15 books I read and adored as a child
Following Erastes’ My list of 15 Children’s Books everyone should read, itself inspired by 15 Kid’s Books you need to read I thought I’d do my own.
Start with the usual suspects 🙂
1. The Hobbit
2. The Lord of the Rings (not technically a children’s book, but best read first in your teens.)
3. The Narnia books
4. The Earthsea Trilogy (that’s A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan and The Farthest Shore, not the later additions.) Hogwarts has nothing on Roke, and the Master Patterner remains one of my most enduring crushes.
5. Forerunner Foray by Andre Norton. I don’t remember a lot about this now, except for how wonderfully alien it all was.
6. The Famous Five books – like Eowyn, George was a lifeline to me by making it seem normal for me to want to be “almost as good as a boy.” Also they solved proper crimes and mysteries, unlike the Secret Seven.
7. The Odyssey (again, not a children’s book, but I soaked up the monsters and passed with a child’s obliviousness over the whole ‘Odysseus decided sleeping with his maidservant was not worth annoying his wife’ stuff, and all the ‘and then they stopped and, in exactly the same words as they used last time, did another sacrifice to the gods’ business. Funny, I seem to remember it all now, though!) I’m sure there must be editions with just the adventures and monsters, where all the other stuff is cut out.
8. The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Gardner – all his stuff was good, but this was best. (Actually, I take that back. Elidor was his best by a long shot. But the Weirdstone was coolest because it was set just in the next village from where I lived. In fact I lived across the road from the evil lake of evilness where the bad guy hung out, which was awesome.)
9. Raiders from the Rings by Alan E. Nourse Probably invents the “Mars needs Women” trope but does so in a completely non-objectionable way. Also responsible for my lifelong ‘elves in space!’ obsession with its magical ending.
10. The Tripods Trilogy by John Christopher Caps of wire IN YOUR HEAD!! (is about all I remember about this, other than it was really good.)
11. Dragon Song and Dragon Singer, the Pern Harper Hall books. Outcast girl tames dragons and then shows everybody how wrong they were to spurn her. Actually I made that last bit up, as there were no scenes of bloody flaming revenge, but she did get to storm an all male club and prove she was almost as good as a boy 😉
12. The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Gouge Unicorns! Pirates! A disappearing boy with a feather in his hat. Salmon pink geraniums & a land that time forgot.
13. The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov (and its sequel The Naked Sun. I know, they aren’t children’s books either, but who says children have to confine themselves to books written for kids?) I shipped Elijah Bailey and Daneel long before I had ever heard of shipping, despite Elijah being married and Daneel being a robot 🙂
14. The Little Grey Men by BB Gnomes! On a quest to find others of their kind in the terrifying wilderness of a small English brook.
15. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint_Exupery Another ‘big lessons learned in small places’ book, as the titular character is prince and sole human inhabitant of an asteroid about the size of a house. This is a ‘must read if you value your soul’ kind of book.