DAY 20: Your Favourite Childhood Book.

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For as long as I can remember I have loved books; I haven’t always been as prolific a reader as I am now, I hit my real stride around the age of 14 when I discovered the beauty of the school library, however, books have still been a constant throughout my life. When I was young my parents read to me, then I upgraded to memorizing every word in a book so it ‘appeared’ that I could read, until eventually I learnt to interpret the scribbles on the page.

Unfortunately I don’t remember the names of authors from the very early stages of my childhood. There was some jam panda book that failed to teach me how to tell the time, a baby polar bear that didn’t know how to swim and a mysterious toy horse that came to life but I don’t remember any of those that well. What I do remember though is my extreme obsession with the author Jacqueline Wilson which probably started around the age of eight.

She has written a ridiculous 106 books throughout her career which I have read at least twenty-six of during my childhood. To the right are the ones I managed to dig out from the back of my bookshelf, I did own more than these but some seem to have miraculously disappeared, maybe there’s the ghost of a book thief hiding around this place, hmm…

Jacqueline Wilson is such a fantastic writer, the popularity of her books and my own obsession with them proves that she knows exactly how to reel in young readers and get them to relate to a character. Looking back, I feel these books were so important because they tackled multiple issues that young children and teens were bound to come across or experience throughout that key time in their lives, situations that adults may have felt uncomfortable discussing in great detail because they were emotional and complex. Things like domestic abuse, eating disorders, divorce, bullying, death, the foster care system and many others I probably can’t remember. I think books are actually the best way to tackle these issues, they give a unique insight into the crazy human thought processes and help people understand they are not alone. I know some parents try to shelter their kids and prevent them from reading books like Wilson’s because they are worried, but honestly they can be such a positive influence.

My favourite of all Jacqueline Wilson’s books was Lola IMG_6512Rose. It followed the young protagonist Jayni. She longed to be beautiful like her model mum and rock star father but had to make do with her mousy brown hair and partiality to chocolate. Then her mum wins the lottery and things change; her mother finally summons the bravery to sneak away from the toxic household and rents a new apartment determined that from now on life will be different. They even pick new names and Jayni chooses the far more grown up and glamorous ‘Lola Rose’. But it isn’t long before all the same issues start catching up with them, and not all problems can be fixed with money.

I must have read this book at least five or six times when I was younger, it was definitely a favourite and I still remember the story so well! Something about the mixture of characters and themes must have caught my attention in a way the others didn’t and I think the writing is good enough that I would still love it now as a nearly adult. 🙂 Here’s to you Jacqueline Wilson’s for being one of the first authors to make me fall in love with reading!

~ * ~

What is your favourite childhood book? Did you ever have a favourite author when you were growing up? 🙂

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38 thoughts on “DAY 20: Your Favourite Childhood Book.

  1. This is a great blog, Becky! I love that you almost always take pictures of your own copies of books – it adds such a personal feel to the stories/opinions you relate in your blogs. I’ve never heard of Jacqueline Wilson! Maybe she was a British sensation? or then again, I am older than you – oh no, my age is revealing itself again! D: lol The description for Lola Rose sounds like a great book for kids – maybe one I might even read nowadays! I think you’re right, too – books like this are the best ways to approach adult topics and situations with kids. I like to think that if I ever become a mom (or a mum! XD ) I won’t ever shelter my kids from books. Now, sheltering them from MTV and the likes of Jersey Shore on the other hand… *cringe*
    Great post, Becky! 😀

    • Awwhh, thank you! So excited that you think it’s cool I do that because it’s quite time consuming, although a lot of fun. I like to use my own images where ever I can except for on book reviews because I stock image looks more professional I think. 🙂

      I think she was most popular here like you’ve said, I’ve spoken to at least one other American who had never heard of her either! The best way to describe her is she is basically our equivalent to Judy Blume in terms of popularity and the age group her books are aimed at etc.
      Hahaaa, there is nothing wrong with your age silly! It just means your wiser than me. 😉
      When I started this post I reread the first chapter of Lola Rose out of curiosity and I have to say, it still grabbed my attention and I felt like I wanted to carry on reading it, so I don’t think age will affect my opinion of it!

      Thanks for agreeing, I do think these kind of books are so important, not just because parents don’t necessarily discuss the issues, but that children are probably less likely to listen to the issues if they come out of their parents mouths than if they’ve sought them out themselves. 🙂

  2. Aaah… Jacqueline Wilson. I remember that book phase. I don’t think I ever owned more than two of her books because they were always in the library and so I would go in every week to get more of her books. I think my favourites were Sleepovers and Candyfloss 🙂 Daisy hair clips and chip buttties 🙂

    • Hehee, good times right? 🙂 I used to own more than those in the picture but I’m not sure where they went! I also borrowed a few from friends and a ton from the library, I think I was a tad obsessed. 😛 Ahhh the library is such a great and useful place. I bet they probably had three copies of each of her books at most because she was so popular.
      I loved sleepovers!!! I don’t remember it that well…other than I think they camped out in a garden for one of them… but I do remember loving it. I think it might have been one of the first ones I read actually. 🙂

  3. Oh so many favourite childhood books. When I was really little I had a miniature set of Winnie the Pooh books that were treasured possessions to me :). Then as I got older I loved anything with an adventure or mystery to it, so I devoured all books by Enid Blyton. Her books were awesome!! I was also addicted to the Anne of Green Gables books and the Little House on the Prairie books. I always had my nose in a book and often got into trouble for coming to the dinner table with a book in my hand. Oh, another favourite was Harriet the Spy. Harriet used to carry around a notebook and make notes about all the people around her, trying to figure out what they were up to. So, I started to do the same thing – the beginnings of people watching LOL!! Of course, I also went through the standard Judy Bloom stage.

