I must have been very interested in books from an early age because it I was reading properly at the age of three. Since then, I have devoured any type of reading material that has come my way; I'll give anything a go. Being a 1970's chick, I was brought up on the Enid Blyton diet... starting with the Faraway Tree trilogy, The Naughtiest Girl series and Mr Meddle's Mischief and then moving on to the Famous Five and Secret Seven mystery books and finishing with the Malory Towers and The Twins at St Clare's series'
My grandmother worked for a library book suppliers and bought all the "damged" stock, or so it seemed. Her spare bedroom was an Aladdin's cave of reading material, with piles of books, ceiling high. Whenever we visited we were allowed to choose a book to take home as a treat for being well behaved.
Because it is World Book Day it seems appropriate that I write about three books that I enjoyed during my childhood and that I actually remember almost verbatim now.
The first is Maggie and the Roundabout (by Jane Hollowood). This is the story of a little girl who goes to a fairground with a few pennies. She wants to win a goldfish and buy a candy floss but is mesmerised by the roundabout. The operator of the roundabout asks her if she'll turn the handle for a while whilst he goes off for a break. She does do, but turns it too quickly, making all the riders very ill, which, in turn, upsets her. It has a happy ending though.
Secondly, I have to mention The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tyler (by Gene Kemp). This was read to us, as a class of ten year olds, by the teacher I have mentioned in recent blog post, Mr Halstead, a.k.a. "Sir". Tyke and best friend, Danny, cause havoc both at school and at home and have adventures that involve a sheep's skeleton, delivering election leaflets, the theft of £10, and a precarious climb onto the school roof. And a final twist in the tale that made a whole class of 10 year-olds gasp and say, "ooohhhh, I thought...." (don't worry, I won't spoil it for you)
Finally is Children of the Dust (by Louise Lawrence). Hidden away amongst the Shakespeare and Hardy compulsory reading list in Literature classes at high school was this book. The story of a nuclear holocaust and the way in which it affects three children who are all (unbeknownst) linked to each other. It's very graphic and harrowing and is brilliantly written.
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And, of course, it wouldn't be World Book Day without my usual competitive parent streak bursting onto the scene. Up until last night, son #2 wanted to make a Tin Man costume for the WBD dress-up-day at school because his friend was going as the Scarecrow from The Wizard Of Oz. That was until someone (no names mentioned *cough*Kev*cough*) forgot to buy silver/grey spray paint from town yesterday. So, in the usual tradition of last minute attempts we made this at 8 o'clock last night...
Dawn Endico on Flickr