Top 10 Children’s books I NEVER read…

OK, so we’re always seeing lists of the top ten things of our time. Places, books, films. You name it, there’s a top ten list for everything. When I first started writing this blog, I was going to write down MY top ten list of children’s books – the books that shaped me (yes, number one was that classic of children’s classics, The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett).

But then I wondered if it might be more interesting to compile the top 10 books I NEVER read as a child. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have a book-deprived childhood. Quite the opposite. My mother encouraged me to read everything and anything from C.S.Lewis right through to Enid Blyton.  So I don’t know why, but some of the classics still past me by – probably because I simply didn’t get round to them! Anyway, here’s my list for what it’s worth. Make sure that none of them are missing from yours!

(1) Charlotte’s Web by E.B.White, a beautifully written and heart-breakingly sad classic. I really did only read this as an adult. I won’t spoil the ending for you!

(2) Mary Poppins by P.L.Travers – I watched the Disney film numerous times but I’m ashamed to say that I never read the original book until this year. Cherry Tree Lane is now indelibly etched in my memory. Magical.

(3) The Twits – Roald Dahl. I read all the other Roald Dahl’s but this one escaped me. How I laughed out-loud with my son at the two horrible creatures in this cackling children’s classic.

(4) The Hobbit – J.R.R.Tolkien

(5) Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome – nothing much happens in these children’s adventures, but who would not want to live and breathe the carefree existences of the stories.

(6) The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling – again, immortalised by the film, but the book is quite phenomenal.

(7) When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit – by Judith Kerr. A deeply moving tale of life in war-time.

(8) The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

(9) Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss – unforgettable words that stay with you forever.

(10) Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

21 thoughts on “Top 10 Children’s books I NEVER read…

  1. Hi Michelle.

    I’ve NEVER read the Twilight books or Harry Potter books. Don’t know why but, they just don’t interest me, love the films though.

    I also LOVE the book, The Hunger Games and ALL of Linda Chapmans books. I grew up with her FAB books, My Secret Unicorn, Startdust and Not Quite a Mermaid. Now, the books that help me ground myself are her new books, Loving Spirit and the Spell Sisters books. 🙂

    Have a brill day Michelle! x

  2. Hi Laura
    Thank you for posting! Good to hear from you again! It’s great that you love Linda’s books so much. I was actually her editor on some of them – I even got a dedication in My Secret Unicorn – one of the early ones. They’re fab, aren’t they? Interesting as well what you said about Harry Potter and Twilight. I think genre and covers can really influence what you do or don’t pick up in the book shop. Have a lovely day too!

  3. I think you could skip Phantom Tollbooth; it gets pretty repetitive (I do like the play on words, though). I love children’s lit and include suggestions and ideas on my new blog. So glad I cam across your site!

    • Just goes to show how many great books are out there that there’s quite simply not enough time to read them all! x

    • You really must read the Harry Potter books! They are the best books I have ever read and are fifty times better then the movies! 🙂

  4. Out of your list I have only read ‘Charlotte’s Web’ and ‘The Twits’, (and The Twits I read as an adult)
    I have a copy of ‘Mary Poppins’ that I bought last month from a discount book shop. Really looking forward to it!
    All the rest have passed me by too.
    To be honest I read all of Roald Dahl’s books as an adult. We had a event day at work and I read all of them so I could run the crafts and discussions.
    My childhood mainly consisted of Animal Ark by Lucy Daniels and Jacqueline Wilson books.

    • Hi Barmybex, That’s no bad thing. You’ve got plenty of time – I think you must still be a young adult as I worked on Animal Ark as an editor when it first came out!

      • I consider myself a young adult! I’m 24 but still read mainly YA fiction. I loved Animal Ark – they were the only things I would read for a while. x

  5. I haven’t read these and I too didn’t have a book deprived childhood, I’m much aware of their adaptations too…As for Secret Garden, I know I read it but I can’t recall anything that I’ve read that’s why I’m planning to read it again. “A Little Princess” however, I’m very fond of, anyone who’s my age (18) practically grew up with Sara, its because of the Japanese anime series. It was huge here in the Philippines back then that we even had our own film version and TV remake of the anime, just to share 🙂

  6. Hi Michelle. I also didn’t read lots of those classics until I was grown up. I did read Mary Poppins and adored it, the film was nothing like as good but I didn’t read the Hobbit or Swallows and Amazons or Charlotte’s Web although I started them all. I just was never gripped enough by them when I was younger. I also never read Lord of the Rings though loved it when I did finally read it in my 20s. Great post!

    • Hi Linda, thanks for posting! I just thought it was interesting to think about the books I HADN’T read. Maybe, like you, I did actually start them – I just can’t remember!
      Michelle xx

  7. Aww! You must read Mary Poppins! It is still one of my favorite memories. I use to pretend I was drinking tea in the air with them all of the time. (Still do occasionally! ^.^)

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