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Books from Childhood

I have a feeling I shall be making a video about this on my book channel (found here) since I have a book coming to me in the post that will flood my brain with memories. I don't particularly want to say too much about that book right now because I feel it deserves a blog post of it's own. What I will talk about is books that have really impacted my life from when I was really little to more recently.

My Secret Unicorn by Linda Chapman - not only did this book lead me to reading beyond bed time (naughty Claire) but it was the first series that I threw myself into. I'd save up my pocket money for the next book and I'd check regularly on Puffin's site to see when the next one would be released. I think I once read all fifteen books in the series in one day when I was ill. Linda taught me that authors write letters to the people that read their books (I'll never forget the day I came home to a nearly three page letter from her), Linda also taught me to believe in magic and inspired me to write. I adored and devoured these books and I shall be keeping them for my children (if they are male, they shall give them to their children. Haha!) because those stories flooded so much inspiration and magic into me. If I dare say this, these books were my Harry Potter.

Abela by Berlie Doherty - this book changed my life. Abela is a story about a young girl in Africa (Tanzania to be exact, I believe) and a thirteen year old girl called Rosa living in Sheffield. The story tells both their stories in parallel and it touched me so much. I could really relate to Rosa in some ways and to see such parallels tugged at my heart strings. It's such a beautiful, beautiful novel and, once again, Berlie was lovely when I wrote to her.

Gingersnaps by Cathy Cassidy - this book also changed my life. I felt like it was written about me to a certain extent; I read it at a hard time of my life and I could completely and entirely relate to Ginger. The story played out in my head and if I close my eyes I can still see scenes so vividly. I sometimes love to sit down and curl up with this book because it gives girls who don't feel the best about themselves a chance to see a happy ending.

Before I Die by Jennifer Downham - I think I cried for around half an hour after finishing this book. The ending is so incredibly moving and I encourage you to read it if you haven't. I read it whilst I was away and it just made me really grateful and sad and happy at the same time. I sobbed and I sobbed and it was just so well written. It was also the inspiration for my GCSE creative writing piece in English, which (I think) is one of the best things that I've ever managed to write.

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett - Sara Crew showed me how to be greatful. This is a timeless classic that I think everyone, young and old, should read. It's charming and it has so many messages in that I still carry with me now. I try and re-read it every year because it sticks in my heart and I don't want to let go of it.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - perhaps the best book I have ever had the privilege of reading. And that's saying something. TFiOS was the novel that I sat down to read, the night before my Biology AS exam, and read in six hours straight. My heart swelled, it broke, I cried, I smiled, I laughed. This book means more than anyone can think, in so many ways that people could never guess.

This brings me up to now. Obviously there are many more books that have affected me, each one leaves a little print on my heart or mind. Some on my life. I think that it's great to document how books made you feel at certain points of your life so you never let go of them, so you can come back to them in however many years and truly appreciate them.

Keep smiling (lots), reading (lots) and DFTBA.


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