My Top 7 Books

In no particular order…

Br’er Rabbit

Between the ages of about 7 and 9 I loved reading these books.  Br’er Rabbit was the ultimate hero who triumphed over adversity and constantly got the better of his enemies by using his quick wits and street smarts.  The ending of Br’er Rabbit & The Tar Baby was particularly delicious.

The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl

I think everyone has a favourite Dahl book from their childhood but for me it is this.  It might be a slim volume by comparison to some of Dahl’s other books but it packs a hell of a punch.  There’s so much to love; the unnamed narrator, the unswerving principles of the girl, the injustice of the Gregg’s behavior, the incredible magic that is cast, the redemption and final twist at the end.  It’s fabulous, utterly fabulous.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

This is an incredible book that was read to my class when I was about eight.  If you haven’t read it then read it NOW, although for maximum effect wait until December.  All my favourite elements are there; awesomely named characters, time travel, Christmas.  It’s perfect!

The Happy Prince/The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde

Alright, alright I know I’ve lumped these two stories together but there’s a very good reason.  Both of these beautiful short stories were introduced to me when I was about eight and I immediately fell in love with both.  I am a very, VERY sentimental human being and much of this I am sure is due to reading these tearjerkers at such an impressionable age.  I can’t even read it out loud to my own sons now without bawling my stupid eyes out.

Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this book.  It was the book that first made me think about the way in which writers write.  It’s basically a brilliant book about a boy who appears to travel back in time.

The Machine Gunners by Robert Westall

I have always been fascinated by the human stories of war, particularly the Second World War.  The Machine Gunners was the first war story I had read which focused on how a group of kids coped.  It is funny and moving and tense and sad and will grip you from first page to last.

The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ by Sue Townsend

My dad and I bonded over this book so it remains very special for me.  I was about 12 or 13 when it came out and it was the funniest book I had ever read.  I think I loved it so much because I was about the same age as Adrian Mole and so a lot of what was happening to him was also happening to me.  It was one of the first books I read that took a satirical look at politics and society.  It reminds me of that slightly uncomfortable teenage time when you are caught between being a kid and being an adult.  Just talking about it makes me want to read it again!