Children’s books

While still thinking about children’s books, as a more positive followup to yesterday’s post, a question:

Which children’s book (or series of books) do you wish you’d read when you were a child?

Perhaps you couldn’t have read it because it hadn’t been published yet, or you simply didn’t come across it until later. Something you like very much now, but you just wish you could have experienced it without all your grown-up knowingness. (Examples that don’t include the words ‘Harry Potter’ are especially welcome…)

Alternatively, maybe there’s something you’ve never quite got round to reading at all but always rather wanted to?

For me, it might well be Philip Pullman’s Sally Lockhart mysteries (rather than the Dark Materials trilogy, which I do like a great deal, but don’t quite give me that ‘Oh, I wish I’d found this when I was twelve!’ effect). They are absolutely terrific. I only wish there were more of them.

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9 Responses to Children’s books

  1. Simon says:

    C. S. Forster’s naval stories.

    Much of what Alexander Dumas wrote.

    And Jules Verne.

  2. “The Golden Compass” or, as it is sometimes called, “Northern Lights.”

    Lyra is my hero.

  3. I second Sally Lockhart — they have all the things I liked when I was a kid. I read my way through all the Zilpha Keatley Snyder books. And I wish there had been more Joan Aiken.

    OH — and everything by Terry Pratchett.

    Actually, I wish I’d read more kid sf and fantasy when I was a kid, I went from a couple of Andre Norton books and the John Christopher Tripods series right into the Dune series and Heinlein when I was about 13-14 (this could explain much). I never read the Earthsea books when I was young, not until long after I’d read the Left Hand of Darkness …

    But then, I tended to read what was on our bookshelves at home and what my friends read.

  4. ADM: My SF reading was similar in many ways, but I went to Ellison and Kuttner (and Heinlein, yes) and McAffery. Not so much kid stuff, there. Warped me for life, yes, and I’m grateful, mostly. I didn’t get Leguin until I was all grown up (physically), and it’s probably just as well: I was ready for the mindbending and politics when it came, instead of having it go over my head.

    One traditional entry which I didn’t read, but my son loves, is the Pooh stories. For some reason we just never got those. Lots of Maurice Sendak and Seuss in those early years, but not Pooh. I came to Pooh late in life, via the Tao books….

  5. I never read Ellison till grad school — moved much more towards fantasy and didn’t read so much straight sf for a long time. Then I happened upon Gibson, and it was back to sf as well. I should probably be glad Vertigo wasn’t publishing when I was younger, though. Between Hellblazer and Sandman, there’s a lot of warp-worthy material out there.

  6. coturnix says:

    SF, sure. But Baudelaire children! I wish those were out when I was a kid!

  7. Sharon says:

    Mmm, yes. I’ve only read the first one, but it was delicious.

  8. MOON says:

    I bought it to my kid, but b4 she had the chance to read it, it did :-)
    and loved it all, the flying bears, the movment between paralel universe…and “the air” of things.
    btw, i couldn’t read Harry Poter, i made it onlt to the first book (which i read out load, to her when she was 6, since then, she managed to read all the rest of them by her self)

  9. Sharon says:

    Moon: Sorry your comment got held up in moderation for so long. The antispam blacklist doesn’t like the m*n.com domain name and I didn’t spot it till this morning.

    (I’ve now read some of the HPs and quite liked them in places. Although Harry is mostly rather irritating.)

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