Me and Matt are visiting a Victorian Christmas street fair later this afternoon – there are ice rinks, horse and carriage rides, costumes and Christmas music, so you can only imagine how excited I am. I’m sure I’ll get lots of photographs to share with you, because it sounds like it’s gunna be a brilliant day!
Anyway, following on from yesterday‘s nostalgic post, I’m going to share my favourite books that I read during my primary and secondary school years as my Saturday’s super six.
Skellig by David Almond:
“When a move to a new house coincides with his baby sister’s illness, Michael’s world seems suddenly lonely and uncertain. Then, one Sunday afternoon, he stumbles into the old, ramshackle garage of his new home, and finds something magical. A strange creature – part owl, part angel, a being who needs Michael’s help if he is to survive. With his new friend Mina, Michael nourishes Skellig back to health, while his baby sister languishes in the hospital. But Skellig is far more than he at first appears, and as he helps Michael breathe life into his tiny sister, Michael’s world changes for ever…”
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck:
“The compelling story of two outsiders striving to find their place in an unforgiving world. Drifters in search of work, George and his simple-minded friend Lennie have nothing in the world except each other and a dream–a dream that one day they will have some land of their own. Eventually they find work on a ranch in California’s Salinas Valley, but their hopes are doomed as Lennie, struggling against extreme cruelty, misunderstanding and feelings of jealousy, becomes a victim of his own strength. Tackling universal themes such as the friendship of a shared vision, and giving voice to America’s lonely and dispossessed, Of Mice and Men has proved one of Steinbeck’s most popular works, achieving success as a novel, a Broadway play and three acclaimed films.”
Holes by Lois Sachar:
“Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.
It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.”
The Twits by Roald Dahl:
“How do you outwit a Twit? Mr. and Mrs. Twit are the smelliest, ugliest people in the world. They hate everything — except playing mean jokes on each other, catching innocent birds to put in their Bird Pies, and making their caged monkeys, the Muggle-Wumps, stand on their heads all day. But the Muggle-Wumps have had enough. They don’t just want out, they want revenge.”
I can’t really choose a favourite Roald Dahl book, I just love all of them. The Twits is the one I read the most, because it’s hilarious.
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell:
“A horse is a horse of course unless of course the horse is Black Beauty. Animal-loving children have been devoted to Black Beauty throughout this century, and no doubt will continue through the next.
Although Anna Sewell’s classic paints a clear picture of turn-of-the-century London, its message is universal and timeless: animals will serve humans well if they are treated with consideration and kindness.
Black Beauty tells the story of the horse’s own long and varied life, from a well-born colt in a pleasant meadow to an elegant carriage horse for a gentleman to a painfully overworked cab horse.
Throughout, Sewell rails – in a gentle, 19th-century way – against animal maltreatment. Young readers will follow Black Beauty’s fortunes, good and bad, with gentle masters as well as cruel. Children can easily make the leap from horse-human relationships to human-human relationships, and begin to understand how their own consideration of others may be a benefit to all.”
Candy by Kevin Brooks:
“When Joe meets Candy, it seems like a regular boy-meets-girl scenario. They chat over coffee, she gives him her number, and he writes her a song. But then Joe is drawn into Candy’s world — a world of drugs, violence, and desperation. As the dark truth about Candy’s life emerges, Joe finds himself facing real danger at every twist and turn. Soon Joe’s conflicting emotions begin to mirror Candy’s, and he understands that falling in love just might be worth the struggle. This intoxicating tale of heartache, danger, and hope will enthral teen readers.”
Very special mention to Enid Blyton’s “Popular Rewards” series of books (e.g. the Astonishing Ladder) and my giant, hard back animal encyclopaedia which are the reason I turned out to be such a bookworm!
I remember sitting in my room, and the floor, constantly reading and rereading all my favourite Enid Bylton books, or intensely staring and learning from the encyclopaedia. I could never read the flea, bug and spider facts because the images freaked me out too much.