Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Looking for a Book to Read?

Writers are almost always readers first, so we ask our guest authors to tell us the titles of books they enjoyed as children as well as any books they've read recently which they'd recommend to other readers.

Previously, we've complied these into lists - here are last year's recommendations from May and November. This time, we thought it might be interesting to show you what the authors actually said about their book recommendations. Once again, Enid Blyton featured strongly. A prolific author, she clearly influenced generations of kids - some of whom grew up to also write children's books.

New York Public Library

Have a look at what last month's guest authors have to say about the books that influenced them and books they recommend as good reads.

Kids' Lit Quiz founder and quizmaster, Wayne Mills reads a LOT! Have a look at just some of his recommended books at Good Books Not to be Missed!

Jackie French

"When I was ten, Emily of New Moon, by L. M. Montgomery taught me that a girl could make a living as a writer, even if parents and teachers said she couldn’t. When I was eleven, Seal Morning by Rowena Farre showed me a life with wild animals as friends, growing my own vegetables, watching the land around me. The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay gave me a vision of a good life, living in a tree with pudding for dinner and good conversation of an evening."

Tania McCartney

As a kid, I had quite the picture book obsession—an obsession that’s still with me today (and I’m old enough to be both your mum AND your grandmother—horrifying!). I honestly don’t think you’re ever too ‘old’ for picture books—they can be adored at any time of life.

For me, the two very best kinds are a) funny/kooky/clever, and b) eye-popping illustration. Below are some of my recent favourites. I hope you love them as much as I do!

These books are either amazingly clever, laugh-out-loud funny or just plain kooky. Sometimes all three!

Mike I Don’t Like by Jol and Kate Temple
My Teacher is a Monster by Peter Brown
A Forest by Marc Martin
Mrs Mo’s Monster by Paul Beavis
I Wanna Be a Pretty Princess by Heath McKenzie

I also love picture books that feature few words and lots of stunning illustration. You simply must must must check these out!

Wave by Suzy Lee
Flora the Flamingo by Molly Idle
Zoom by Istvan Banyai
The Hole by Oyvind Torseter
People by Blexbolex

Sherryl Clark

Sherryl's favourite books when she was young were the Narnia series, but when she was (a lot) older, she fell in love with Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising. She also likes scary picture books, like The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman.

Pamela Rushby

"Books I liked when I was a kid included the Anne of Green Gables books and I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. And Antonia Forest's Marlowe family stories.

Books I've read lately and loved: Catherine Jinks' trilogy about Bogles in Victorian London, and Karen Foxlee's Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy."

Goldie Alexander

"When I was very young there wasn’t much around for kids to read. When I was very small I loved all Enid Blyton’s novels, the poetry of A.A. Milne, and the Anne of Green Gables series. As I grew a little older, most of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. Very soon, I was reading adult fiction.

Recent titles I recommend for young readers include Margo Lanagan’s Seahearts, The Hunger Games and The Three Loves of Persimmon."

Sally Murphy

"When I was in primary school I loved to read anything with words – but remember a book called Mandy by Julie Edwards Andrew as a special favourite. I also loved the Trixie Belden series, and the Chalet School series. More recently, I have loved Glenda Millard’s Kingdom of Silk series and Sandy Fussell’s Samurai Kids series."

Barry Jonsberg

As a child, Barry read many books by Enid Blyton and classics like Treasure Island by R.L. Stevenson and The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the same guy who did Sherlock Holmes.) He would recommend anything written by Michael Gerard Bauer, Scot Gardner and Philip Gwynne for younger readers today. This is because they are friends and have paid him to say that.

Dianne Wolfer

"Books I loved when I was young include Anne of Green Gables, Bottersnikes and Gumbles, the Little Women books (especially Jo’s Boys) and anything by Ivan Southall. His books made a huge impact on me, particularly a lesser known one called Finns Folly. It was so raw and powerful."

Jess Black

"When I was younger (10-13) I loved –

Anything by Enid Blyton – The Secret Seven, The Famous Five, The Magic Faraway Tree
The Wizard of Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula Le Guin
The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis
the Nancy Drew series
The Hardy Boys series
Anything involving horses
Fly By Night by Frances Hardinge
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
the Trixie Belden series

Some of my current favourites are -

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
The Harry Potter series by J K Rowling
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
Children of the Lamp series by P B Kerr
The Spook's Apprentice by Joseph Delaney"

Bruce Pascoe

Bruce's favourite boyhood books were those by Jack London and John Steinbeck because they were often about animals.

Josie Montano

Josie's favourite author was Enid Blyton. She then went on to receive her first rejection letter from Golden Books at age thirteen. She loves coffee, chocolate, amateur theatre, going to the movies, being silly, witty, humorous and enjoys reading Andy Griffiths' silly, witty and humorous books!

Andy Griffiths

Two of Andy's favourite books as a child—The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland and The Magic Faraway Tree—have greatly influenced his latest series of books, The 13-Storey Treehouse, The 26-Storey Treehouse and The 39-Storey Treehouse.

Anita Heiss

Anita suggests that advanced readers aged 10 to 13 would like these books by Indigenous writers:

The Chainsaw File by Bruce Pascoe
Demon Guards the School Yard by The Students of La Perouse Public School with Anita Heiss
Jali Boy by Ricky Macour
My Girragundji by Meme McDonald and Boori Monty Pryor

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