What book made you fall in love with reading as a child? Bestselling childrens' author Jonathan Stroud understands that sometimes all it takes is just one book to open up an incredible new world for children of all ages, and he's got a fantastic list of his favorite kids' books that changed the way he felt about reading forever - today on the NOOK Blog.
Jonathan: A great book has magical powers. It doesn’t just divert or entertain you, it changes you forever. It does this by becoming part of you – ever afterwards, it’s part of your mind and make-up, causing you to respond to the world in a subtly different fashion.This is true throughout your life, but the books you read in childhood are the strongest and most powerful of all. Here’s a list of 20 books I’ve loved, at various times and in various ways. Some are classics from my early years, some more recent kids’ titles that have blown me away. There are scary books, funny ones and great adventures: a few manage to be all three at once. They’re all available as ebooks, and they’re all worth reading and rereading. Enjoy!
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
The greatest adventure story ever written, and the fountain-head from which all modern young adult fiction flows. Countless classic scenes, but try the one where Jim Hawkins and his mother sit in the dark listening to the tapping of the blind man’s stick on the road outside: Stevenson achieves almost Hitchcockian levels of suspense here.
Humphrey the Horrible and his family of ghouls must seek a new home when their castle is modernized. Eva Ibbotson was a pioneer of the genre-bending children’s book. Her stories manage to be creepy and hugely funny all at the same time, and this one, where the ghosts are the heroes, is one of the very best.
Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror by Chris Priestley
For readers still too young for MR James, this is the perfect introduction to the delights of the English ghost story. Deliciously succinct, inventive and macabre.
Revenge of the Witch (Last Apprentice Series #1) by Joseph Delaney
Young Thomas Ward gets a job fighting the powers of darkness. Horrid ghosts and fantastically scary witches await. A superb supernatural thriller.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Gaiman harnesses the dark power of fairy tale in this modern classic. Scariest bit? The ‘other mother’ with button eyes. Eek!
Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Hobbit J R R Tolkien
Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
Collected Ghost Stories M.R. James
The Wolves of Willougbhy Chase Joan Aiken
A Wizard of Earthsea Ursula Le Guin
Sabriel (Abhorsen Trilogy Series #1) Garth Nix
The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
The Inimitable Jeeves by P.G.Wodehouse
Tell Me: What's your favorite childrens' novel?
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