Book Connections

Books and Authors from Childhood

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This week I want to share some books much loved in childhood. I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s in a small town that had no library and one book shop that I used to drool at through the window mostly. Our school didn’t have a library either but there were a few saints books on classroom shelves that I read and our schools had readers and journals with stories. Later a family library some distance from us was accessible when the family down the road kindly took me there sometimes when they were going.

My mother bought us books when she could and they were much loved. A year or two back I made a wall quilt celebrating authors who inspired my love of story.  Those before the teapot are the authors I loved before my teens.

Showing bottom shelf of book shelf

Joanna Spyri

Her Heidi, Heidi Grows Up and Heidi’s Children were very treasured books. I am not sure what happened to the first two, but a sister down the family rescued Heidi’s Children and eventually had it rebound. She said I hoped I didn’t mind because of course it had my name written in a few places! She was a book lover too and I was happy to see her do it. Unfortunately  she died two years ago and so now the book sits again on my bookshelf.

My books are mainly British for in those days that’s what was mostly sold here in New Zealand.

Enid Blyton

She wrote numerous books and I read many of them. I loved the Famous Five and the Secret Seven.

cover of book

Once as a teacher I read one of these aloud to my students and well I didn’t like it, it was pretty boring but they loved it. They wanted another, I told them to read more themselves. But I am very grateful to Enid Blyton for the stories she provided me in childhood.

Lucy Fitch Perkins

It turns out she was an American author. I loved her twins books which seemed to have been sold here. I couldn’t find a old cover for this one so just chose this.

cover of book

There were many twins books. The Irish Twins, The Dutch Twins, The Cave Twins and many more. I read whatever I could get my hands on.

Joyce Lankester Brisley

A British author -she wrote all about Milly Molly Mandy. They were fun and while I don’t remember too much now, I know I enjoyed the character.

book cover

Elleston Trevor

I only read one book by this author, but I have a deep remembered love of it. It was about animals that talked and lived in the woods.

Elleston Trevor is a former RAF pilot. The Woodlander Series are classic children’s stories written in the 1940s and 1950s about the inhabitants of Deep Wood — Old Stripe the Badger, Potter-the-Otter, Woo Owl and Digger Mole.

One of them lived underground – maybe badger and I remember him sitting in a chair smoking a pipe and reading a book. I think it appealed to me most likely because that would have been my own complete introvert fantasy!

book cover

Have you a book you remember with great fondness from childhood?

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21 thoughts on “Books and Authors from Childhood”

  1. Oh, I just loved this post, Kathryn!

    I can’t imagine growing up without libraries at school and in town! I practically lived at mine in both places and can remember reading through authors’ entire backlists one by one from the library shelves: the entire Narnia series after my 1st grade teacher read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe to us; the entire series after falling in love with A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle; and later, as a teen, every Agatha Christie and Ray Bradbury book in my public library!

    I can’t remember if I ever read an Enid Blyton, but she and her Secret Seven books figure prominently in a novel I just re-read, Hum If You Don’t Know the Words by Bianca Marais.

    And, of course, I LOVED Nancy Drew (and earlier, The Bobbsey Twins) and also Trixie Belden mysteries, too. My love of reading started early!

    Great post – fun to walk down memory lane 🙂

    Sue

    Book By Book

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I barely remember Heidi and don’t recall reading any of the others you’ve named.
    I loved horse stories (Black Beauty, Flicka and Smokey the Cowhorse) and other animals i.e. Winnie the Pooh and the Just So Stories (Kipling). I also read Nancy Drew books before I was a teen. The other book I remember from childhood is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. (I had to look up the author.) I still have a rather tattered copy of this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s great to have a book from childhood kept. I remember reading Black Beauty and I remember going to the picture theatre with my grandmother to see Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet.

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  3. Kathryn what a beautiful tribute to reading and authors who inspired you to read. I was lucky that my school had a library and we had a public library not too far away. Love to hear stories about what inspired other people to read. Thank you for this trip down your memory lane!

    Liked by 1 person

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