Since today is World Book Day, a group of us UKYA bloggers decided to celebrate all things bookish, specifically looking at books that were important to us when we were children. Make sure to check out the posts from the other bloggers involved – I’ll be linking to the next post at the bottom of mine!
Books have always been an important part of my life, so I’ll be looking at three different selections of books that shaped my childhood as I grew up.
First off, I wanted to talk about my oldest set of books – so old that I’m just assuming I’ve had them since I was a tiny baby! Obviously I don’t remember getting them or having them read to me for the first time, but this full set of Peter Rabbit stories has stuck with me and to this day has pride of place on one of my bookshelves. What I love about these stories is that they’ve stood the test of time, had enough of an impact on me when I was little that at one point my entire bedroom was decorated with Peter Rabbit wall decals (a good twenty years ago, of course) and as I still have the books, I can now pass them on to my daughter Maisie – who just so happens to have toy Peter Rabbits that she already loves at 3 months old!
When I started school I remained an avid reader – did anyone else have set books for each year? Ours lined the corridors and we were supposed to stick to the ones on the corridor that our years classrooms were on and read our way through them. I don’t remember quite when I managed it, but before I was out of infant school and into junior school (so before I was 7, for those not in the UK!) I’d read through all of the books for 4 to 11 year olds and was moved onto the books in the school library. I believe it was here that I discovered Jacqueline Wilson’s books and my love for them. I once had a huge collection of her books, and although I’ve since gifted most of them to kids, I’ve kept a couple of favourites and my signed copy of Love Lessons. The first ever author event I went to was actually to see Jacqueline Wilson when I was 11 – all of the high schools in our town were holding a short story competition through the schools libraries to attend an event with her at a local bookstore which was being aired on TV and meet her afterwards, and I was one of the two winners! I have no idea now what I wrote about as these days I’m definitely not a writer, but obviously it worked!
When I first started high school, I joined an English club where we were given three new YA releases and had to read each one and pick our favourite – the most popular from every school taking part would win an award, and we even got to attend a ceremony for this in our towns theatre. One of the books assigned was Sleepwalking by Nicola Morgan, and although I’ve re-read this book since and would definitely view it differently now than I did when I was 12, it was the first dystopian book I read and at the time I adored it. It definitely got me back into the SFF genre and I don’t think I’d have picked up The Hunger Games years later if I hadn’t remembered enjoying it so much!
After those first couple of years at high school I definitely stopped reading so much, however, there was one series that pulled me right back into the world of books. It was Twilight! Now, being a young, My Chemical Romance obsessed emo, of course I was going to read the new vampire book that everyone was raving about (I think the films were probably already in production by this point too). I loved this series, and since I still have the copies I bought back then, I can say they’re more than a bit battered after being read so many times. From there, I read The Hunger Games trilogy, and that’s when I really got back in to reading.
As I said, so many books influenced me when I was younger and I’m so glad they did as I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without them all!
Nicola’s post is up next and will go live at 1:30pm – make sure to check it out!