Monday, 29 February 2016

The authors who shaped my childhood

Authors who shaped my childhood


Today I learnt of the death of an author who played a massive part in my teenage years. Louise Rennison passed away aged 63 and for those of you who don’t know her novels, she wrote the Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging series. Hearing such sad news made me really think back to the authors who had a massive impact on me growing up so I thought I’d write this post about which authors stood out to me.

I’ve always been a book worm. As a kid, I’d spend my holiday money on books and would always be given book vouchers for Christmas. I absolutely loved going to the library when I was a child and being able to choose books to take home. (Apologies to Huntington Library for the copy of The Magic Roundabout that I think I may still have). Growing up, I always took a book with me wherever I went and once ended up having my bag searched going through customs because for some reason, two hardback Harry Potter books looked suspicious. When I was homesick at university, I used to go to Waterstones to buy a book to cheer myself up. My first tattoo is of a book with a quill as reading and writing are all I’ve ever done and wanted to do.

Reading is my thing and here are the authors who made me fall in love with it.

Jacqueline Wilson
Which girl of my age didn’t read Jacqueline Wilson?! The day I donated my extensive collection to charity was heartbreaking but at the same time, knowing that they could one day bring as much pleasure to a young girl as they did me made all the difference. From reading classics such as The Story of Tracy Beaker and Double Act to the more young adult books including the Girls Series and Love Lessons, I felt like I grew up with her novels. Looking back, they are surprisingly hard-hitting, tackling issues such as divorce, eating disorders and living with very little money. Despite being fictional, these books covered a lot of ground in terms of their content and therefore made them very relatable.

Louise Rennison
I absolutely adored her diary-style books documenting the goings-on in the life of Georgia Nicholson, in the Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging series. Her books pretty much nailed what it was like to be a teenager when you were embarrassed by your parents, had zero clue about boys and everything in the world was a massive drama. Somehow, she just understood what it was like to be the not that popular kid who didn’t really know how to survive life, yet managed all the same. Not many authors can get right into that mindset!

Meg Cabot
Who didn’t love The Princess Diaries? I have a friend who still sends me a message every couple of months asking why Michael still hasn’t fallen in love with her. Also, Josh Ritcher is still such a douche. I love that the books just kept coming in that series and whilst the concept of finding out you’re a teenage princess is just a bit unrealistic, every part of how she deals with it is a teenage girl down to a tee.
                                   
JK Rowling
Did anyone think I’d write this list without including Harry Potter? Of course you didn’t. I still remember my mum reading me the first book, a chapter a night, until I got to The Prisoner of Azkaban and read it myself. And I still remember being absolutely scared shitless when I got to the point in the Shrieking Shack when Sirius was behind the door. Maybe I should have let my mum keep reading to me?! Hogwarts has been the world I can escape to from aged about 8 until now and it’s almost like a book-shaped comfort blanket. I have The Half Blood Prince next to me as I type this as I’m re-reading it at the moment. I don’t know what it is about the magic of these books that will forever have me gripped but they brought me pure joy throughout my childhood. Well they did until key characters started being killed off and it genuinely feels like you’ve lost someone you know.

Enid Blyton
I still refuse to pass on or donate my Enid Blyton books to charity as I absolutely loved them as a child. The combination of Harry Potter and The Twins at St Clares made be absolutely desperate to go to boarding school! Though the books are a bit older, it didn’t bother me in the slightest that they weren’t set in the present day. I used to be fascinated by the life that the girls at St Clares led at boarding school and reading the series as they grew up immersed me in a whole other world.

Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel which taught me life lessons. Despite this novel being introduced to me via GCSE, I still absolutely loved reading it and it’s one that’s stayed with me. I think I read it at an age where I could take a lot from it, especially the lessons which Atticus teaches his children. Whilst it’s not a book I continually go back to, it’s one of those ‘you just have to read it’ books that is an absolute classic.


So tell me, which authors shaped your childhood? 
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1 comment

  1. I love this post!! Completely agree with your choices. Jacqueline Wilson was my favourite, and I forgot how much I loved Enid Blyton until you mentioned her in this post. The St Clare books were amazing, I loved them!! What a great throwback post.

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