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Dublin: 2 °C Sunday 19 January, 2020

8 books that MADE your childhood

You wouldn’t have minded doing that book report on these stories.

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES ARE magic.

A large part of that magic stems from your active childhood imagination. And there’s simply no better fuel for a lively imagination than a good book.

Here are some of the many series, books and authors that made being a kid special …

1. Enid Blyton

The enduring childhood favourite. What would our lives have been like without the formative tales of the Famous Five, the Magic Faraway Tree, Malory Towers or even Noddy himself?

Image: via Books For Kids

Blyton told whimsical stories about children in a quaint world that now seems very long ago. Her stories were always full of mischief, magic … and evenings sent to bed without your bread and jam.

2. Judy Blume

Staples for young adults. She penned some amazing books like Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Superfudge, Tiger Eyes, Blubber and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.

Image: via School Library Journal

Judy guided many of us through teenage challenges – where would we have been without her?

3. To Kill A Mockingbird

This one will be well-known to everyone, having featured prominently on the Junior Cert English syllabus for years. We all loved the inspirational, eye-opening Atticus Finch.

Image: via Black Roses

And not to mention the other school favourite, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry.

4. Nancy Drew

Nancy Drew, the titian-haired girl detective who unearthed wrong-doers and shed light on the murky crimes in manor homes.

Image: via Nancy Drew Sleuth

Nancy has her counterpart in the brave Hardy Boys. Did you have a favourite?

5. Roald Dahl

The hilarious and wicked Dahl has a special place in our hearts. The books were always wonderfully rude, with the splotchy Quentin Blake illustrations the perfect accompaniment.

Image: via Children’s Books

He even has some lesser-known books of short stories for adults if you feel like reliving his caustic humour and incredible plotting.

6. Under the Hawthorn Tree

This one comes in from an Irish author, Marita Conlon-McKenna, and tells the story of three siblings during the Great Famine.

Image: via Beyond Bluestockings

A moving story about triumph of will over adversity – and sure weren’t you learning a bit of history at the same time?

7. Point Horror

Checking one of these out of the school library was a thrill. Who knew what this one would be about – prom gone horribly awry or a supernatural suitor?

Image: via AV

And hands up who remembers the Goosebump books? Truly nightmare-inducing.

8. The Baby-sitters Club

Remember the gang from Stoneybrook, Connecticut? They ran a business helping parents in the area find baby-sitters by ringing on their separate phone line (an oft-repeated detail) during the club meetings.

Image: via Teenangster

And while we’re at it, the suburban tales of the pretty Wakefield twins in Sweet Valley High were also firm favourites. Both book series were made into successful TV shows that only prolonged our fascination.

Maybe you were a sentimental child who re-read your copy the Velveteen Rabbit til it was in tatters or recited rhymes from Dr Seuss til your parents snapped. Or perhaps you were more into science fiction and devoured The Hobbit.

Either way, everyone had a favourite childhood book.

If these old books have rekindled the old bookworm in you, why not pop along to the Dalkey Book Festival? The festival runs from the 14th to the 16th of June, features plenty of literary-focused events in beautiful surroundings and is sponsored by KBC Bank Ireland.

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