Saturday 1 June 2013

Armchair BEA - Childrens & YA Fiction

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Today's topic is everything children's right from picture books to young adult

Most of the books I read are YA and I read a lot of Picture books at work as part of my job and there are some truly amazing ones out there.

We have been asked to list the top 5 (or more) books that every child should have on his shelf.
This is hard but I'm going to try. I'm gonna do a list for each age group though.

Picture Books:
1) Anything by Julia Donaldson - The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, The Singing Mermaid, What the Ladybird Heard etc. She is amazing and her stories hold such great stories and just a sense of pure wonder.
2) Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae. This book gives a really strong and positive message and is so beautifully written.
3) It's The Bear by Jez Alborough. Great fun and a favourite for story time. Love the idea and the series that followed it.
4) Can't You Sleep, Little Bear by Martin Waddell. I got my mum to read these over and over when I was little, they were certain favourites of my brother and I. So adorable and just made me feel so comfortable and safe.
5) Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman. Completely silly but great fun, reads well as it's written in rhyme and kids love it.

I have so many books I pick out to read over and over but they are definitely at the top of the pile. I have to give a special mention to 'It's A Book' by Lane Smith. I didn't put it in my main 5 as I think it is actually geared more towards the parents. It is very funny and full of wit and sarcasm. Makes me laugh everytime. It's just brilliant.

Children's Books:
1) Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling. This is of course always going to be at the top of my list. Filled so much of my life growing up, i still can't get enough. Friends will be made for life in these pages.
2) Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. Great series for both boys and girls. Action packed and full of fun, laughter and excitement. Percy Jackson is a great hero and will capture your heart and mind along with Annabeth, Grover and friends.
3) Cat Royal series by Julia Golding. I love this series, Cat is a great character, really cheeky but instantly likeable she will take you on a whirlwind adventure that will have your pulse racing. Great mysteries that will have you hooked.
4) A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. I devoured these books as a kid, racing through them desperate to know more about the Baudelaire children. Great mysteries with a great old fashioned feel to them that will still massively appeal. Quirky is a good word to describe them but totally addictive.
5) The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S Lewis. I had to mention this series. Narnia is one of the fantasy worlds everyone wants to visit. These books captured my imagination and fed my love of reading. The Pevensie children become like old friends and Aslan captures your heart.

Again, I could be here forever listing favourites, but these are the first that come to mind when I think of books I love and cherish and always recommend.


(this is the hardest for me as I read so much of it, but I'm going to try and show some restraint. But just whilst typing this I can think of about 20 books I want to list!!!)

1) The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. Anyone who knows me knows I love these books, so well written and will really make you think.
2) The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine. I adore Rachel Caine, and the whole set up of Morganville and the world around it is done with such detail and just... wow that the whole place comes to life off of the page. It feels like a place I have really been to and that I know the characters as real people.
3) The Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy. Funny, witty, magical, outrageous and just pure epic awesomeness. These books opened up a whole new world of reading and always have me tearing through the pages desperate for more. Derek Landy is a genius and these books are just incredible.
4) The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series by Michelle Paver. A very different series from the others I have picked but just as amazing. It opens up a totally different world and culture and makes you fall in love with the characters and animals in it. This series is one that has stayed with me for years and always makes me smile and my heart soar. I'm going to have to re-read them soon to get back into that world. I miss my friends in there.
5) Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison. I chose this for my 5th spot as I think we should always have some light relief in our reading and these books are laugh out loud funny and great books for friendship and growing up. I spent many a day laughing with Georgia Nicholson and these books hold a special place.

I am restraining myself from listing a hundred more books,  I could be here all night.

Next we were asked, that if you are an adult who reads YA, why do you keep going back for more?

I am nearly 25 yet I primarily read YA fiction. Some people have asked me why and if I'm ever going to move to adult books. I get the sarcastic 'Aren't you a bit old to be reading those?' but I don't believe you can ever be too old to read YA. The books there are superb, many better written that adult books to be honest, in some ways YA is more raw, real and captivating. They are not afraid to hold back and the writing just whisks you away into another world so much easier in my opinion. Each book calls out with a certain magic, passion, and fresh wonder.

I have made so many 'friends' in the pages of these books, I have laughed, cried, screamed, cheered, thrown them away in anger, hugged them, and cherished each and every page. I love books that can make you feel something and for me YA does just that. It's something to relate to and really a great escape too.
So that is why I love them.
That was all probably mad rambling that made no sense but I hope you get what I mean.

So what about you - what are your favourite books and if you read YA - why?

Thanks. :D


Crystal said...

I am in my forties and still enjoy children's and young adult lit. I don't really apologize for it though sometimes people look at me funny over it. They are the ones missing out on great books.

It's a Book is fantastic and you listed some of my favorite series titles. I went beyond 5 books on my lists. but had fun looking back over the past year or so at the great books that have come my way.

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing all those titles. of all of them, Narnia is my favorite

barmybex said...

HI Crystal, that's exactly what I mean! YA is great. :D

Thanks, I'm gonna hop back to you and check out your list. I did find it hard sticking to five and I've thought of loads of others I should/could have mentioned.

wordsandpeace - Narnia is very special. Thanks for visiting.