    When my kids were born I started reading to them right away, and my favourite series to read to them when they were little was the Magic Treehouse series! Seriously, I could go back and read them again – they were wonderful :).

    Ok, I could go on forever on this topic, but I will shut up now LOL.

    • Oooh every child needs a bit of Winnie the Pooh! I had a couple of them, one was really old fashioned. I still have it think, I loved Pooh and all his friends. 🙂
      Ahh Enid Blyton, a popular but excellent choice. I think her work mostly bypassed me because there were a lot of more current books out, I did own a few second hand copies but I don’t think I ever read them, shameful! Ooooh, you have knowledge! I have to know, what is all this stuff about Anne of Green Gables? I’ve heard a lot of people say they love those books since I started blogging but I have no idea what they are! What sort of age group is it aimed at?
      Hehe awhh, same! I would always get told off for reading under the covers when I was supposed to be asleep. 😛
      I had no idea Harriet the Spy started as books! I think I saw a movie which was a lot of fun, but I didn’t realise there were novels too.
      I read one Judy Bloom, although at the time I didn’t even know she was popular, I think it might have been called Tiger Eyes or something? Anyway, she’s not really popular over here, it’s weird because I know she’s well known in America/Canada etc!

      I’ve never heard of the Magic Treehouse, but I like the sound of it, anything tree related is good with me. LOL.

      Hehe, it’s great that you could go on for ages! 😀 I wish I could remember more of my childhood books…

      • It’s so funny – I always assume that everyone has read Anne of Green Gables, but then I remember that it is Canadian, so that’s why I know it so well. Every girl should read Anne of Green Gables and Little House on the Prairie sometime in their life. They are so wonderfully heartwarming :). I could read them again now even though they are children’s books. In fact, maybe I will! As for Harriet the Spy, it’s awesome!! I will never forget that book.

        Now, you being a lover of fantasy would have been totally addicted to the Magic Treehouse series if they had been given to you as a child. Here is how they are described on Amazon:

        “Jack and his little sister Annie are just two regular kids from Frog Creek, Pennsylvania. Then they discover a mysterious tree house packed with all sorts of books…and their lives are never the same! Soon they are traveling through time and space in the magic tree house and having amazing adventures. Whether it’s watching baby dinosaurs hatch, finding a secret passage in a castle, helping a ghost queen in an Egyptian pyramid, or finding pirate treasure, readers won’t want to miss a single story!”

        This was my favourite series to read to my kids :).

      • I’ve heard of Little House on the Prairie at least, it used to be on TV all the time when I was younger. 🙂 That’s the best thing about children’s books I think, no matter how old you get they always feel magical. It’s amazing how the can still appeal even when you’re older.

        Ohhh wow that sounds magical! I love any kind of story where the plot is actually escaping into a book because seriously, what could be better than that?! I would have loved to see dinosaurs, I’ve was obsessed with them when I was younger, and Egypt, so cool. 😀

  4. I don’t know that author! I need to check out one or two so I can know what i am talking about and get them for my nieces 🙂 I reread Superfudge and Fourth Grade Nothing a whole bunch when I was a kid. Good stuff

    • Oooh that would be great! I haven’t met many children that don’t like Jacqueline Wilson, although I think she is much better known here in the UK. 🙂 Hope you and your nieces like them!

      I’ve never heard of either of those, intriguing. 🙂

  5. I’m going much further back into my childhood with this one, but Go, Dog, Go! is probably a book that I remember the most fondly as a kid.

    It was more of a picture book than anything else, but I loved it. A bunch of dogs get into cars and drive to a party in a tree.

    • Hahaa, that sounds pretty rocking! Dogs who can drive AND tree parties? How could you beat that. 🙂

      If you think that book was bad, I had to do this thing where a younger child read her book to me and I helped her read it ages ago and her book consisted of only four sentences!

  6. I used to love getting the trivia books from the school library – how big a T-Rex tooth was, how long it would take to walk to Mars, that kind of stuff. I soaked it all up. I still love trivia even today!

    • Oooh trivia books can be great and you can learn a lot from them too. I would have found that fascinating because I was obsessed with dinosaurs when I was younger. 🙂

      Well no wonder you know so many random facts! 🙂

  7. I was a huge Jacqueline Wilson fan as well although I don’t think I’ve read many of the ones in your picture which shows how prolific she is!! Having said that The Illustrated Mum was possibly my favourite and it was turned into a great TV movie with Michelle Collins, have you seen that?

