Children’s Classic and Modern Writers
More Children’s Classics and Some Obvious Modern Writers
Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome. However old-fashioned in terms of modern life, these are still just very good, strongly written stories. My very modern kids love them, read them, and listen to the cd’s.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I defy anyone not to cry when Beth dies. A good one to listen to on audio, too.
Swiss Family Robinson by J.R.Wyss. The original Castaways, along with Robinson Crusoe (who I never got on with). Worth persevering with the slightly archaic language to learn about onagers and ostrich-riding.
A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls and Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I cannot recommend these highly enough. A fabulous introduction to myth, and where I acquired my own lifelong love of them.
The Hobbit the best way to start on Tolkien. And the BBC audio version is fantastic for a long car journey.
Dick King Smith. Every species under the sun for animal lovers, but also for those who just like a good story. I particularly like Daggie Dogfoot.
J.K.Rowling. J.K. got everyone talking about children’s books at a time when they were in the doldrums. And they’re a really good, page-turning read. I have seen more children utterly gripped by the Harry Potter series than any other. How many authors can claim that?
Philip Pullman. Philip’s His Dark Materials series is beautifully written, thought-provoking, challenging and I can’t wait for more about Lyra.
Garth Nix. Both his Old Kingdom trilogy and the ongoing Keys to the Kingdom series are fantastic, the first for older readers, and the second for younger. Brilliant stuff.
Eoin Colfer. The Artemis Fowl books make me laugh out loud with delight, and gnash my teeth at the excellence of the imagination that could come up with LEPrecon. ‘Die Hard with fairies’ it certainly is.
Goodnight Mr Tom is on every
school reading list, but try her other books too,
Back Home, A Cuckoo in the
Nest and A Spoonful of Jam
Beatrix Potter. Peter Rabbit et al must be on every bookshelf, because their charm will never fade.
Alison Uttley. Likewise Little Grey Rabbit, Hare and Squirrel.
AA Milne. I have Eeyore’s quote—‘ This writing business. Pencils and what-not. Over-rated, if you ask me. Silly stuff. Nothing in it,’ on my wall at all times to keep me humble. Forget the Disney stuff, go back to the original Pooh Bear and Piglet.
Roald Dahl. The master never fails to appeal. The BFG is my personal favourite.