Top Five Friday – Childhood Books

Welcome to my first ‘Top Five Friday’ post where I will be posting my top five on a particular bookish topic once a month. As this is my first one, I thought that it would be good for this top five to look at where my love of reading started: my childhood. 

These aren’t in any particular order as they are, as you will see, very different! I’ve also only chosen books rather than include picture books for this post.

1. Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo 

This novel is the account of soldier Tommo (Thomas Peaceful) as he looks back on his time on the front line during World War I and the relationships he has with his brothers before and during the war. I think out of all of the books on this list, this is the one that had the biggest impact on me and it’s haunting ending has followed me ever since. Just thinking about the novel again for this post is causing my heart to break all over again. 

2. Point Blanc by Anthony Horowitz

This novel is the second in the Alex Rider series where the teen spy is sent to a boarding school for troubled elite teens to discover the sinister motives behind the institution. After seeing Stormbreaker in the cinema I immediately begged to be taken to Borders (still bitter that got shut down as it was HUGE) to get the books. I loved the series as a whole but Point Blanc stands out to me in particular. I just loved the settings and the creepy undertones! 

3. The Witches by Roald Dahl

Now, it is important to note that this book isn’t a fairytale, it’s about real witches. A young boy learns of this fact after going to live with his grandmother, who happens to be a hunter of witches. He quickly discovers that witches aren’t as rare as he thought and they are incredibly dangerous to children. This was a book that I studied in primary school and loved it, despite it also leaving me rather unsettled! Although, as well as the book being an exciting tale of a boy trying to save himself from being eaten by witches, it’s also a lovely representation of a child’s love for their grandmother.

4. Fairy Tales told by Berlie Doherty and illustrated by Jane Ray

A collection of classic fairy tales including Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood, mixed with some lesser known fairy tales that quickly became favourites like The Wild Swans and The Fire-Bird. I remember finding this particular edition at a school book fair and immediately fell in love with the illustrations. I still treasure this book to this day with the magic of the fairytales combined with the beautiful, unique, illustrations. 

5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling 

Okay, so, I’ve buried this one at the bottom as I still wanted to acknowledge it (as the series was a huge part of my childhood, as it was for most people my age) but not dwell on it. Out of all seven books, the fifth one was by far my favourite and the one I re-read multiple times. I will always be disappointed in how much the film adaptation cut out, but not as disappointed as I am in Rowling herself and her views on trans rights amongst other things…

So, here are my top five favourite books from my childhood and I’m curious to know what are yours? Do we have any of the same? Let me know in the comments!

Animal Crossing New Horizons Book Tag

In my favourite place with my favourite villager…

Firstly, huge thanks to Two Book Thieves for creating this brilliant book tag! As soon as I saw it on another blog I just knew that this would be a perfect one for me to do! As well as books, my other huge passion is video games and I, like most other people, have been obsessively playing Animal Crossing New Horizons since it came out in March. I also thought it was quite appropriate to post this today with the second Summer update going live!

Past Villager – Who is a character you found when you were younger that still has a place in your heart?

I think I would have to say Alex Rider from the series by Anthony Horowitz. Whilst I haven’t kept up with the series in recent years, I loved Alex’s adventures and I was always excited to start reading the next instalment. The character is still very much in my heart, especially after reliving my favourite of his missions, Point Blanc, in the recent TV adaptation Alex Rider on Amazon Prime.

Blather’s Blatherings – Recommend a historical fiction book that you think everybody should read.

No doubt about it, everybody should read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (then again, I’m not sure if there are many people left that haven’t read it at this point!). It’s a phenomenal story set in Nazi Germany and narrated by Death. I read the novel in 2007 and it has stuck with me ever since.

Celeste’s Wish – What is a future book you wish you could read now?

I wish I could read The Doors of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss, which doesn’t yet have a release date. After finishing The Wise Man’s Fear I have been eager to get my hands on the final instalment of the series! However, I trust Patrick Rothfuss and his writing to know that the novel will be well worth the wait no matter how long it may be.

Timmy & Tommy – What is your favourite sibling relationship in a book?

The siblings that immediately came to mind were the Weasley twins – how could they not?

The Easter Bunny – A popular book character you’re not a big fan of.

Professor Snape. I feel like getting backstory for him, and the reveal of why he’s mean to Harry, just didn’t sit well with me. It was interesting but, to me, it made him bullying Harry all these years make less sense. Okay, we get that you hate his father but, is that any way to treat the child of the woman you supposedly loved?

Nook’s Loans – An author you would give all your money to.

Haruki Murakami, I mean, I practically have already with all of the books of his that I’ve bought and read so far!

The Sisters Able – What is your favourite fictional family (found or otherwise)?

Kind of a mix of found and blood family, but I love the Housekeeper, her son Root and the Professor in Yōko Ogawa’s The Housekeeper and the Professor. Whilst only two are actually blood related, the way that the Housekeeper looks after the Professor and builds a strong bond with him was beautiful. The way the Professor took to Root too, as if he was his grandson, was also very touching.

It’s a C+ – What is a book trope you don’t like that keeps popping up?

Love triangles. Nothing more needs to be said.

The Wandering Camel – What is your favourite book set in a land far away from yours?

As a literature enthusiast, it is impossible for me to have a favourite book (how do you manage to pick just one?!). However, the one that I have chosen for this question is Dawn by Octavia Butler. This was on my reading list for a module at university and I adored it. I was fascinated by the Oankali aliens and their plans for the last remaining humans on a new planet. Thinking about this book again makes me want to re-read it and finish the series…

What Would Dodos Do? – A fictional land you wish you could fly away to at any moment.

It would have to be the wizarding world in the Harry Potter series. After growing up with the series, it felt like home to me and probably always will. Although, I’d like to go to Hogwarts when Harry isn’t a student: I couldn’t be dealing with the stress of Voldemort making an appearance every year AND exams.