Anyone who knows me knows that I love reading. I would have a book in my hands 24/7 if it were possible. The interesting thing though is that I only really developed my love for books after I’d left school. It wasn’t until then that I began to acquire my own book collection and got to choose the books I read. Before that, I was limited to either the books we were reading in class or whatever was available in our little school library. That being said, I did often enjoy the books we read in class thoroughly, and can honestly say that they set the foundation for my current appreciation of the written word. So, below I’ve listed 10 of the most memorable books from my school years and why I enjoyed them.
1) Winnie the Pooh – A. A. Milne
When I was in Year 1, our teacher had this beautiful, illustrated edition of Winnie the Pooh and would read it to us after we came in from our lunch break. I was familiar with the Disney cartoon at the time and remember thinking how cool it was that there was a book about the movie! Later, when I was in high school, I actually bought my own hard cover, illustrated copy just so I could have it sitting on my bookshelf for safekeeping.
2) The Cat in the Hat – Dr. Seuss
Dear old Dr. Seuss! What kid doesn’t love these books? I’m sure we read a lot of his books when I was in school but The Cat in the Hat was a memorable one. With such a crazy character and lots of funny rhyming words, reading this book was always a lot of fun.
3) The Eleventh Hour – Graeme Base
This book fascinated me when I was first introduced to it. I was about 9 or 10 at the time. It’s a picture book for older readers, but it is a mystery story and on every page there are clues hidden in the pictures, in the border, by the time on the clocks etc. This is another one I bought years later and I have used it in class before. It really is a unique kind of book.
4) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
I loved Roald Dahl books growing up, and I’m quite sure that this was the first one I read. We read it as a class in Year 4 and then once we’d finished the book, we got to throw a chocolate party!
5) The Magician’s Nephew – C. S. Lewis
We started reading The Magician’s Nephew the same year we read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I was in awe with this book when we first started it. It turned out that for my birthday that year I got given a big, hard copy version of The Chronicles of Narnia and slowly worked my way through it during the following years. Fast forward 10+ years later and C. S. Lewis remains my all time favourite author. In fact, I’m still reading some of his books today.
6) Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbit
Tuck Everlasting is a gorgeous book! I read it when I was about 12. It is about a young girl who gets to know a family that has drank from a ‘spring of life’ and can no longer age. The prose is very poetic and it gets you thinking about the cycle of life and the reason we’re here. This one has definitely stuck with me.
* 7) Holes – Louis Sachar
I think a lot of people would be familiar with the movie adaptation of this book, featuring the young Shia LaBeouf as the main character. This was such an entertaining read and is great for those preteen years where fast-paced books with some comedy in them keep the reader engaged.
* 8) Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
To be honest, when we read this book in high school I didn’t really like it. It did, however, get me thinking about the future and humanity and I have often found myself referring back to it in conversations.
9) To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
This book is one of my favourites to date and is sitting happily on my bookshelf at home. I love the characters, the setting, the era, the deeper messages and the ambience of this book. This is one I could reread over and over.
10) The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
I read this as a teenager and its beautiful extravagance and Gatsby’s unique character drew me in from beginning to end. I still enjoy F. Scott Fitzgerald’s works and am glad I got a taste of his writing during my school years.
* = Images from http://www.goodreads.com