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Childhood books

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Interest in HF: I love history, but it's boring in school. Historical fiction brings it alive for me.
Preferred HF: Iron-Age Britain, Roman Britain, Medieval Britain
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Post by Rowan » Tue October 28th, 2008, 3:04 pm

[quote=""diamondlil""]I also loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books, although once I had read them a couple of time choosing where to go next I then just read them straight through from beginning to end.[/quote]

I'm so glad someone else I know read those books!! I thought they were cleverly done.

I also enjoyed the Little House on the Prairie series which I think really got me started reading on my own. In the 6th grade, my teacher read aloud to us a curious little book called Bunnicula - about a vampire rabbit who sucked the "blood" out of veggies :D - and went on to collect all three in the trilogy. I also adored the Encyclopedia Brown series.
Last edited by Rowan on Tue October 28th, 2008, 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: grammar

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Post by EC2 » Tue October 28th, 2008, 3:15 pm

Green Smoke by Barbara Manning
The Worzel Gummidge books by Barbara Euphan Todd
The Just William books by Richmal Crompton
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Homer's Illiad, Oddyssey and Aenid
various collected folk tales from around the world - I read all the compendiums and Andersen and Grimm.
Ditto The children's Book of ghost stories
The Wool Pack by Cynthia Harnett.
The Silver Brumby series by Elyne Mitchell
The My Friend Flicka series by Mary O'Hara.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal


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Post by Ariadne » Tue October 28th, 2008, 4:30 pm

[quote=""Leyland""]Ariadne - I love that book! I still have the paperback I bought in the 70's while still in middle school and have read it at least a half dozen times. I'll keep reading that one until I'm a little old lady.

Mrs. Canfield's tragically developed strength of will was crucial as Jane-Emily had certainly been a spoiled cruel terror and continued to be so. I really liked Louisa and her calm strength. Clapp's ability to create characters with intense strengths and weaknesses, and then combine them in a spooky family ghost story is wonderful.[/quote]

I'm glad you agree! I originally had a 1970s-era paperback too, but my mom must have tossed it after I moved out, to my dismay. I went and bought another copy after it was reissued last year and love it just as much now as I did then. Every time I see a glass reflecting ball in someone's yard, it reminds me of that novel. There was a lot I missed when I read it as a child - like Jane's reaction to Louisa's boyfriend Martin and his silly poetry. Hilarious!

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Post by sweetpotatoboy » Tue October 28th, 2008, 5:58 pm

Oh, and The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper!!

And the Narnia books, of course.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue October 28th, 2008, 6:23 pm

The My Friend Flicka series by Mary O'Hara.[/quote]
Oh, I forgot those! I loved them all, although when I re-read them as an adult I was much better able to understand the subtle but very realistic story of the marital difficulties Rob and Nell were having, and the financial precariousness of trying to make a living raising horses when nobody is buying. As a kid, I couldn't quite get what the problem was, mostly I was focused on the boys and their horses.

I also read all the Black Stallion books, everything by Marguerite Henry, Black Beauty and many another horse-oriented book. There I was in the middle of Los Angeles, longing to have a horse. (Who'd have thought llamas?)
Loved Heidi. Does anyone remember a series of books called Half-Magic? There were at least two, and they involved a talisman where whatever you wished for, you only got half. It got the kids in a lot of trouble until they figured out what was happening.

Also, has anyone read the books by Sid Fleischman? He wrote 'By the Great Horn Spoon' and 'the Whipping Boy' among others.

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Post by cordaella » Tue October 28th, 2008, 6:36 pm

Good question, Michelle!

Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass - for the stories, the humour, the wordplay and the Tenniel illustrations (I won't look at editions with pics by other artists). I still read it for sheer pleasure.

Anything by Rosemary Sutcliff, especially The Mark of the Horse Lord, Warrior Scarlet and Sword at Sunset. There's nobody like her for atmosphere and setting and the muscular beauty of the writing. These feel like the ancient stories told at night around a fire with a storm howling outside.

Moonfleet by J Meade Faulkner - 18th-century smuggling in (I think) Dorset.

Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery - my mother's copies. I wanted to be her and live on Prince Edward Island.

Black Beauty (always with a hankie to catch the tears).

The Famous Five series for sheer thrills and spills. Stuff like this never happened in my school hols, alas.

The Woolpack by Cynthia Harnett. This brought medieval England to life for me.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. Ditto for 17th-century America.

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner - Lord of the Rings on a smaller but no less thrilling scale. Alan Garner grew up in the same Cheshire village as me and he set the story there. St Mary's Cliffe or (Clyffe) where the villainess lived was a real Victorian Gothic pile and I spent the first 3 years of my life there (it was converted into council flats after WW2 and we had one on the ground floor). Spooky. He based some of his characters on real village people, according to my mother.

An old book of Greek legends which had a brown cloth cover with a coloured picture set into it. I think it was a school prize won by my Dad. I adored the illustrations by (I think) Harry G Theakston, though I can't remember the name of the author. Does it ring a bell with anyone?

The Just So Stories by Kipling. Bliss. I've just started reading them to my 6-year-old granddaughter.

Fattypuffs and Thinifers by Andre Maurois - very funny and wise.

1066 And All That by Sellers and Yeatman - just very, very funny.

Now I yearn to read them all again! I see other folk have mentioned some of them. I wonder which ones will get most mentions?

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Post by Carla » Tue October 28th, 2008, 6:38 pm

Good question! I'm not sure I can remember that far back :-) A lot of Enid Blyton - Famous Five, Secret Seven, the Malory Towers school series. I remember I didn't care for the school stories at all because I was hopeless at sport and the only girl in the books who was also hopeless at sport was the awful Gwendolen.

Little House on the Prairie series, the Narnia books, Black Beauty, Heidi, Anne of Green Gables, E. Nesbitt, assorted compilations of legends (King Arthur, Robin Hood, Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales, Greek and Norse myths), Sherlock Holmes, a lot of Jean Plaidy (much of which was over my head, but I 'got' enough to keep me reading), H Rider Haggard, a lot of children's history books, and some children's science books in the school library that covered all sorts of fascinating things - I remember reading about the appearance of the new volcanic island of Surtsey off Iceland and wanting to be a geologist.
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Post by diamondlil » Tue October 28th, 2008, 7:51 pm

[quote=""Vanessa""]Oh, yes, I remember the Faraway Tree stories, I loved those, too! There used to be a different world that appeared at the top of the tree every so often, didn't there?


That's the one!
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Post by diamondlil » Tue October 28th, 2008, 7:54 pm

The Worzel Gummidge books by Barbara Euphan Todd

I don't remember the book of this, but I do have some faint recollections of a TV series.
My Blog - Reading Adventures

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There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

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Post by Madeleine » Tue October 28th, 2008, 8:05 pm

The Famous Five (still got them!)
The Narnia books
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Elidor and The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner (still got these too!)
Paddington Bear books
Little Women
Black Beauty (how I cried! - couldn't read it now)
Lizzie Dripping
The Secret Garden (still a favourite)
Nancy Drew
The Alfred Hitchcock mystery series

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