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Books We Loved Growing Up

Hello friends! We’ve bought you all a really fun post today – following today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) Clare and I are going to be discussing a few books we loved growing up. Reading has been a huge part of our lives, so this post is bound to be fun and kind of personal, so buckle up, friends, and put on comfy shoes – because we’re taking you all on a walk down our bookish memory lanes!

Believe it or not my Mum actually hugely struggled to convince me to learn to read because, and I quote, “there’s always someone to read to me” (I may have been a tad spoiled?). But as soon as my Mum managed to get me reading it was over. Reading was everything and I was in love with books. Basically, Mums are geniuses and you should definitely listen to them more. Or I should listen to mine more anyway! I’ve chosen books that I read over and over until they fell apart and had fully left their imprint on me.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND BY LEWIS CARROLL

The book that started it all. When I was just 3 years old someone bought me a gorgeous illustrated copy of this and my Mum (the aforementioned genius) refused to let anyone read it to me. Desperate to learn the story I finally agreed to learn to read and was rewarded with this slice of nonsense! Since then I’ve read the story over and over, I even managed to write a whole essay about it for my University course (I was studying Children’s Literature so it was at least relevant). I love this story.


A TRAVELLER IN TIME BY ALISON UTTLEY

If you know me then you’ll know I love History, I studied Tudors and Stuarts in College and this is the book that began my obsession with them. I started reading because, even as a kid, I was fascinated by anything supernatural and then got completely hooked on the Tudor drama. I have strong memories of child-Clare demanding visits to some of the locations in the book (and luckily living near them anyway).


ANNE OF GREEN GABLES by L.M. MONTGOMERY

Picture tiny ginger Clare getting bullied for her hair and you’ll probably understand why I love red-haired inspiration Anne Shirley. She stayed so true to herself throughout, something I haven’t always managed, and I super admired everything about her. She remains one of my favourite literary characters of all time but remains notable, to me, because it was the first time I didn’t hate my hair colour. I now love my hair, which as a child I would never have been able to imagine.


I CAPTURE THE CASTLE BY DODIE SMITH

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure that child-me actually understood this book. In fact I’m 90% certain I had no idea what was going on. But there’s something to be said for reading it like that the first time. Even the main character doesn’t really understand what’s going on around her so as I read this multiple times growing up and discovered something new every time this became a story that grew with me. Or vice versa. Either way, the emotions and impact of this book linger in a big way.


SONG QUEST BY KATHERINE ROBERTS

OK so I remember next to nothing about this series except that I loved it to death. You can see from my picks above that I had a classic-heavy upbringing (as a result of a family that loved classics). This was one of the first books I chose entirely for myself and it was fantastical and original and just brilliant. I remember the vague outline of the world itself but not the details of the plot and I think I’ve just convinced myself to re-read this series now.

Growing up, I’ve always adored reading. Like most, I learnt how to read in first grade, and from that point on I was rarely seen without a book. I annoyed the heck out of my family by following everyone around and reading to them. Tiny me thought it’d make everyone’s day if I read my picture books aloud to them… and it didn’t. 😂 Shocker, I know! But they were a good sport about it, and I only realized it as a much older kid that actually, I wasn’t as impressive as I thought. 😂

MULTIPLE NOVELS BY JACQUELINE WILSON

I’m not sure how well known Jacqueline Wilson is at other parts of the world, but I absolutely adored her novels when I was a kid. She wrote contemporary novels about kids, or pre-teens, and I remember absolutely adoring her characters. As far as I remember, a lot of the times they featured themes of friendship and family, and these are two topics I cherish in novels to this day.


A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS BY LEMONY SNICKET

I’m forever thankful to my elementary school librarian for introducing me to this series, as well as other novels I loved as a kid. Our school library was tiny, and I mean TINY, but she still always managed to pull something cool out whenever I asked her for recs. Back when I was a kid, most of the books published or translated to Hungarian for kids were contemporaries – meanwhile I wanted something darker, and I got it with A Series of Unfortunate Events. Sadly, only the first half of the series was published in Hungarian at that time, so I never finished the books – I did watch the whole series on Netflix, though! – but this series was still a huge part of my childhood.


WIND ON FIRE TRILOGY BY WILLIAM NICHOLSON

Another series recommended to me by my elementary school librarian, and one I adored at that time. The Wind Singer, first in a series, was the first dystopian novel I’ve ever read, so it obviously left a huge impression on me. It’s so rare and precious when I can recall particular scenes from my childhood favorites, and this series is a great example of that. I obviously don’t remember the plot in detail, but even as I’m typing this, more and more is coming back – and so are the emotions I felt while reading the series, or experiences I have tied to these books, which is so special, and exactly what childhood favorites are about for me.


