Sunday, June 30, 2013

Favorite childhood books: age nine

So again the 12 of June has passed, leaving me a year older (perhaps wiser, but one can only hope, really). As always, my birthday list was made up of books, namely titles by Ursula K. Le Guin and Charles de Lint this year.Every year, my favorites fluctuate, so I decided to start a series about past favorites of mine, looking back ten years. Ranked in no particular order, three of my favorite reads when I was nine years old are featured here.


Matilda

 
image via Goodreads
I like to think that this book marks the beginning of my interest in contemporary fantasy and magical realism, as I believe it was the first fantasy book I read that was set in the present, and not some misty pseudo-medieval world. Starring a genius heroine who has telekinetic powers as a result of her stifled mental capacities, this book was also my first foray into Roald Dahl's oeuvre. Matilda uses her powers primarily to play practical jokes as a way to punish her nasty parents, and then to punish her wicked schoolmistress, a plotline that I found both hilarious and engaging as a nine-year-old.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

image via Goodreads

A story of Dickensian proportions, this book's protagonists are orphans Bonnie and Sylvia, who must outlast and outwit an evil governess and her assorted henchmen. I was obsessed with the London of the nineteenth century as a child, and this historical-fiction book marks the subject of my reading at an early age. I read this book twice in one week the first time I had it out from the library, and still enjoy it now and again.

Island of the Blue Dolphins

image via Goodreads
This book is a realistic story of survival. Karana must use her resources as she lives alone on an island, taming some animals, and hunting others. One scene that captured my imagination as a child was the scene in which she hunts and kills an octopus- the tension in that scene as she struggles to avoid both its tentacles and its sharp beak captured my attention as a child.

In this post, I've covered only a few of my favorite books of the past. If you liked these books as a child (or adult) or want to share your own, please leave your thoughts below!

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