂 I am ashamed to say that have only read Tom Sawyer out of those three, looks like i’ve got some reading to catch up on 😉 Thanks for your suggestions 🙂

  2. fallingthroughtheworld / May 1 2013 12:55 pm

    Can’t believe you were still a child when Harry Potter came out – I feel so old 😉 Love the list. Philip Pullman is ace. My childhood fave was Homecoming by Cynthia Voight. It’s a bit dated now but still a wonderful read!

  3. ljbradburn / May 2 2013 12:18 pm

    Thanks very much 🙂 It’s amazing how many books from childhood have really stuck with me when I think about it, I could have gone on and on! I haven’t read that, what was it about? Also can’t believe I have missed out the Narnia books! edit edit edit 😉 x

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