I was asked to nominate my favourite childrens books from my own childhood: TOO hard. This is as much as I remember…

  1. ALL the Swallows and Amazons Books – Swallows and Amazons, Swallowdale, Peter Duck, Winter Holiday, Coot Club, Pigeon Post, We Didn’t Mean To Go To Sea, Secret Water, The Big Six , Missee Lee , The Picts and the Martyrs: Or Not Welcome At All , Great Northern? . Of those, I think We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea is one of the best sea stories and children’s books ever written.
  2. C.S. Lewis, the Narnia Books
  3. Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time, The Owl Service
  4. Alan Garner, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen
  5. JRR Tolkien. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (I got it for my 12th birthday)
  6. R.L. Stevenson, Kidnapped, Treasure Island
  7. John Christopher, The Tripods series and the Burning Lands Trilogy
  8. Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Books, Kim
  9. C.S.Forester (not really a children’s author, but I discovered Hornblower at 13): The Happy Return
  10. Hugh Lofting, Dr Dolittle
  11. Hendrik Van Loon, Van Loon’s Lives

Where are the Australians? This is so Anglo-centric! I read most of them – Thiele, Southall, etc, especially the wonderul To the Wild Sky.

With a mother who was a teacher and later a school librarian, I never lacked for reading. I seem to have read most of the Newberry Medal Winners until about 1973. I read most of the rest until about 1990 when I did my Dip.Ed. with Ken Watson. That was a wonderful year of reading a childrens’ novel every evening on the way home in the train.

Once I went to Boarding School, I tended to browse the shelves. I remember starting at A and reading anything interesting, and that was the end of Children’s Lit for me.