My Favourite Childhood Books

Favourite Childhood Books

When I was young I read everything I found. During school holidays I spent weeks at a time at my grandparents house and they had a cabinet full of children's books, mostly by Enid Blyton. Slowly but surely I read them all. My grandfather had another larger cabinet with several decades worth of Readers Digest magazines, and I read quite a lot of those too.

During school term I borrowed several books each week from the school library. My favourites were all mystery series. Enid Blyton's books still featured prominently, and I loved The Five Find Outers and Dog series. I remember their leader was a boy called Frederick Algernon Trotteville, and his friends called him Fatty because his initials were F.A.T. and he was of a stout build.

I also read the Hardy Boys series by Franklin W. Dixon (which I just discovered was a collective pseudonym for several ghost writers). Frank and Joe Hardy where cool. Their father Fenton was a detective. Although they were teenagers they travelled all over the United States and abroad, investigating cases. They drove motorcycles, and owned a car. They even had girlfriends!

Another series I remember clearly was the Three Investigators by Robert Arthur Jr. He wrote a quarter of the books himself, but the rest were written by four ghost writers. The investigator's leader was called Jupiter Jones, and he lived with his uncle and aunt who ran a scrap yard. The investigators worked for clients, and they had a secret room they used as headquarters hidden amongst the wrecks in the scrap yard. They had a business card with three question marks on it.

At school we were shown the BBC television series based on the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I was so impressed by the series that I went to a local book shop and bought the whole series using my savings, although the cost of the seven books was the equivalent of two days wages for an adult back then! I still have those books.

I was also gifted three books from the William Brown series by Richmal Crompton, but I couldn't find William books often at the library. I liked to imagine myself as one of William's gang, The Outlaws. They were always up to some mischief, but managed to get themselves out of it most of the time. William celebrated his 11th birthday numerous times through the series.

Part II of this article series - My Favourite Books and To-Read List

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