When I was thinking about all the books I loved as a child the other day, I just had to reread them to see if I would still love them today as an adult. My reading habit didn’t vary much when I was very young. Jacqueline Wilson was always my go-to author, like most young girls I knew.
Then as I got older I discovered Holes, The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and The Secret Garden. As a teenager, I was obsessed with The Hunger Games and many other young adult fantasy novels. This was also around the time I started falling in love with classics like Emma and Wuthering Heights.
I’ve noticed a lot of the books I picked up were by female authors. I don’t know if that’s because they were very good at conveying the thoughts of a young girl or because a lot of the books I read were narrated in the first person, which is something I was massively drawn to at the time.
I picked three books to reread because I wanted to read something suitable for someone under the age of 10, another for a 12-year-old and then a book more suitable for teenagers.
1. The Suitcase Kid by Jacqueline Wilson
I think I must have read this many times as a child because as soon as I started it, the plot came straight back to me as if I read it yesterday. It’s a story about Andy, who lives with her mother one week and her father the next. Since the divorce she has struggled to fit into their new families and wishes they could go back to their old home at Mulberry Cottage. One thing I’ve always liked about Wilson’s books is that she shows the reader that not every child has it easy.
The story was really enjoyable still as an adult. I particularly liked how each chapter started with a letter from the alphabet, and each one was a prompt for Andy to tell us something we didn’t know about her life. Though it’s marketed for 10 year olds to read, I think it’s suitable for a slightly younger audience and can see why I was such a big fan of this book when I was a child.
2. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
This reread brought back a lot of memories and I now want to reread the whole series. It’s a really funny and heartwarming read, written entirely as diary entries.
Mia writes about how her life changes when her father announces she is the Princess of Genovia and when he dies she will become the heir to the throne. She doesn’t take this well and tries to hide it from everyone around her.
I love how kind Mia is and enjoyed reading about her friendships with Lily, Tina and Michael. The book is so easy to read and I liked and appreciated the short chapters too. The only character in the book that I didn’t love all that much was her grandmother, which is a huge contrast between how I feel about her in the film adaption.
This series is definitely something a lot of teenagers will relate to as Mia deals with a lot of insecurities and struggles with day-to-day school life.
3. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Just Listen is probably targeted toward older readers as there are heavier topics involved including assault. But it’s one of my childhood books I return to the most. I must have read it at least five times before I picked it up again for this post.
Annabel, a small town model, has an older sister who is dealing with mental health issues, and a younger sister who is just starting out in the business. Before school starts, after the summer holidays comes to a close, she falls out with one of her best friends because something happened that she never wants to talk about again. Owen, a boy at her school who is a bit of a recluse helps her out one day and they quickly start to build a friendship. Through their love of music, they help each other out with their personal issues.
I’ve always loved the relationship that develops slowly between Owen and Annabel. They’re complete opposites but they’re just perfect for each other. I also love the scenes with Owen’s sister who happens to be a huge fan of Annabel’s modelling career. It’s a really sweet book, that delves into heavy topics but in a way that’s not overwhelming.
There is a trigger warning for assault in this book for anyone who might want to avoid it for those reasons.
What childhood books would you choose to read again? Let me know by commenting below. I’m also on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest – bookwormgirl_24