Friday, 24 January 2014

Friday Faves || Favourite Childhood Books

Friday Faves is a feature I'm trying to get rolling about your favourite (bookish) things! I love hearing people talk about their favourites! They get so excited and occasionally incoherent. It's such fun.

A list of all my planned topics so far is here. Feel free to link up if you get inspired (and suggest future ideas too!)

This week I'm getting nostalgic and talking about my favourite childhood books. To clarify, I'm going to write about books I read as a teen and younger. So literally books from my childhood. But feel free to interpret this however you'd like.

(Interesting aside: I did this list in reverse chronological order based on when I read them as a kid.)

 Everworld by KA Applegate ★★★★☆
David's life was pretty normal. School. Friends. Girlfriend. Actually, Senna was probably the oddest aspect of his life. She was beautiful. Smart. But there was something very different about her. Something strange.

And on the day it began, everything happened so quickly. One moment, Senna was with him. The next, she was swallowed up by the earth, her screams echoing from far, far away. David couldn't just let her go. Neither could the others. His friends and hers. So, they followed. And found themselves in a world they could have never imagined. 

Now they have to find Senna and get home without losing their lives. Or their minds. Or both...

This series was probably one of the most fondly remembered series of my young adult life. Recommended to me by my best friend in... 10th? grade, it was such a pleasure. Mythology, personal demons, parallel worlds... this series was fantastic. The books pictured above are the entire series and they cycle through different perspectives of the main cast of characters.

I feel like I ought to do the "If you liked Percy Jackson...." schtick here, because they're not that dissimilar. But really, if you love mythology and ensemble casts, check this out.

 Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling ★★★★★
Harry Potter is lucky to reach the age of thirteen, since he has already survived the murderous attacks of the feared Dark Lord on more than one occasion. But his hopes for a quiet term concentrating on Quidditch are dashed when a maniacal mass-murderer escapes from Azkaban, pursued by the soul-sucking Dementors who guard the prison. It's assumed that Hogwarts is the safest place for Harry to be. But is it a coincidence that he can feel eyes watching him in the dark, and should he be taking Professor Trelawney's ghoulish predictions seriously?

I almost feel like I don't need to explain this. Except I totally do.

This is my favourite Harry Potter book, you guys. (Remember, I bailed after OotP, so keep that in mind too.)

This is almost 100% because my love for Remus and Sirius is ridiculous. They are two of my favourite characters in the entire series. And the backstory and plot twist and reconciliation in this book just. Ugh. Happy sighs. (Sirius' absurd death is likely also responsible for my abandoning ship on this series, but I'll own up to that.)

Sighs. This book.

 Animorphs by KA Applegate ★★★★☆
Sometimes weird things happen to people. Ask Jake. He may tell you about the night he and his friends saw the strange light in the sky. He may even tell you about what happened when they realized the "light" was only a plan -- from another planet. Here's where Jake's story gets a little weird. It's where they're told that the human race is under attack -- and given the chance to fight back.

Now Jake, Rachel, Cassie, Tobias, and Marco have the power to morph into any animal they choose. And they must use that power to outsmart an evil that is greater than anything the world has ever seen...

Okay, okay, guilty as charged. My childhood self had a thing about KA Applegate. I read this long before Everworld, though.

Now, there are 50-something books in this series. If I'm being honest, I sort of lost the plot somewhere around book 20 and then dropped the series altogether. But this series features some of my first and most beloved characters. (Tobias and Ax, if you were wondering. I still plan on naming a future child Tobias, that is how much this series has impacted me.)

 Hatchet by Gary Paulsen ★★★★☆
Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother has given his as a present--and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart ever since his parents' divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self-pity, or despair--it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive.

I posted about my reread of Hatchet in December. As a kid I probably would've given it 5 stars... as an adult I gave it 3. So I figured I'd go for middle ground on this entry.

This was a grade six experience. I remember this book being the answer to the question, "What's your favourite book?" There was just something about this book, something about the age I was when I read it. It had staying power.

I analysed this in a little more detail in my proper review, which you can find here.

 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson ★★★★☆
Jess Aarons' greatest ambition is to be the fastest runner in his grade. He's been practicing all summer and can't wait to see his classmates' faces when he beats them all. But on the first day of school, a new girl boldly crosses over to the boys' side and outruns everyone.

That's not a very promising beginning for a friendship, but Jess and Leslie Burke become inseparable. Together they create Terabithia, a magical kingdom in the woods where the two of them reign as king and queen, and their imaginations set the only limits.

This was required reading in my fifth grade class and to this day, I can still remember reading parts of this in class. My teacher read this every year and I remember us getting towards the end of the book and she said, "This is the only chapter I'm not reading aloud. I can't do it. You'll have to read it yourselves."

(If you've read this book, you'll know what chapter she's talking about. It's one of the first times I remember a book ever making me cry.)

Again, this hasn't been reread since then, but it was a definitive moment in my childhood reading.

... Well, that about does it! What about you? What books do you remember fondly from childhood? Have you reread them since? Have you read any of these books?

Let me know!