Our mini-challenge for Hour 2 is a top 5 bookish childhood memories.
I loved reading as a child, but I don’t recall reading a huge amount – not nearly as much as I do now.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – by Michael Rosen.
This book! I will never live it down! When I was little I used to read this to my parents but I had a little rhyme I used to do. It doesn’t sound great, but it has imprinted this book in my memory. I’ve recently returned to Michael Rosen, as his youtube videos were very popular among the Year 10 boys I taught before Christmas. I have picked up his books on childhood and his Sad Book which is amazing and thoughtful. His criticisms of the current UK government’s education system are must-reads for educators.
True Monster/Horror/Ghost Stories – by Terry Deary
Terry Deary is a local author, most famous for creating the Horrible Histories series. My only Horrible Histories book was The Groovy Greeks, which I picked up aged 8 and re-read until it was discoloured, dog-eared and the cover was falling off! I was an expert in Greeks in Year 3!
When I was at the library, I happened to find a red hardcover book which was a compilation of Deary’s other series: True stories. Originally he released True Monster Stories, True Horror Stories and True Ghost Stories individually, but this red and gold hardcover book had all 3 volumes in one. I devoured it! Some of the stories really freaked me out, like Burke and Hare and Lizzie Borden. I think this was the catalyst for my love of true crime and horror stories, and historical murder cases. I think I got that book out several times. Then a few years back I found a copy online so I now own my own edition of the book.
The BFG / Matilda / George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl
I was given a volume of these 3 classic Roald Dahl stories by my grandparents in August 1997. I know this as it is inscribed in the book. It was originally going to be a Christmas present but they gave it to me early as I was reading so much. It was my first ever experience with Roald Dahl and I read these stories so much that the hardback cover started falling off and now the spine is a huge stretch of reflective grey duct tape! My favourite of the 3 was Matilda, as she was a smart little bookworm who I wished I could be (apart from the awful parents and mad Headteacher – I was fortunate to have amazing parents and a lovely headmaster!)
The Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum
At the weekly food shop, every so often my parents would pick me up a book in the Children’s classics. The first of these surprise book gifts was The Wizard of Oz, which at the time of receiving was probably the longest book I had read. It was a cute little hardback with pretty illustrations and I made myself a little paper bookmark to use. I tried to read a chapter a night before bed. Most vividly, I recall the chapter in the field of poppies.
I think I read the book before I saw the film!
Shivers books by M D Spenser
While I loved Goosebumps, they were a bit expensive! I had a copy of The Ghost Next Door, then 2 volumes of books which had Welcome to Dead House, Say Cheese and Die, Let’s Get Invisible, Night of the Living Dummy, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb and Stay Out of the Basement. I also collected the Give Yourself Goosebumps books.
I did find a good substitute though in M D Spenser’s Shivers series which I found much cheaper. I had a few of this series, including Shriek Home Chicago, The Awful Apple Orchard, Ghost Writer, The Secret of Fern Island and The Terrible Terror Book.
I don’t know where the books are now, and I’ve been craving them! They are being re-released as ebooks with new covers but I love the nostalgia of the old ones and am hunting for the books to re-read!