What Were Your Favourite Childhood Reads?

I recently finished reading The Secret Garden, by Francis Hodgson Burnett, to my nine year old daughter.  Although she loves to read by herself, we still enjoy books together.  In fact, my daughter is a bit of a book worm, but she hasn’t always been like this.  In the early days of learning to read she struggled to the point where it didn’t interest her in the slightest. Reading-to-DaughterWhen my daughter started school, the first books she brought home were picture books i.e. no words; the idea being for the child to tell the story themselves by looking at the illustrations.  It was a real struggle for me to get my daughter to sit down and go through these books; they didn’t inspire her and she wasn’t interested in even trying. Looking back I think it was quite hard at the time to sit down and spend a quiet few moments going through the books.  I had a newborn and a two year old to deal with, so there was plenty to keep me occupied and the only time we had to sit down together was at bed time.  That was always too late; tiredness would only make her worse and we used to end up falling out. At the end of reception year, my daughter had still not grasped the concept and she almost had to start again in year one.  I blamed the reading scheme, as a lot of the books that were included at each level were factual and not aimed at girls.  I remember one book where we had to read about pipes underground; everything from water mains to electricity cables and telephone lines.  I challenge anyone to find that interesting. The one thing I did cling to was the fact that my daughter enjoyed being read to more than learning to read alone.  And a chance discovery of all my old books in my mum’s attic gave me an idea; we started to do our own reading.  I wanted to read my daughter some of the stories that had inspired me; stories that had such an impact on me that I can still remember them to this day. It has been fantastic to re-read some of my old favourites, and to see my daughter enjoying them too is even better.  And it has definitely had the desired effect; inspiring her and encouraging her to find books of her own that she can enjoy.  Now I have to regularly go up to her at bedtime to remind her that it’s ‘lights out’ and there is always a complaint: ‘Oh! Can’t I just finish this chapter?’ So although I don’t technically need to read to my daughter anymore, both of us have enjoyed the experience so much that we continue to do it.  Now we’ve moved on to Little Women.  I felt teary at the end of The Secret Garden, so goodness knows how I’ll cope with this one! These are some of the other books that we have enjoyed: Heidi – Johanna Spyri Beezus and Ramona/Ramona the Pest – Beverly Cleary The Enchanted Wood/The Folk of the Faraway Tree – Enid Blyton The Wishing Chair – Enid Blyton My Naughty Little Sister series – Dorothy Edwards Gobolino the Witches Cat – Ursula Moray Williams Little Old Mrs Pepperpot – Alf Proysen James and the Giant Peach – Roald Dhal Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dhal Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing/Superfudge – Judy Blume What Katy Did – Susan Coolidge Anne of Green Gables – Lucy Maud Montgomery Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder   What were your favorite books as a child?

Nicola Young

Nicola Young is a freelance copywriter, with experience in all aspects of commercial writing, including articles, newsletters, press releases and web content. She also writes young adult and children's fiction and regularly blogs about her own family life.

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Comments

  1. says

    Growing up, my two best friends and I read the Little House series over and over. One summer we had a contest to see who could read the entire series the most times. Too fun. I still have my worn out books and love them dearly.

    My grandmother also gave me an anthology of fairy tales. On cold days, I’d find a patch of sun and curl up to read. I just loved escaping into other times and fantasy lands. Some of my favorite memories ever!

  2. says

    I read the entire Little House series to my kids when they were younger. Some of our fondest memories as a family is sitting by a crackling fire, snuggled in blankets and reading Little House. (BTW, it took us 5 years to read all the Little House books…lol)

    • says

      Some of the language is hard and does need explaining. But the books are also an account of what life was like at the time, which is interesting in itself.

  3. says

    What great books! I’ve always heard that if you don’t like wine it is because you haven’t found the one you like yet. It must be that way with books too! I used to love Ramona – I read them all.

    • says

      I had a great library in my town and I was lucky that my mum took me there regularly. We never bought new books. The ones I had saved were ancient copies that had been given to me or bought second hand. The covers don’t look appealing but they haven’t put my daughter off reading them. If anything, they’ve intrigued her even more.

  4. says

    I had no patience to do the books when my kids were small they never sat still and I would tell them to sit so many times I gave up but I love Anne of Green Gables I have all of the movies

  5. says

    That’s so great that you still read to your daughter, even when she can read herself. I recently found some old books in a closet from when I was little and I’ve enjoyed reading them to my 4-year-old. I loved “Baby Dear” by Eloise Wilkins and “A Day at Playgroup.”

  6. says

    In grade school, I loved the Black Stallion series by Walter Farley. Encyclopedia Brown was another favorite, as well as Nancy Drew. I read a lot back then. LOL!
    Hugs,
    Pepper (this comment was from my human)

  7. says

    Oh I remember Beezus and Ramona! I also loved reading Nancy Drew Mysteries and pretty much anything by Judy Blume. I also loved to read Hans Cristian Andersen compilations.

  8. says

    Love children’s books. My favorites that I couldn’t tear myself away from – Anne of Green Gables series, Little House on the Prairie series, & Island of the Blue Dolphin

    • says

      We haven’t read Nancy Drew. I wonder if it has stood the test of time? It’s amazing that Anne of Green Gables has, even though it was set such a long time ago. My best friend and I used to watch the tv adaptation over and over. We were in love with Gilbert!

  9. Katherine says

    Oh gosh, this is hard. When I really started reading it was Sweet Valley High and Babysitters club, before that I don’t remember.

  10. Shauna says

    That is so funny because one of my fondest memories of being with my mom was reading The Secret Garden together. I would read a page and she would read a page and I loved that time together. Once I really started reading on my own, I was a Judy Blume girl!!!

  11. says

    I loves the Ramona series when I was between 8-10 years old! And the Fudge books. I need to find some of those old books for my kids, thanks for the reminder! They have tons of their own books but none of the books I enjoyed as a kid.

  12. says

    I had sooo many favorites back then–as I got a bit older I loved the Nancy Drew series as well as many of the above that you mentioned! Lights out? What is that?

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