Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, it’s Top 10 All-Time-Favourite Books of X Genre! This is going to be my nightmare but to make it a little more bearable, I have decided to list my Top 10 All-Time-Favourite Childhood Books.
These days I am engrossed in the worlds of young adult novels and adult general fiction. As someone who is transitioning between these two milestones, I am much more likely to be walking through these aisles. But, rewind the clock ten years and I’m chasing dragons, flying brooms, falling down rabbitholes. Perhaps, you’ve come across these, too.
Care to reminisce with me?
These books may be a series or a one-off novel (picking from a series just seems even harder) and I picked them, not only because they are the best, but also because they brought back favourable memories of my childhood.
10. Jimmy Coates by Joe Craig
This book series has a special place in my heart. Mainly because I have personay met the author, Joe Craig, during one of his school visits and he’s just an awesome, down-to-earth guy. After friending him on Facebook, my whole class decided to read his first book and though I was adamant that I’m a strictly fantasy genre kind of bookworm, I ended up falling head over heels in love with this particular action/sci-fi series, thus leading to the expansion of my heart to other genres.
Apparently, I was not the only one turned as the rest of the class – even those who are reluctant readers – had all willingly stayed in during Thursday lunchtimes and set up a make-shift book club to finish the series together. After that, we all read our own books but I’m thankful for this book series for bringing our small class together.
9. Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan
I adore Greek mythology. During the last years of primary school, we had studied a lot of ancient civilizations but the one that had the most impact on me had been the Ancient Greeks. Their myths and legends, gods and goddesses, monsters and heroes were the one of the most elaborate stories I had ever heard of. One of the projects we were given was a play about the story of ‘The Golden Apple’: I played Demeter and though incredibly shy, it was the one stage where I felt the most at home because I enjoyed everything to do with the Greek Gods and Goddesses.
This love had led me straight to the library and there my hearts set sights o The Lighting Thief. I thorougky enjoyed the writing, the characters and I loved the portrayal of the gods and goddesses (and their children). I’m even more of a fangirl after watching the movies and I know that many fans may not see it worthy enough but it is one of the book-to-film franchises that I feel did amazingly well in representing the stories of the books.
8. Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean
Don’t get me wrong, I love the original Peter Pan, the Boy by J. M. Barrie. But, there is something about Geraldine McCaughrean’s retelling of the boy who wouldn’t grow up is something else. Whilst I see the original as a beloved fairytale, Peter Pan in Scarlet has taught me the deep and meaningful emotions of growing up, or the desire not to. It also expands of the characters and brings in a whole new dimension with added thoughts and dreams of the, now adult, Lost Boys and results in lessons of what it really means to grow up, let go and a whole lot more life lessons that were made easy to understand through the events of the story.
7. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
I’m a big Tolkien fan; read all the books, watched all the movies. It’s one of the first fantasy worlds that I’ve been exposed to and I love my parents for it. Tolkien’s writing brings the world to life, from the characters, to their adventures and quests – I felt the reality in their stories and I was coming along for the ride. Even though it took me my whole life to even understand the complexities of the world (and there are many more I have yet to understand, Im sure), I’ve been completely immersed in the story and feel as if I am part of that world.
6. Matilda by Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl has created some fantastic novels and I admire most, if not all, of his works. But amongst these brilliant books, Matilda stood out as bright as the sun. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a close second and James and the Giant Peach needs a special mention. But, Matilda has made it to my ALL TIME Favourites because Roald Dahl has brought (at least) one of our superpower fantasies to life: telekinesis. Not only that, but the story of bookworm, intelligent and the bright mind of Matilda, stuck in a family that doesn’t appreciate her, finding power and control in school, friends and finding a mother who can love her, will always make me weep and cry a river.
5. The Power of Five by Anthony Horowitz
From the success of Alex Rider, I had high expectations from Anthony Horowitz and picked up the first book of the series, Raven’s Gate. Not long after, I had gotten myself locked in a room with all of the five books and refused to leave unless it was for food or bathroom breaks. The five gatekeepers were young, powerful, smart and brave, all qualities I admired from fictional characters. The plot was a little darker than what I normally read at the time but it was eye-opening and thrilling. It has also been my favourite group of rag-tag characters ever since and I have yet to find another fictional friendship group that shares the same deep, emotional bond.
4. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
I couldn’t not include the book series that had forced my parents to put as lock on my closet just so I wouldn’t hide and fall asleep inside it. The Chronicles of Narnia was for sure to make it to my all-time-faves as the most epic of all epic sagas. With its colourful cast of characters, both in and outside of the wardrobe, beautiful world of words; it had given me a fantastical tour of magic in all dimensions. The story of family, friendship and loyalty also tugged on my heartstrings and my time in the closet will always be very memorable.
3. The Last Dragon Chronicles by Chris D’Lacey
Dragons, polar bears, magic and mystery? I became a huge fan of Chris D’Lacey after reading about dragon pottery that came to life and cleaned the house. The Last Dragon Chronicles still amazes me with its originality and quirkiness; I have not found a book series quite like it. The setting of a small and quiet town contrasts vastly to the strange but wonderful events that occurred in the Pennykettle household and our leading man, David Rain’s, beginnings from children’s book author to mysterious hero is one hell of a ride. Writing about this book is actually giving me the motivation to start re-reading it again.
2. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
This book series was, quite literally, my childhood. Both of my parents had loved reading the first book and brought me a copy of The Philosopher’s Stone and thus, my own love for the epic saga had grown far stronger than theirs. Similar to many 11 year olds, I was quite disappointed that I had not gotten a letter from Hogwarts and, at 12, I decided that it simply will not do, so I wrote myself one. From this innocent letter, something else sprouted and then blossomed my very first fanfiction. Harry Potter is one of my main influence in writing and I am glad to have lived in this generation.
1. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
I feel this definitely deserves the throne in my Top 10 All-Time-Faves. The writing, the narrative and the characters of this book has charmed my young self and even now and perhaps, until forevermore, I will continue to be amazed by the creative and intellectual genius mind of Lewis Carroll. The adventures of Alice in the whimsical world of Wonderland were like the events of a dream and yet, it had given me a whole new perspective on the world.
This book had been one of the few books that my parents had bought back abroad and it’s the only book that has survived five moves and still sitting pretty on my small shelf. It has also influenced much of my writing style and if there ever were a Top 10 favourite book universe, Wonderland would be at the top.
I really enjoyed making this list for this TTT. Reminiscing is one of my favourite pastimes and remembering the books that had cemented my love for books felt somewhat humbling. I would really love to hear other people’s stories. Are there any books remind you of childhood memories?
Forever reminiscing, JY