VARIOUS NOVELS BY MEG CABOT

Meg Cabot has been a massive favorite of mine for a loong time – in fact, that’s what Ruzi (our third co-blogger for those who’re new here!) and I have bonded over. Cabot’s books were such a huge part of my pre-teen and teen years – I’ve reread many of her works multiple times, like Mediator, 1-800-Where-R-You, Princess Diaries and Queen of Babble, and Ruzi and I even set out to reread the whole Princess Diaries a few years ago. Fun fact: Meg Cabot is probably the author I’ve read the most novels by, as I’ve read 53 books by her altogether.

VAMPIRE BOOKS OF THE TWILIGHT ERA

I’m incredibly, and I mean INCREDIBLY, critical of Stephenie Meyer, but I have super-fond memories of the vampire era. This is the only trend I remember that made me read series after series about a certain topic (vampires) and I still wasn’t bored – I always wanted more. I read YA series like Twilight, House of Night, Evernight, Cirque du Freak, Vampire Diaries and then I turned to adult series as well – which definitely weren’t age-appropriate but shh – like Anita Blake, Sookie Stackhouse and Night Huntress. I was reading nothing but vampire books for a while there, and I had so much fun haha.

Let’s chat!

When did you get into reading? What were your favorite novels as a kid, or teen? Do you think you’d still enjoy them? Have you read anything we mentioned?

24 thoughts on “Books We Loved Growing Up

  1. Great list! I almost mentioned Alice in Wonderland on my list, I think that’s a must for every child.
    Clara, your mom had a point and I’m proud of you for learning to read your books all by yourself. Veronika, I used to do the exact same thing! I needed to perform the books I read to people, especially when I was really little. That’s crazy, I didn’t remember lol.
    Have a great week girls!

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  2. That is the most terrifying cover of Alice in Wonderland I’ve ever seen, congratulations.

    Most books I loved in my pre-teenage years hold up. I was really sad to find that the Boxcar Children books are too simplified to be much fun nowadays, though. I remember them being much more vivid and exciting.

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  3. Growing up I loved The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton. Even though I wasn’t English those books made me wish I lived in the English countryside so bad lol.

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  4. Wilson has been popping up quite a bit today. I really feel like I missed out on something special there. I was inspired to read the Anne books when I was in my teens after seeing the adaption on PBS.

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  5. I know a lot of people read Alice during their childhood but, for me, it was only earlier this year when I read the book! While I enjoyed it, I don’t think it appealed to me as much should I have read it when I was younger. Hahaha I remember my Twilight days! Although now I know how bad and toxic the series was, I still have my books! I don’t think I would ever give them away simply because of nostalgia.

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    1. I still haven’t read Alice, and I *know* I should, because it’s such a classic, but I’m scared I won’t like it. I was so obsessed with Twilight oh my god – the first series I could barely bear the wait between the books. I totally understand – I got rid of them, because of the lack of space, but I held onto them for so long.

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  6. Nice post idea! About Alice, I remember reading an abridged version when I was a kid (I think it was an abridged version, because it was such a small book), but I don’t think I’ve ever read the whole thing? And…I used to read a lot already when I was small, but for some reason I can’t seem to remember a childhood favourite. Though I still have ONE of my childhood books, and I’m not even sure why it was the only one that survived to see this day, but I guess it’s why I loved it more as a grown up than as a kid – plus it was a hardcover LOL. It’s Momo by Michael Ende. I think I first read it when it was published in Italy, that is, in 1974 (I was 8), since this is the version I have! https://www.fantascienza.com/catalogo/volumi/NILF123365/momo-e-i-ladri-di-tempo/ You should check it out, because it’s a wonderful story about time and friendship and all the forgotten people out there…

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    1. Unlike Clare, I haven’t yet read Alice – I definitely want to, because it’s such a classic. Also, the real version is very short, as well, and I already own it, so I’ll probably get to it one day haha. I read Momo when I was in high school, and I really enjoyed it, as far as I remember.

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  7. I feel the same way about the Twilight books now. Even though my feelings towards them have changed a lot since I was a teenager, I do have fond memories of reading them. And I’ve loved Meg Cabot’s books for such a long time. I loved the Princess Diaries movie when I was really young but didn’t really start reading the books until I was a pre-teen because I was definitely too young to read them when the movie came out.

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  8. I’m blogging about books that were important to me growing up too and it’s really interesting reading other takes on the same books and seeing how our booklists overlap and diverge. Yes, some of the same, but some not, and as I never kept a list when I was a kid I keep remembering ‘new’ books to add to the list!

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