Hi Jill, there are several books as I was growing up that helped shaped and inspire my reading for the rest of my life. What do you think are some important books for kids to read in their younger years, and then when they're on the brink of adulthood?
Anything that captures their imagination is OK by me. I was thrilled to bits with Enid Blyton stories and comics, as well as the wonderful Narnia stories by C.S. Lewis (with fantastic illustrations by Pauline Baynes), which are still as fresh today as they ever were. I also liked the stories about the Bastable children in Five Children and It and The Phoenix and the Carpet by E. Nesbitt. The Secret Garden and A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson-Burnett are two other all-time favourites. There is a fantastic gift edition of The Secret Garden published by Walker Books, with illustrations by Inga Moore.
My son Charlie has dyslexia and getting him interested in books was always a battle which, I am delighted to say, we won hands down as he has just received a Degree in English from Falmouth University! One of the first books that made him interested in reading was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, which must be one of the best books ever written. He also loved The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. All three of these books have characters so real and gripping and full of dilemmas in their lives and I think that these qualities draw in any readers, either reluctant or enthusiastic.