Memories…. books I read as a child

Last Sunday night after finishing up a family dinner at my parents’ home I was handed a pile of books from my mum. What are these, I wondered. My face instantly lit up when I saw the titles I was holding in my hand. There were Roald Dahl collectors Charlie and the Chocoloate Factory, The Witches and James and the Giant Peach along with classics Oliver Twist, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and my all time favourite Little Women!

These were the books I read as a child and begged my mum to hold onto when she was cleaning out the bookshelf and rearranging the living room. I loved to read as a kid and would often visit the second-hand bookstore to swap and buy books.

Along the way I collected the entire series of The Baby-sitters Club and Sweet Valley High, which later in my teens I made a mighty profit on at a garage sale when it was time to let them go.

So the titles in my hand had made it through my childhood, adolescence and adulthood as I went through various reading phases as well as swapping and selling my books along the way. Now at age 25, I delighted over these books with the worn covers, discoloured pages and my name written in shocking handwriting on the title page of each book. One book was dated back when I was in the third grade- eighteen years ago!

These are the books I will pass on to my own children one day and I hope to collect more of the titles I loved as a kid so that they can enjoy them too.

What books got you through your childhood and early adolescence?


  • I loved the books of Louisa May Alcott and who can forget What Katy Did and the Ann books, not to mention Water Babies and the books about the twins of different coutnries. Being a Tomboy (haha) I also loved the Biggles series and would give anything to have those books in my home today to pass on to my grandsons. These were where I ‘buried’ myself in a land of imagination and fantasy that helped me geographically. After all, I had to find out where Green Gables was, and where Biggle operated and where were the a Little Women? But a good, heartwarming undateable book is the Australian Cuddlepot and Snugglepie works. Sigh

  • I’m not much older than you, so our childhood books overlap.

    I love love loved Enid Blyton, but when I revisit them now (after having read her biography) I can’t help but see a rather old-fashioned, cloistered, Anglocentric view of the world. I guess that makes me one of the people who was glad to see The Famous Five updated. (Though I haven’t actually read any of the updated versions yet, so I hope they’ve been done well.)

    As an adolescent I loved the books of Judy Blume. Unfortunately, I think modern YA fiction might’ve taken a step backwards in regards to female empowerment and all that. Or perhaps I’m just not reading the right stuff.

  • Stace, i too loved the Judy Blume books and I am also a John Marsden fan- he definitely writes for female empowerment. Just take the Tomorrow series for instance, Ellie is such a strong character.
    Just stopped by your site, it looks really interesting so i am following on Twitter. Thanks for commenting

  • Ah yes, John Marsden. I agree, Marsden’s girls are great. Interesting that a large proportion of the best YA fiction for teenage girls happens to be written by male authors.

    Or again, perhaps I’m imagining this.

  • I was also a fan of Roald Dahl’s books and also Enid Blyton and the Nancy Drew series to name a few. Like you I was an avid reader as a child. I adored the opportunity to immerse myself in a different and magical world where I was an integral part of the excitement and adventure.

    I wrote a blog post a while back about my favourite children’s books and have added a link back to your article.

    • Thanks Wealie for stopping by and cross posting links. I see on your post you mention Narnia and the Wind in the Willows- I too loved these wonderful children’s stories. Even now as an adult, I enjoy being taken away with a book to a magical place! I also have just borrowed the first 3 Narnia dvd’s from my mum just to reminisce!

  • I happened upon your blog via Seeded Buzz and really like the topic favorite childhood books. My alltime favorite is The Doll of Lilac Valley…I must have read it 100 times. Well, see you on the Seeded Buzz. Thank you. Kerry Daley, songbirdgold on Twitter.

    • Thanks Kerry, its always nice to reminisce on our childhood loves. I haven’t heard of that title actually so I will have to look into it. Thanks for popping over from seeded buzz, I’ll pop over to yours soon

  • Just loved Roald Dahl and Enid Blighton. I also loved the book: Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. I still have that one. (Teehee. Now I write my own. LOL)

    Great post, Jayne.

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