I’ve always loved reading, and while I was rearranging my bookcase I found quite a few books I read when I was younger and forgot how much I loved. So this was going to be a simple post about books I read when I was little when I thought about some that I read when I was 13/14 as well that I thought deserved a bit of a mention.
So here’s a mixture of all of my favourite books from years ago.
The Ottoline Series – Chris Riddell
I’m surprised Chris Riddell’s Ottoline books aren’t actually more well known. I absolutely loved reading Ottoline and The Yellow Cat, and then became addicted to the whole series, so much so that I finally read Ottoline and the Purple Fox last year.
They’re beautifully bound little books, all with a little surprise at the back (postcards, etc.), with entertaining plots and funny characters, all with Chris Riddell’s illustrations and a splash of colour. They are brilliant and they don’t get enough notice as children’s books.
2. Tumtum & Nutmeg – Emily Bearn
The Tumtum & Nutmeg books are so cute. They are little mice who live in a dollhouse and go on adventures together. I’m really tempted to go back and read them again because of how much I used to love them.
They’re all about friendship and family as well as being funny in places. The covers are beautiful as well. They’re definitely something that everyone will love.
3. The Raspberry Rules – Karen McCombie
I can remember reading this one obsessively, over and over, but I can’t remember much about it other than how much I loved it. The Raspberry Rules is the diary of thirteen-year-old Rowan, a ditsy young girl who’s life keeps going wrong.
It’s definitely a brilliant book to read while growing up. As a young teenager I loved this one and found it so relatable, and it isn’t as annoying as most very young YA novels were. Fair enough, it’s very pink and fluffy, but that’s exactly what I was into and I had no issues with it.
4. The Dragonfly Pool – Eva Ibbotson
Remember those little paper book catalogues you would be given at school to order books from? They were the best thing we ever got, in my opinion, and this one was from one of those. It’s a wartime fantasy following Tally’s new life at a boarding school during the war.
My favourite thing about this one was that it’s set in the past but the topics discussed aren’t too far away from what you find in normal children’s/young teen books. It’s definitely not an all happy book, but it finishes with a lovely happy ending which is perfect for a children’s book.
5. Mr Stink – David Walliams
Where do I even start with this one? I absolutely love David Walliams, even now. He’s such a brilliant writer and comedian (I’m addicted to re-watching Little Britain) and is the new Roald Dahl for the next generation.
Schoolgirl Chloe befriends Mr Stink, a sad homeless man who loves in the local park with his dog. As a victim of bullies, Chloe feels sorry for Mr Stink and wants to help him get back on his feet. The book is so funny and heartwarming, it’s genius. I think just about every kid out there has heard of it now and I’m glad because it’s one of the books I think everyone needs to read. It teaches that a little bit of kindness goes a long way.
6. Goodnight Mister Tom – Michelle Magorian
This is another one that almost everyone has either heard of, watched the film, or read. It’s definitely necessary reading for when you’re growing up.
Set in the wartime, Mister Tom takes on a troubled 9-year-old evacuee from London and brings him up as his own. It’s a really sad read, absolutely heartbreaking in places but it’s definitely something for all young people to read to really understand what went off in the war and it’s another one that teaches that kindness goes a long way.
7. My Sister Jodie – Jaqueline Wilson
People who haven’t read this are lucky. Because they didn’t experience heartbreak in a book way too early for them. This is cruel but Jacqueline Wilson’s best book that I read countless times.
Pearl and Jodie are really close sisters, but they are opposites. Jodie, the older of the two is rebellious, while pearl is a quiet bookworm (relatable). They move to a boarding school where their parents have got new jobs, and get to discover all of the hidden nooks and crannies that no one else knows about. It’s a really entertaining book that takes on friendships and big changes. And it’s definitely not reserved for just young kids.
8. Matilda – Roald Dahl
I still love Matilda, and I don’t know any bookworm who doesn’t. She’s the leader of all bookworms out there, and one of my absolute favourite characters.
If you don’t know, Matilda Wormwood is the daughter of two ungrateful parents who can’t see how intelligent she is. She loves books and taught herself to read, practically bringing herself up. It’s a book that makes sure bookworms don’t feel alone in the world, which is the encouragement every young bookworm needs to keep reading.
9. Skellig – David Almond
I studied this one in secondary school, and I had to enjoy it in secret because everyone I knew hated it with a passion.
Michael has recently moved, and the shed in the new house hides a strange creature. It’s an old man who has wings like an angel. He looks after this man, trying to get him better, while fighting his own battles as well. It’s quite similar to Mr Stink with how it focuses on kindness and helping others despite your own needs. I really hope this one is still on the curriculum because it’s such a good read.
10. Kensuke’s Kingdom – Michael Morpurgo
This is another one that I did in school, and I can remember how much fun it was to study. I did it at the end of primary school going into secondary school, and it was fascinating.
Michael travels with his parents around the world, but at one point he loses them. An old Japanese man helps him survive on an island he’s ended up on, and teaches him everything he knows. This is the ultimate adventure book written for kids, and it involves some of the most imaginative writing from this whole list.
What were your favourite books when you were younger? Let me know in the comments!