Forgotten Children’s Books

I decided to take on a simple young adult book challenge for 2008 – read more about that on my other blog later- but it got me thinking about books that I read as a child in particular.  I read everything I could get my hands on, from Enid Blyton to Charles Dickens to Jean Plaidy to Roald Dahl.  I had no boundaries, not a whole lot else to do and an advanced reading age so I got through a LOT of books. 

I owned a lot of books, mostly second hands but people often gave me a lend of books not to mention the books I got from the public library and the school library.  Two of my greatest “book lenders” were my grandmother and an extremely nice elderly man that my mother worked for as a home help.  His books were infinitely random and diverse whereas my nanny always had a huge supply of Catherine Cookson books that she liked giving me to read.  The one book she had that she wouldn’t allow me to read was Flowers in the Attic.  That was her only “censor”.  I used to sneak quick looks at it whenever I had to go into her room for anything 🙂

 I read a lot of books about the environment and nature, books written from an animal’s point of view and a lot of books by Irish authors for example, Tom McCaughren wrote some amazing books about foxes that were some of my absolute favourites – I remember his name because my ma brought me to a book show to see him and get his autograph, I’m not really an autograph person so the memory stuck.  Don Conroy has some good books about owls Marisa Conlon McKenna had the Under the Hawthorn Tree series that were incredibly popular.  The Ruby Ring (?) and The Connemara Pony (?) were also two books that stand out for me.  I loved horse books, there was one about a girl called Ginny and an Arabian Stallion that I read over and over again yet I can’t remember the stupid name, grr!  That wasn’t Irish but I have a feeling it was set in Scotland.  If you want to read an interesting book about Ireland, Eamon McThomais wrote some brilliant books about his life.  I know I’m spelling his name wrong now…

My book collection was thrown away as a punishment when I was younger so a lot of my old favourites have been long forgotten – although my search for twelve young adult books has sprung up a lot of memories.  Unfortunately, I’m notoriously bad with names so although I may have bits and pieces of the stories in my head, it’s not much use without the name!

I got a lot of joy and entertainment out of reading when I was young and I would love to share that with my own children so I have sort of made an agreement with myself to look out for the children’s books that I have forgotten over the years and make an effort to return them to my home.  Actually, strangely enough, a couple of months ago, my ma got a lot of old books from a sale of work and gave them to me – one of them was a book that I owned years ago, had forgotten the name of  and recently thought about because I wanted to read it again.  Freaky!

 I’d love to find all of the books I used to own – impossible I know.  Is there anything you read as a child that made such an impression on you, you would love to read it again even now?


10 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Wow, I can’t imagine someone throwing away books as punishment, your story reminds me of Matilda!
    I was a pretty advanced reader as a child as well, and still am I suppose. My all time favorite children’s authors are Dahl and Shel Silverstein, but I have fond memories of reading Anne of Green Gables for a book report project in elementary school. A Canadian Classic.
    Have you read any of Dahl’s short stories? Maybe not suitable for a child, but certainly enjoyable now that I’m in my ‘grown-up’ stage.
    Did you ever get to read Flowers in the Attic? I’ve been meaning to pick it up.

  2. 2

    wpm1955 said,

    I loved Harriet the Spy (and share the movie with my kids at school every year). I also loved Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (but was extremely disappointed by the movie).

    Best regards,

  3. 3

    wpm1955 said,

    I forgot to say, have you seen the kids’ movie, Matilda? Her family are all TV watchers–she reads–it’s one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen in my life.

    I see you are a book lover, like me. I wrote a post on “Exquisite Home Libraries, in Photos,” which you can see (my own favorite being the Professor’s Library):

    Best regards,
    Madame Monet
    Writing, Painting, Music, and Wine (in the Middle East)

  4. 4

    clairec23 said,

    I pretty much totally related to Mathilda, funnily enough 🙂

    Yes on the Roald Dahl short stories, I must look out for those again. No on the Flowers in the Attic – must be a subconscious thing! I will read it at some stage because someone recently told me it was their favourite book and it sort of renewed my interest.

    I vaguely remember Harriet the Spy – another one for the list! I have seen the film Mathilda lots of times now because the book was such a favourite, never gets old 🙂

  5. 5

    Yes! Harriet the Spy! Another classic, I remember keeping a journal just like hers when I was younger.

  6. 6

    clairec23 said,

    I did too come to think of it 🙂 Amazing the things I’ve forgotten!

    Just thinking, I’m pretty sure I read Anne of the Green Gables, was it something about a little girl being adopted by an old woman and her brother? There’s another book I confuse it with, Rebecca of some farm…can’t believe how bad my memory is!

  7. 7

    Hahaha- Living in Canada, we all know Anne of Green Gables, but I guess you were confusing it with Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm? Both have spunky unusual protagonists!

  8. 8

    clairec23 said,

    That’s the one! I didn’t read either of them until last year – they are quite similar in some ways. I never heard of either of those books growing up but I think they will be on my children’s reading lists if I have any influence over them at all 🙂

  9. 9

    kevmoore said,

    Mmm..these are mostly girlie ones right? Early chick-lit!
    When I was a boy I read a book called “The secret of pedlar’s piece”. I cant remember the author’s name, but it was a great adventure story, and I guess it went out of print a million years ago. Now look what you’ve made me do, I’ll be trawling the net for it all night…..

  10. 10

    clairec23 said,

    I’m sure I liked “boys” books too – I just can’t think of any 🙂

    I never thought about books being only for boys or girls (except for the whole Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys thing)

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