It would seem that I’m entirely unable to actually stick to the topic for Top Ten Tuesday. Not only this week have I given up the pretence of racking my brains trying to think of appropriate books, but I’ve flat out created by own list to make. Because what fun are rules if you actually follow them. So, if you have kids or other miniature humans that you’re acquainted with I shall say YOU ARE WELCOME in advance, because I’m about to sort out Christmas for you.
This week’s theme is:
Top Ten Books I Read When I Was Younger
I feel like I read quite a few little gems when I was a child. I used to make fortresses with my brother in the summer holidays and read and read and read. Despite not being a big reader (slash, hated reading) I did enjoy tucking into some easy books in a pillow fort – because there’s just something magical about forts made out of pillows. In fact I might go and make one now . . .
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over @ The Broke and the Bookish and each week there’s a different theme that we get to make a list about featuring ten related books. It’s so much fun and the topics are always great! It’s also a fabulous way to learn more about people’s reading adventures and I recommend heading over to the official page to do some exploring through the link up.
by Cornelia Funke
Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can “read” fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service.
Characters from books literally leap off the page in this engrossing fantasy. Meggie has had her father to herself since her mother went away when she was young. Mo taught her to read when she was five, and the two share a mutual love of books. He can “read” characters out of books. When she was three, he read aloud from a book called Inkheart and released characters into the real world. At the same time, Meggie’s mother disappeared into the story.
I adored this book. Admittedly, I never finished the series and this has been a bugbear of mine for so long. I’m hoping that THIS summer holidays I’ll be able to clear it off my list and finally finish the silly series. This was just so magical and you’re going to see quite few Funke books on this list.
// GOODREADS //
The Dragon Rider
by Cornelia Funke
With lonely Ben aboard, brave dragon Firedrake seeks mythical place where silver dragons can live in peace. Over moonlit lands and sparkling seas, they meet fantastic creatures, summon up surprising courage – and cross a ruthless villain with an ancient grudge determined to end their quest. Only a secret destiny can save the dragons and bring them the true meaning of home.
It’s funny, making this list, because there are so many books I can point at and go, yup, I loved that. But I could not tell you off the top of my head what this is actually about. But it has “dragon” in the title AND a dragon on the cover, clearly I have Funke to thank for my scary obsession with dragon in literature.
// GOODREADS //
The Everyday Witch
by Sandra Forrester
Beatrice Bailey is tall, skinny, and about to turn twelve years old. On that birthday she will get her official classification as a witch. But will she be named an ordinary Everyday Witch or a specially empowered Classical Witch?
When the big day arrives, the Witches’ Executive Committee can’t decide how to classify her. At last, they agree that her Maximum Magic Level must be tested, and to pass the test she must break a spell that has been cast by the evil sorcerer, Dally Rumpe. Thus begins Beatrice’s series of adventures.
Breaking the spell takes Beatrice and her three best friends to several dangerous realms within the witches’ sphere. In this tale, their main challenge is to get past an enchanted hedge of thorns and a fire-breathing dragon to undo the spell that has cast the land in snow and ice. Author Sandra Forrester promises further bewitching adventures in books to come. In each adventure, Beatrice makes new friends who help her when she goes on to face dangerous new encounters. Here’s a combination of fantasy, whimsy, and high adventure guaranteed to keep young readers turning the pages.
I really, really loved this series. It was the first time I’d ever read a book with the plot set up that someone comes into their magic (etc) once they turn (insert age here). This series is beautiful and perfect and I really want to read it again. I’ve always had a penchant for books that put their characters through progressional trials and reckon it’s because of this series. In each book the characters face new challenges that they have to overcome in order to move forwards. I believe there are also dragons in this one; perhaps my parents sneakily fed me a diet of literary dragons so that I’d grow up to be a knight. That’s got to be it, right?
by Edith Pattou
Rose was born into the world facing north, and as a north child, superstition says that she will be a wanderer, traveling far from home. This prophecy is fulfilled when she is taken on the back of a white bear to a mysterious empty castle, where a silent stranger appears to her night after night. When her curiosity overcomes her, she loses her heart, and must journey to a land east of the sun and west of the moon to reclaim it.
I believe this book has actually been renamed since I read it (yep, I just looked it up and it’s now called “East”, go figure) – and it’s a book I’d really like to read again. It’s a retelling of a fairytale that 9/10 people probably haven’t heard of before – but I’ll just leave you with the fact that there’s a prince stuck in polar bear form? Yep, thought that would do it.
// GOODREADS //
How to Ditch Your Fairy
by Justine Larbalestier
Welcome to New Avalon, where everyone has a personal fairy. Though invisible to the naked eye, a personal fairy — like a specialized good luck charm — is vital to a person’s success. It might determine whether you make a sports team, pass a class, or find that perfect outfit. But for fourteen-year-old Charlie, having a parking fairy is worse than having nothing at all — especially when the school bully carts her around like his private parking pass.
