There are a few people we might dedicate our love of reading to: our parents, our siblings, our grandparents. However, one of the most important influencers of my reading journey is my primary school librarian. Memories of that time have somewhat faded over the years, but one of the places I distinctly remember is the library, with its carpeted walls, books with an antique smell, and grumbling kids who had to wait for their favourite book to be returned. It was a sanctuary, and opened up whole new worlds for me to explore.
Here are my top five picks that will take you on a nostalgic journey back to those innocent days of primary school.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (1964)
This classic tale by Roald Dahl has to be one of his most famous and a favourite of mine. The idea of a chocolate factory has always fascinated me, and as we go on a journey with Charlie, we meet some interesting character along the way, especially Willy Wonka. Also, who can forget Violet turning into a blueberry? Not only that, but Roald Dahl’s writing has been always easy and awesome to read.
Tongue Tied by Paul Jennings (2002)
Some of the quirkest tales I have ever read came from Paul Jennings, whose various books have been adapted into the classic Round the Twist TV show we all know and love. Renowned for his plot twists and unique situations, Tongue Tied is a short story collection featuring a rare fish, glow in the dark teeth, and a farting dog. Perfect for taking you back to the good old days.
The Big Big Big Book of Tashi by Anna Fienberg, Barbara Fienberg and Kim Gamble (2001)
This book is absolutely terrifying when you read it as a kid. Aside from the fact our protagonist has ridiculous hair (which I admit I was jealous of), he encounters some terrifying creatures including demons, ghosts, genies, and Baba Yaga. Tashi is a character who lives a rather awesome life, but is also incredibly cunning and smart (I totally did not aspire to be like him.)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997)
I only have one word: Hogwarts. I can’t have been the only one who waited by their mailbox after turning eleven for my Hogwarts letter. The first book in the series introduces us to the Wizarding world, to magic and mystery. We also meet some of our beloved characters such as Hagrid, Dumbledore, Molly Weasley, Hermione, Ron, and of course, Harry. It’s an iconic series, and the first book brings back so many memories.
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (2005)
If you didn’t read this series in primary school or even early high school, you need to. It’s got Greek gods, magic, a super fun camp where you make some friends, and some good butt kicking. Percy is such an awesome protagonist, and Rick weaves together modern society and Greek mythology effortlessly. Even though Percy is the star of the show, Annabelle will always be my favourite.
Blog: The Literary Casanova