Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish
With so many incredible books coming out each month it becomes very difficult to keep up and go back and re-visit old favourites, so this week the Top Ten was particularly welcome! It was so wonderful to go back and look at some of my favourite books from when I was growing up - some from right back when I was tiny, and others from when I was a little older.
I recently re-read The Song of the Lioness Quartet (and loved it just as much if not more than when I first read it.) However I now want to go back and re-read all of the Tamora Pierce books I own and love. The Circle of Magic Quartet, The Circle Opens Quartet & The Immortals Quartet, not to mention the Beka Cooper books which I still haven't caught up on fully yet. These books introduced me to a lot of the elements that I love in books and they really shaped the type of books I love to read now - feisty heroines, magic, fantasy lands, love, politics & gods.
The Drina Series by Jean Estoril.
These books were a huge part of my Mum's love of books and that was passed down to my sisters and to me. Drina is wonderful and these books really kicked off my desire to travel. Every book features Drina visiting new places, making friends, working hard to achieve her dreams and dancing. I loved that Drina actually works for the things she wants, she doesn't just have everything handed to her. She has set backs and upsets, and she always works tirelessly to achieve her dreams. First publised in the 1950s, these books have aged incredibly well and are still as wonderful and relevant today as they were then. Definitely a series I want to go back and revisit.
Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling.
These books were a huge part of my childhood/teen years. I was one of the lucky generation who grew up with Harry. We started life as scrawny kids and grew up together and it felt like I had three friends in these books. I love going back to them, but I can't ever just read one, I have to do a whole re-read so it requires some time blocked out to make my way through all seven years, numerous adventures, tears, chocolate frogs and lessons. It is always worth it though, and I love knowing that Hogwarts will always be there to welcome me home.
Haffertee Hamster by Janet & John Perkins.
A toy hamster that is real, what more could you want?! I loved hamsters as a child (I had many of them over the years) but the idea of a toy that was real really tipped this one into classic favourite territory. Following the adventures of Haffertee Hamster and his family, the Diamond Family, he gets into all sorts of mischief and learns all sorts in the process. I first came across him in Haffertee Hamster's first Christmas, and never looked back. Perfect for very young children and the adults reading to them, I adore Haffertee and cannot wait to share him with my kids.
Olga Da Polga by Michael Bond.
Are you sensing a theme with the animals yet? Along with hamsters I also loved guinea pigs (we had a lot of them growing up too...) and Olga was a truly fabulous guinea pig. The perfectly ordinary turns into exciting adventures with Olga who gets into scrapes galore and has an amazing attitude to match. She is a bit of a drama queen and has a whole host of friends in her new home outside the pet shop. Another one that is perfect for young readers,
Sophie's Adventures by Dick King Smith.
Sophie is incredible. Another heroine who shaped my thoughts of the world and what you could do and be when I was very young. Sophie wants to grow up and be a lady farmer (she'd rather it be her own farm, but if she has to marry a boy for his farm then so be it...) and is going to let nothing stand in her way. A lover of animals she has a shed full of them, progressing from snails to cats and finally to ponies. Sophie is stubborn and determined and plucky and I loved her. Then and now. She is another one that I cannot wait to pull out again and revisit.
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans.
This one sneaks across both books and TV, because the animated cartoon of Madeline was another foundation of my childhood. Madeline is amazing. Small, red headed, living in a boarding school with eleven other little girls and a nun in the heart of Paris, my love for her knows no bounds. As with all little girls her age she is forever getting into scrapes and uncovering terrible plots, but never fear, all will come right in the end and each story will end with twelve little girls tucked up in their beds. All in rhyme, and the TV show narrated by Christopher Plumber, Madeline's stories are fantastic. Be warned though, ignore the later live action film, it is terrible and loses the spirit of Madeline along the way. Stick with the books and animated show!
The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson.
I can't even with this one. So many memories and such an adorable and wonderful book, it takes me right back until I am five and reading it for the first time. I love this one. Always have, always will. I love the other books by Jill Tomlinson - notably the Otter who wanted to Know, but nothing will ever quite compare to the Owl who was Afraid of the Dark. I hated the dark as a child so this one really stuck with me, and I loved seeing all the things that night was good for, that made night special and un-scary. And Plop, what a wonderful and determined Owl, even when he is terrified, he wanted to learn and understand his fear, and I loved him for it.
The Forestwife Trilogy by Theresa Tomlinson.
This was my first introduction to the world of Robin Hood re-tellings, and I haven't looked back since. It opened up a whole world of stories, from Robin Mckinley to A. C. Gaughen - all of them different but all of them linked back to this one legend. I loved Mary's story, the fresh spin it put on the tale and the little insights and details it provided. Mary is another strong heroine who isn't afraid to fight for the home and man she loves, and she helped add to the base of strong female characters I grew up loving - definitely an important thing for a girl growing up and learning about the world.
This series will forever be linked in my mind with another of Tomlinson's books 'The Moon Riders' because I read them at the same time and loved them.
Mort by Terry Pratchett.
I haven't read nearly enough Pratchett, and in light of the recent news I am being spurred to go back to old favourites and pick up ones I haven't yet read. However my love of Pratchett can be traced back to the first book I read, Mort. It was unlike anything I had ever read before - funny, biting, serious and full of incredible characters. I think the first Pratchett you pick up helps to define your favourite characters and that is definitely true for me - Death will always be my favourite. Whilst I will love others, Death will always hold a very special place in my heart, and I treasure this copy because Pratchett himself signed it and asked me if I liked being a Rosy. I told him that so far it was quite nice, but I hadn't been one for a hugely long time so I would let him know.
So there you have it! My top ten childhood favourites that I would love to revisit. It's been amazing going back through books that I haven't seen or thought of in so long, and I can't wait to re-read them once more. What about you? What childhood books are you desperate to go back to? Tell me in the comments below!