Throughout January, I started re-reading Harry Potter. It was my first time reading it as an adult as I hadn’t picked up the books for about nine years. I worried it would ruin them for me. But I was wrong. They were just as good as I remembered and I couldn’t put them down.
That made me start to think about the other books that had such a strong impact on my childhood and I compiled my top five.
The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
I still love this trilogy as an adult, having re-read it a few years ago and laughed my entire way through it. It has a great blend of magic, memorable characters and true character development.
As a young reader just discovering magic in books, this filled the perfect hole and the number of times I read them when I was young. I’m not sure who first introduced me, but I still get great enjoyment out of reading this trilogy.
The Saga of Darren Shan by Darren Shan
My year 8 English teacher read us the first chapter of the first book. That was all it took. I fell in love with these books. I owned odd numbers of them and got the rest out of the library but there was just something that gripped me here.
If only vampire stories for young readers continued in this vein, we would have a very different attitude towards them! I started his Demonata series, but it didn’t grip me in the same way.
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
Who am I kidding? Every book that Cornelia Funke wrote was an instant buy for my younger self. The Thief Lord was my favourite (I could quote the first chapter at one point!), but I also loved the Inkeheart series and The Dragon Rider.
Funke had a way that drew me into her world – regardless of which story it was. It was one of the first times I lost myself entirely in a fantasy world and forgot about reality.
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler)
With the new series airing on Netflix, it brought back my fond memories of these books. As with Darren Shan, I owned some, borrowed others, but grew up wondering what was going to happen next to Violet, Klaus and Sunny. Any author that can hold a child’s attention across 13 books is definitely worth a mention.
Harry Potter by J.K Rowling
Despite still reading these books as an adult, I can’t not mention them! I think I re-read these books every summer for a good few years.
As with Funke’s writing, I could absorb myself in Rowling’s writing and lose myself to another world. She taught me how reading could be such an escape – a lesson I never forgot!
There you have it, the books that impacted me most as a child. What were your favourite reads when you were young? Do you still read them now? Let me know!