Like many book worms, I was a voracious reader as a child. I grew up in Roebourne and my sisters and I were regulars at the library there. It’s no wonder that I turned to reading as there really wasn’t much for kids to do in the Pilbara town in the early eighties. I had read my first novel by age five and once I had started, I couldn’t stop. I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite books from my childhood:
Charlotte’s Web by E B White
The one that started it all…I clearly remember browsing the ‘big kids’ shelf for the first time, and something about Charlotte’s Web just called to me. Probably because even back then I was an animal lover, which may have been a mistake in some regards since I bawled like a baby when I finished it (spoilers – Charlotte dies in the end). It was such a sweet story however, and I was hooked from the get go.
Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce.
I was 8 when we moved down to Perth and I’d read almost everything suitable for my age. My year four teacher lent me Tom’s Midnight Garden as she believed it was the next step up for me, and this book has haunted me for my entire adult life. I soon forgot the title but the story of the boy who had gone to live with his aunt and uncle so he wouldn’t catch measles from his brother lived on in my mind. His friendship with Hatty, who he meets when he falls through time as he enters the garden had me frustrated that I couldn’t remember the name of the book many years later when all I wanted to do was re-read it. Luckily the internet age dawned and all it took was a few searches on Google to track it down.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis.
Everyone is so familiar with The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe that they tend to forget that it’s part of a seven-book series. My mum had an ancient boxset from her own childhood and it soon found its way into my grubby hands. My favourite book of them all is The Magician’s Nephew, chronologically the first book that details how Narnia came to be, followed closely by Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators by Robert Arthur Jr
My maiden name was Hitchcock and that was probably what made me pick up one of these books for the first time. I quickly fell in love with them however as the Three Investigators got up to all sorts of adventures and solved various mysteries. The Mystery of the Screaming Clock was the best book of the ones I read (I don’t think I ever got to read all 42) and I would love to read them again one day. I just need to win lotto as they’re all horribly expensive now.