    I love the range of issues she writes about, it’s so great that there’s someone out there who isn’t afraid to broach these issues with kids and you’re right that books are definitely a great way to deal with it. Rather than giving advice just showing that someone else can make it through their problems is really reassuring, even as an adult!

    • Yay, someone who knows who she is! It must be a UK thing. She is extremely prolific and I believe she’s still writing now. I loved The Illustrated Mum, it was probably in my top ten favourites of hers, I had no idea they made it into a TV movie though!

      Thank you, I’m glad you agree and I think you’ve put it so well. 🙂 I think she has tackled pretty much every issue possible by now, some more than once! I strongly feel that reading about these things can be so reassuring and I think children are probably less likely to listen to the issues if they come out of their parents mouths. Books are sort of a neutral middle ground that can give you great information without feeling preachy.

      • It’s strange, I thought that she was so big here she must be known all over the place but obviously not! they did and it’s definitely worth a watch should you come across it.

        You’re right, who listens to their parents as teen/pre-teens?? Majorly uncool. I’m awed that someone can write books with such serious themes that appeal to children and still manage to be quite light reads. It’s some serious talent that woman has!!

      • So did I! I guess they have Judy Blume instead, she seems to be the American equivalent tackling controversial issues about young children – mostly females. I will be on the lookout. 🙂

        Heheee, she is megga talented and long may it continue!

  8. My favourite childhood book is the same book I gave for your question about comforting reads we return to again and again which is The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien. Although I’m sure I read tonnes of other books as a child this one is the one that really stands out 🙂

    • And what a good novel it is too! 🙂 I love The Hobbit and I think it’s a perfect choice as your favourite childhood book. You obviously had good taste, even as a child. 😉

  9. I’ve never heard of Jaqceuline Wilson before, but I might check out her books now. I lived for going to the public library growing up. Gordon Korman was a favorite when I was younger-he wrote some great books and started writing at 14. He had visited my middle school years before I got there and several of my teachers read his books every year in his honor. His characters were witty and quirky (and according to my teachers, he was a character himself-in a good way of course!)

    • So happy I could introduce you to a new author! I always like feeling as if I have a little bit of knowledge. 😉 She’s definitely worth checking out.
      Awwh that’s so great, I must admit I never utilized the library as much as I should, I went through stages of using it but I always went back to buying book instead.
      I’ve never heard of Gordon Korman, he must be good if he started at 14, that’s excellent! Awhh man, shame you just missed him, I love witty and quirky characters so that sounds fab to me. 😀

  10. I think I’ve only read one or two of Jacqueline Wilson’s books, eek! I’d like to give them a go though, even though I’m not exactly the target audience now. You still can’t beat a well written children’s book.

    • That’s better than none! I got a bit obsessive about the whole thing, I wanted to read every book she had ever written. 😛 I think the awesome thing is that her writing would still be great now even though we’re adults.
      You definitely can’t. 🙂

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  11. Isn’t Jacqueline Wilson really famous or something? Because I recognized the name and the font of her name on the book covers. Maybe I saw her books in the library.
    I read one of your comments about Judy Blume who was very big here when I was in school. I only read some of her books because all my friends were crazy about her. But I thought her books were too ‘girly’. I preferred Roald Dahl and Nancy Drew, 🙂

    • Yepp, she’s very famous – here at least. Oddly I’ve noticed a lot of people in America don’t know who she is, so I guess she’s only well known in some places? But yes it is quite likely that you found her in the library, she’s certainly in them a lot here!
      Yeah, I’ve only read one of her books and I must admit I didn’t find anything remotely grabbing about it, but maybe I was unlucky. Hehee, I can imagine your teen self crinkling her nose up and saying there are no ghouls, creatures of the night or Gothic imagery in this, hmmph! 😀
      You’ll probably be surprised to hear I’ve never read a Roald Dahl book!

      • Aaah, you know me too well! That’s most probably what I thought. 😀

        If there’s one book that stood out for me when I was young it was ‘Matilda’. I would love to read it again from an adult perspective. 🙂

  12. I loved Jacqueline Wilson as a kid too, couldn’t have said it better myself about the host of issues it tackles. I read all the girls in love books but the one of hers that always sticks in my mind is Vicky Angel, about a girl who’s best friend is ran over and killed. I got given a signed one, one xmas and i’m really glad because I probably would never have read it otherwise! I think that was really good in helping younger readers to understand about that sort of thing and how to deal with it, without it being too morbid. Did you ever read that one?

    • Thank you. 🙂 Ahhh yes, I loved Vicky Angel, I would have to say that was probably my second favourite, I reread that one quite a few times too! Even one of the friends I had at that time loved Vicky Angel and she normally hated reading! I think it was such a true depiction of some childhood relationships and how they can become toxic. Wow I would LOVE a signed one, you lucky bookworm! You’re right, it was a great way of tackling death with young readers too.

      Thanks for reading and commenting Sophie!

  13. No worries 🙂 I think that shows how good the books/authors are if they can engage people who don’t like reading. I was a bit like that with my sister-in-law, apparently she never used to read and I introduced her to Twilight and Vampire Diaries and now she’s read more books than me! Yeah I agree 🙂

    Always a pleasure Becky!

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