Enter: The Plan. At first, teaming up with her archenemy Fiorenze (who has an all-the-boys-like-you fairy), seems like a great idea. But when Charlie unexpectedly gets her heart’s desire, it isn’t at all how she thought it would be, and she’ll have resort to extraordinary measures to set things right.
This is a book wherein everyone has their own little fairy that gives them some sort of ability. The main character’s fairy is a parking fairy: so she always gets a carpark spot wherever she is. But in what world does a young girl want that sort of fairy? (I mean I would, but I probably would not have whilst at school). She then spends the entire book trying to get rid of it and let me just say, you will wet yourself laughing.
// GOODREADS //
by Morris Gleitzman
Everybody deserves to have something good in their life. At least Once.
Once I escaped from am orphanage to find Mum and Dad.
Once I saved a girl called Zelda from a burning house.
Once I made a Nazi with a toothache laugh.
My name is Felix. This is my story.
This was a magnificent book but I’d DEFINITELY only recommend it to persons 13+ of age. It’s a really good story about a Jewish boy during WWII. I think this book definitely had an impact on me growing up and my interest in history. I will never forget how raptured I was with this story whilst reading it.
// GOODREADS //
The Wolf Wilder
by Katherine Rundell
Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora’s mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans.
When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. What follows is a story of revolution and adventure, about standing up for the things you love and fighting back. And, of course, wolves.
I cannot recommend Rundell enough. I did only read this book (and then several of her others) recently but holy moly this book is insane. It’s written like a fairy tale and set in Russia. The story follows a young girl who’s mother has the job of wilding wolves (as in, the opposite of taming them). When the Russian aristocracy tire of their wolf pets, they’re sent to wolf wilders to be released into the wild again. But things go wrong and just ARGH. Read this book, I don’t care if you’re 2 or 986 years old. You need this in your life.
// GOODREADS //
by Dean Lorey
When Charlie Benjamin sleeps, monsters wake up. It’s hard to fit in when your nightmares open portals to the Netherworld, where horrible creatures live–like the class 3 Netherstalker that invaded a sleepover and tried to eat the other children. Luckily there’s a place for Charlie–the Nightmare Academy.
Built from wrecked ships set in the branches of the world’s most incredible tree fort, the Academy trains people to use their unique gifts to fight the monsters that rush in when the lights go out. But Charlie is far more powerful than anyone ever imagined, and his entrance exam opens a portal straight to the heart of the Netherworld, where ultimate evil plots Earth’s destruction. He’ll need all his cleverness–and the help of his new friends–to save himself and his family and to put these bad boys to bed once and for all. The monsters under your bed are real.
But never fear–the Nightmare Academy will train Nethermancers and Banishers like you to destroy them.
This is another book that I’ve read slightly more recently and it’s fantastic. It’s all about an academy of people who deal with the monsters from people’s nightmares. In this world, the things that go bump in the night are real. AND IT IS EPIC. Perhaps don’t give this to a young child with an over active imagination (but totally go and buy it for yourself). This is such an underrated book and you will fall in love with the set-up of the academy itself.
The Ruins of Gorlan
by John Flanagan
Will is small for his age, but agile and energetic. All his life, he has longed to be a warrior and to follow in the footsteps of the father he never knew, so he is devastated when he is rejected as an apprentice to Castle Redmont’s Battleschool. He’s no happier when he’s assigned instead to the Ranger Corps, the Kingdom’s secret service, as the Rangers are a
mysterious group whose uncanny ability to move about unseen is thought by many to be the result of black magic.
Will begins training under the dour and enigmatic Halt, and reluctantly learns all the fieldcraft and archery he will need to become a fully-fledged Ranger. But Will soon finds himself needing all his new-found skills as he and Halt set off on a desperate mission to prevent the assassination of the King.
If you have somehow gone through your life without touching a Ranger’s Apprentice book, then I implore you to put your life on hold and have a read. It is the most amazing series ever that will speak to your soul. You know you love heroes with bows and arrows, saving the day with ridiculous stealth and fantastic horses – you know you love adventure and sword fighting and EVERYTHING GOOD. Please, please, please: make sure you’ve read this before you die.
// GOODREADS //
The Indian in the Cupboard
by Lynne Banks
At first, Omri is unimpressed with the plastic Indian toy he is given for his birthday. But when he puts it in his old cupboard and turns the key, something extraordinary happens that will change Omri’s life for ever. For Little Bull, the Iroquois Indian brave, comes to life…
It is to this series that I owe the credit of my interest in books. There was nothing more perfect in a story than one about a boy who has a magical cupboard in which is puts his plastic toys; when he locks it, unlocks it, and takes them out, they are alive. It’s an amazing story and perfect in every way. I think I’m definitely due a reread because this is just timeless.
// GOODREADS //
What is your favourite childhood book?
Share your thoughts below!