Saturday, March 05, 2011

Favourite Authors from my childhood

On my blog previously, I'd always tried to maintain a regular feature highlighting amazing and inspiring women but after several (fascinating!) guest posts, the feature kind of fizzled out. I'm really going to do my best to keep it going this time, with Saturdays being dedicated to profiles of individual women, fictional characters and to mix things up, some interviews with some incredible bloggers/authors. This week, I'll be kicking it all off again with a little look at some of my favourite authors growing up! I do really hope you enjoy this new feature of mine and would love to hear from you if you're interested at all in participating.

Beatrix Potter - Who didn't grow up with the beautiful illustrations of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddleduck? I loved the stories and the pictures. I love that my boys have taken an interest in the books of Beatrix Potter as well. Childhood just doesn't seem the same without these books.

Gertrude Chandler Warner - Oh, The Boxcar Children. How much did I love that series? My favourite will always be the first book. Especially, the bit at the end, when there is an illustration of the boxcar after it had been moved into the Grandfather's back garden? For many, many years I wanted to LIVE in that illustration. There's a place in my heart that *still* does.

Beverly Cleary - Growing up in Oregon, I was always constantly surrounded by Beverly Cleary's books (Beverly too is an Oregonian!). I adored her Ramona books something terrible. I'd carry them around with me and read them again and again until the books were near falling apart. And I still have them with me.

Ann M. Martin - Oh, how my father hated The Babysitter's Club! He always tried to push me into reading classics or books that he felt were more 'important' but I always thought, as long as I'm reading, who cares? I still feel that way. And I've always had a soft spot for The Babysitter's Club. I always wanted a group of friends like in these books, so I could feel like I belonged. I still crave that.

Frances Hodgson Burnett - I remember my dad taking me to a bookstore in the mall in order to spend some of my birthday money. He convinced me that I *needed* this pretty hardback copy of Frances Hodgson Burnett's stories. And, oh he was right. I absolutely adored both The Secret Garden and A Little Princess

Judy Blume - I'd think that Judy Blume had a big influence on quite a few childhoods! I never read her books for older children/teens (like Forever!) until I was much, more older. No, it was her books for younger readers that I loved so much. Especially her Fudge books - Tales of A Fourth Grade Nothing had me in stitches.

SE Hinton - In eighth grade, wonderfully, one of the required texts for us all to read was The Outsiders. The book really, really knocked me on my ass. It really made me think and feel and all these years later, and I still think about it sometimes. It's a book that I never tire of re-reading. I think 'Nothing Gold Can Stay' will always be my favourite poem, because of this book. I have read other books by SE Hinton, all of which I loved, but didn't come close to the love I have for The Outsiders.

These are MY favourite childhood authors. Who are yours?


  1. Great post!Frances Hodgson Burnett is one of mine too along with Noel Streatfield.

  2. What a wonderful post, and a brilliant feature!
    I completely agree with you about so many of these! I recently read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing with my 6-year-old, and she loved it too! We're looking for more Fudge books now.
    And I've just listened to a fantastic podcast about Ramona Quimby and the podcaster's pilgrimage to Beverly Cleary country! You might like it? I'll have a go at adding a link in a separate comment, just in case your spam catcher objects!
    I loved this post. Thank you!

  3. This is a link to The Book Show's podcast about Ramona Quimby:

  4. I want to know more abou the Boxcar children! Never heard of some of these authors, so will definintely investigate. I grew up with L.M. Montgomery and Mary Norton who wrote The Borrowers.

    Great feature. Can't wait to read more.

  5. I have to admit that the only one of these I've ever read is judy Blume. My favourite childhood authors were Roald Dahl, Jacqueline Wilson and way more than I can name here!

