I am passionate about reading and my ultimate ‘me time’ always involves a good book! When I was at school, I spent my summer holidays reading every Enid Blyton book until a certain eleven year old boy was discovered in ‘the cupboard under the stairs’ – Harry Potter! As an adult, I continue to be an avid reader, reading every night before I go to sleep and challenging myself to read a wide range of books from great authors. I’ve even challenged myself to read 52 books in 2018 – one every week!
My recommendations are books I’ve become carried away with; ones that I’ve fully escaped into the characters and their adventures:
Five Minutes’ Peace by Jill Murphy (3-5 years)
I remember my mummy reading me this story when I was little so this book always makes me feel so happy when I read it. Mrs Large (the elephant) just wants some peace and quiet away from her noisy, boisterous children! She runs herself a hot, bubble-filled bath and takes her breakfast and the morning paper in with her. Unfortunately, Mrs Large’s quiet time doesn’t last long!
The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy (6-8 years)
I always wanted to go to boarding school and this is a series of six books that are set at Miss Cackle’s Academy: a witch’s academy. It tells the story of Mildred Hubble and her fun-loving, mischievous friends - this book filled my summer holidays with lots of giggles. Mildred is probably the worst witch ever to attend the school: she can never get her spells right and always finds herself in trouble. But can she save then day when she discovers a plot against the school?
The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (9-11 years)
This is a completely mesmerising book that carried me to a wonderfully new and unique world. It tells the story of a cartographer’s (someone who draws maps) daughter, Isabella. She lives on the island of Joya who has a horribly strict person in charge of it. Her best friend goes missing in the Forbidden Forest and she volunteers to help find her using her dad’s maps. The description in this book is amazing, making me feel like I was alongside Bella on every step of her adventure. If you love a heart-stopping quest, this book is for you!
Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian (10 - 11 years+)
I vividly remember the first time I read this book (aged 10); it was the first time I’d become ‘lost’ in a book and, for that reason, it’s a very special book for me. It tells the story of Willie Beech, a young boy from London who’s evacuated to the countryside during World War Two. He is placed to live with Tom, an old man who lives alone in the village. They build a wonderfully special and deep friendship, helping each other through very tricky times. I have now read this book over twenty times; every time, it’s still as special as the first time!