13. Your favourite book from childhood.
I’ve always been a somewhat prolific reader, one of my proudest achievements was completing our local library’s reading challenge the year before I was supposed to be eligible to start it. My family probably spent most Saturday afternoons in the library and I can’t ever remember a time when I didn’t read.
I’ve already talked about some of my favourite books from when I was young; Black Beauty, Matilda, The BFG and so on but I wanted to talk about a couple of books that might be less well-known but which I remember reading over and over.
1. Thunderfoot (Deborah van der Beek). I was horse-mad as a child and this story about a girl desperate to save a Shire/Adrennais horse she finds in a nearby field. I remember thinking the book was huge and I was surprised when I saw it still sitting on my shelf at home a few months ago and found that it’s actually quite small. I think I probably loved this story because it was my fervent hope that one day I would find a horse I could adopt as my own. Whether I’d still enjoy it now I couldn’t say and I’m probably not going to find out. I don’t want to ruin the happy memories!
2. Special Powers (Mary Hoffman). This book I picked up in my local library clearance sale without really knowing what the story was (I was a book fiend even then) and with absolutely no idea that I would end up reading and rereading throughout the rest of my adolescence (and possibly even when I was an adult). To summarise the book is easy: an average teenage girl fights to save her local library with the help of an alien family (it sounds a bit ridiculous but I promise it’s much better than it sounds). To summarise why I loved it is even easier: I was a boring (pre-)teenage girl and the excitement that the Power family brought to Emily’s life is something I longed for.
Isn’t that why we read books? To live the life we can’t have in reality? I think both of the choices I’ve presented here show that was definitely my philosophy from a very young age!