  6. Aww what an awesome idea for a post! Unfortunately I have barely heard of any of these! Obviously Beatrix Potter was one of my favourites, my parents had a pristine condition collecters box of the petter rabbit set and I wasn't allowed to touch them! :(
    Also The babysitters club, though I didnt recognise it as the same series when I saw your cover (mine were very very different!) they were awesome when I got a bit older!
    My other faves had to be Jacqueline Wilson, Roald Dahl and the amazing Lucy Daniels with her Animal Ark collection... I really wanted to be a Jockey, and then a vet, becuase of those books! x

  7. Great feature!
    I loved all of those! I wanted to be a boxcar kid, solving mystries, living in that boxcar.. I also wanted to be in the babysitters club. I just loved Claudia! She was my favorite. As for eighth grade and The Outsiders, that is still one of my all time favorite books. 'Nothing Gold can Stay' will always be my favorite poem as well..
    Ramona always cracked me up with her crazy adventures.. Did you see the Romona and Beezus movie? I think they did a perfect job casting Ramona. That little girl fit what I pictured Ramona to look like..

  8. I was a big fan of The Babysitters Club too, but my absollute favourites growing up were Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton.

    It was my dream to go to Mallory Towers or St. Clare's. Never happened though... :(

  9. I liked Beatrix Potter, too, although there was one story - I think it was The Tale of Samuel Whiskers - where some rats start to roll Tom Kitten into a pie or some such, that really scared me as a child.

  10. Oh, we had the beautiful hardback copies of The Secret Garden and The Little Princess when I was a kid too. The Tasha Tudor illustrations have stayed with me forever and ever -- I loved the picture of Sara and her father looking in shop windows.

  11. YA reader - I really only ever read Ballet Shoes of Noel Streatfield, but Frances Hodgson Burnett just really stood out as an author I loved as a child.

    Luisa - Oh, see I love the idea of reading these things to my boys! How exciting! I'll have a listen to the podcast, thank you very much! :)

    Vivienne - The Boxcar Children were my FAVOURITE. The rest of the series is about the four children solving mysteries, but the first is about these kids as orphans running away from an evil grandparent and living in a boxcar when in fact the grandfather is rich, kind old man! Lovely book.

    I've never read The Borrowers!

    Sophie - I forget that people here in the UK would have grown up with an entirely different set of books! Like Enid Blyton and Jacqueline Wilson.. authors I've not read a great deal of.

    Raimy - Aww, I love the idea of books inspiring little kids into certain professions. Never read Lucy Daniels though! :)

    Becca - Thank you! I think I connected more with Mary Anne than anyone else, though Claudia would probably be my second favourite :) I haven't seen the Beezus and Ramona film, but hope to when it's on TV.. I think my boys will get a kick out of it.

    Leanna - Roald Dahl was definitely one of my favourites too, but I don't think I've ever read ANYTHING by Enid Blyton!!

    Charley - Really, it scared you? That's kind of sad and sweet all at the same time! :)

    Jenny - Mine had absolutely beautiful illustrations and I will own that book forever! :)

  12. Brilliant post! I've never heard of The Boxcar Children but I shall check those books out. I agree with you about all of the other authors, you've listed so many of my favourites.

    I didn't read The Outsiders until last year but it instantly leapt towards the top of my all time favourites list. It's such a brilliant read, and I found it quite inspiring as a wannabe writer too.

  13. Jenni - Oh I can definitely see how The Outsiders could inspire writers! I thought it was amazing and it just blew away my 13 year old self :) I'm so sad that people here in the UK did not grow up with the magic that was The Boxcar Children! Seriously.

  14. Such great books! Isn't it funny how appealing orphans are when you're a kid? No parents seemed so exciting.

  15. Avid Reader - Oh, ha :) What a brilliant observation. Yes! I did love orphan books quite a lot as a child, I thought them thrilling.

  16. Came across your blog through Nerdfighters! I adore Beverly Cleary :) There's something magical about children's books. I'm a huge fan of Roald Dahl and Jacqueline Wilson.

    Blogger at Priscilla and her Books


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