My book recommendations
A favourite book is one that gives you a bit of nostalgia, one that has that warm ‘I’d like to read that again’ feeling. A few of my favourite books have been with me since childhood; they’re ones that I remember because they got me into reading when I was a kid. Others, even though I discovered them when I was young, are still great to re-read at any age. Here are just a few recommendations.
I read a lot of adventure and mystery books when I was young, anything with ghosts or mummies or dinosaurs… that sort of thing. The very first adventure series I devoured was The Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne. All her books had attractive alliterative titles like ‘Mummies in the Morning’, ‘Dinosaurs Before Dark’ and ‘Pirates Past Noon’. They’re short, easy-to-read, engaging books for young readers. The series is about two siblings who stumble on a magic treehouse filled with books that transport them to different places across space and time. I’m not sure how many books there are in total, but I went through about a dozen of them when I was little, so I’m sure there are enough little novellas for whichever topic children find interesting.
Older kids, and especially older girls, might enjoy one of my favourite fantasy series: The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. It’s hard to rank my favourite fantasy books, but this one is right up there with Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia. The first book is about Cimorene, a princess who hates being ‘princessy’ and runs away from her parents’ castle to become a dragon’s cook/librarian. Needless to say, fun adventures ensue. Cimorene meets all sorts of quirky and memorable characters throughout the three books and her adventures are as funny as they are thought-provoking. Wrede uses humour and satire to subvert age-old fantasy tropes and sneaks in little bits of wisdom throughout her books, which make them a great coming-of-age series.
Outside the fantasy genre, a book I would recommend both to young readers and adults is Watership Down by Richard Adams. It’s a book with a lot of layers, an epic adventure with a lot of heart that features a group of rabbits searching for a new home. I first read it the summer between seventh and eighth grade and really liked it. I re-read it in college and found the book has a lot more depth than I’d noticed the first time around, it’s one of those books that’s enjoyable at any age.
Another book I read quite young but which I continue to enjoy is the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. The plot follows Arthur Dent, a human, and his alien friend Ford Prefect as they travel the galaxy after Earth is destroyed by aliens who write bad poetry. It is easily one of the funniest books I’ve ever read, filled with crazy and absurd situations that’ll make anyone laugh out loud.
Finally, last but not least, is my favourite comic book series Calvin and Hobbes. It features Calvin, a mischievously clever 6-year-old, and his pet tiger Hobbes, as the two go on made-up adventures, come up with schemes to get out of doing homework, and play tricks on Calvin’s parents and babysitter. The comics are funny, clever, and at times really heart-warming. It’s another classic series that’s great for kids who’re reluctant to read, since the comic strip is surprisingly eloquent and beautifully drawn.
I’ve many more favourites