In an interesting article found on the BBC website, a poll that has recently been taken involving 1,000 adults has revealed that J.K. Rowling’s popular series is the books they would encourage every child to read. Here’s a few books that Love London Love Culture would recommend every child to read (no particular order!)
1. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian: heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measures, this story of evacuee Will and his friendship with the man he stays with Tom Oakley also provides a fascinating insight into the Second World War and the day-to-day impact it had on people – even away from the cities.
2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis: nothing captures a child’s imagination quite like travelling to a fantasy land – in this case Narnia. This isn’t always a happy story, filled with kidnapping, battles and some frightening scenes involving a witch, but most of all they like to use a sense of imagination and adventure – which this book certainly has!
3. Matilda by Roald Dahl: there are so many of Roald Dahl’s children’s books that could be selected, but Matilda is a true example of how to stand up to bullies and approach life no matter what is thrown at you. Yes, Ms Trunchbull is probably one of the nastiest characters he created, but it is the way in which he brought characters to life that makes his stories so memorable.
4. The Borrowers, Mary Norton: another story with small people who can do extraordinary things, proving that size certainly can’t stop you from achieving anything you want to. Mary Norton’s book is is filled with imagination and creativity – guaranteed to capture anyone’s heart.
5. Charlotte’s Webb by E.B White: a tale of friendship and loyalty… between a pig and a spider. Might not be to everybody’s taste but it certainly shows the value of a truly great friend – but despite the fun that is had, the ending is moving and poignant.
6. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman: looking for something a bit more scientific? Look no further than this amazing first book in the His Dark Materials series. You have a feisty heroine and a whole collection of colourful and occasionally sinister characters that will have your child gripped from beginning to end.
7. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame: this absolute classic has the power to delight children and adults alike, thanks to the wonderful imagination of Kenneth Grahame in creating this book. Of course it is Toad and his antics that we remember the most, but Ratty, Mole and Badger are also wonderfully created.
8. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: it would be very difficult indeed not to mention what has become one of the most iconic book series of all time. Films, merchandise, theme parks can’t really compare to sinking back and reading any one of these books. Personally the characters of Harry, Ron and Hermione appealed because they were outcasts but never wanted to ‘fit in’ – something that everyone would do well to remember: celebrate your differences not on your similarities!
9.I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith: a perfect coming of age story for girls, about falling in love for the first time, relationships with your family and discovering more about yourself than you could ever imagine – told in a beautiful way. An absolute classic.
10. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien: gold. Check. Adventure. Check. A wide variety of strange creatures. Check. This well known story of a hobbit who goes on an adventure with dwarfs is perfect for boys or girls imagining a bigger world than the one that they are living in. Yes, yes the language is tough going at times (in the way that Roald Dahl wrote) but it is worth it for the story and the imagination that captures the attention from the first page.