30 Day Book Challenge Day 21 – Favourite book from my childhood

I have already mentioned my favourite book from my childhood in my day 12 post, the ‘first novel I remembered reading’. In that I discussed James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, alongside many of the other Roald Dahl books. So if you want to know more about that favourite from my early childhood, click on the link provided. Otherwise, read on for my favourite book from the next phase of my childhood…

I am going to fast-forward a little bit to my later childhood, the books I was reading when I was maybe 9, or 10 years old. So, for those of you about my age, born somewhere in the 1980s, growing up in the 1990s…who remembers these books?

Reader beware...you're in for a scare. Well, probably not, but it didn't stop us devouring these books as kids...

Goosebumps by R. L. Stine was a huge part of not just my childhood, but many children around me. These quirky horror stories for kids were immensely popular, and across the 62 books published under this title in its prime during the mid 90s (plus a few more later), some 350 million copies have apparently been sold worldwide, which is quite astonishing. There were also variations on the classic stories, such as the Give Yourself Goosebumps, which were essentially “choose your own adventure” type books, giving you a choice at the end of each page or fragment of the story, telling you to go to another specific page depending on which you choose, and leading to a number of different endings for the stories.

I personally collected maybe ten to fifteen of these books, before they started to become a bit too much the same (even as a child I was becoming picky, it seems). But I loved the ones I had, some of which I read many times over (by memory my favourite was “The Haunted Mask”). They were probably not the best written books ever, especially when one considers just how many of these R. L. Stine churned out during this short period of time, but they captured the reading imagination of a whole generation looking for something different, something gross, something to talk about at school, and were marketed perfectly so as to induce many young buyers to beg their parents to buy the next book in the series every couple of months. Even now as adults, I have met many people who are quite proud of still owning their childhood collection of Goosebumps books.

Did you ever have any series like this you followed as a child? What was your favourite book overall, from all of your childhood? Do you still have that book somewhere?

14 thoughts on “30 Day Book Challenge Day 21 – Favourite book from my childhood

    • Hahaha that is pretty awesome! I must confess, while I still own my old Goosebumps books, they’re not on my shelves, but rather in a box somewhere with a lot of my other childhood books. I want to buy another bookshelf soon though, so I can get those old books out…

  1. I love both of your picks here and I’m going to add one more–Harry Potter. Growing up as the main character did as the series was unfolding is an out of this world experience. Although that connection of being the same age is under appreciated, it helped immensely to connect to a fantasy book. As a little kid, I loved bernstein bears because they told moral stories in a very direct, blunt way. That’s my childhood in a nutshell!

    • I thought somebody would mention Harry Potter soon enough! 🙂 I think Harry Potter was definitely that series of books that brought a whole generation to reading, in many cases against the odds. I think it also helped revive the fantasy genre!

  2. ‘Goosebumps’ books were my daughter’s favourite growing up and the books I turned to when her teacher asked me if I wrote any kids stories. I had no idea what kids were reading at the time so I went to my daughter’s bookshelf and picked up a couple. She had abandoned them a while before that because they were so formulaic that she caught on after the first half dozen she read. After reading a couple myself, it wasn’t hard to figure out what kinds of things the kids liked. I wrote a few short ghosts stories while she was still in elementary school. (The best two are on my blog site)

    As for my favourite, back in the sixties it was definitely ‘Nancy Drew’. I also read a few ‘Bobbsey Twins’ books but wasn’t really into the farm scene. I preferred Nancy’s lifestyle and solving mysteries – still do – but have graduated to the ‘Bones’ series of books by Kathy Reichs!

    • Ahh that’s cool that you wrote a some short stories for kids, I will have to go and find them on your blog site sometime soon and have a read of them! 🙂
      I have heard of Nancy Drew, sounds interesting!

  3. Haha! Goosebumps! I didn’t think anybody else would admit to actually liking them! (although I saw quite a few of my classmates read them about the same time I did) 😛
    And, you’re right. They got repetitive after a while, but I still loved reading them.

    Also, I loved The Faraway Tree. With the Saucepan Man, and Mr. Watsizname. Oh, and Dame Washalot!

  4. I remember reading quite a few of those books, and they were fun reads. To say something different from what everyone else has said, I really enjoyed the Xanth books by Piers Anthony. I was a bit older when I started reading them (late high school, so 16-18ish) but I really enjoyed going through the series.

    As for a single title, I really liked Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli. I probably read that book 5 or 6 different times, it was always a fun read.

  5. Enid Blyton: Faraway Tree with Dame Slap, and Bessie, Fanny and Jo – the originals not the PC ones available now. I cried when I found out what they’d changed in them. Harry Potter – though I still love it, and Narnia.

    • Ahhh, my sisters read a lot of Enid Blyton as kids! Pretty much Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl influenced my household profoundly for several years. I didn’t know though that they changed them just to be PC…that is really sad actually. Makes you wonder what the world is coming to sometimes… :S And yes, the Narnia books are great, though I came to them when I was much older, the only one I read as a child was The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (the edition was older than my parents, as it was their’s to be begin with).

  6. Nancy Drew, The Famous Five, Replica (by Marilyn Kaye), The Sweet Valley High Twins 😛 and of course – Narnia are a few of the series that I loved as a kid 😀
    And this one was a stand alone book but I LOVED (still do) Neverending Story 😛 It just triggered my imagination so much, the pictures in my head became soo vivid.. 🙂

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