Hey guys! Today I am going to be talking about my favourite books that I read growing up that I don’t think are talked about enough. Most of these books probably fall into the middle grade category and they are all books I read between the ages of 8 and 12. I don’t know about you guys, but it makes me really sad when I see a book I loved growing up but no one’s ever heard of it. So that’s why I am going to be giving you my top 10 books that I recommend reading, no matter how old you are!
1. Skellig by David Almond
Skellig tells the story of a boy, Michael, who moves into a new house shortly after his baby sister is born. His parents are both preoccupied with his baby sister’s illness with frequent and tiring visits to the hospital so Michael takes it upon himself to explore the new house when he finds a strange man living in the garage.
I know this story sounds a little creepy but it’s probably one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. I think I first read this book when I was very young and I don’t know how many times I’ve read it since then. It’s definitely a story that will stay with me forever and it’s a story that deserves so much more love and recognition. If there is one book from this list that you read, please make it this one.
2. Holes by Louis Sachar
Holes tells the story of a boy – Stanley Yelnats – who gets caught committing a crime he didn’t commit and gets sent to a boys’ juvenile detention center where he must dig a hole that is five feet deep and five feet across every single day. But then things start to get strange and Stanley must uncover the truth.
This is probably one of the more well known books on this list, but I’ve included it because I don’t think it gets talked about often enough. I know there’s a movie which is probably why it’s so well known, but this book meant a lot to me growing up – I even read it in Welsh. On purpose! It’s such an incredible story that shows how difficult growing up can be and how important it is to hold onto hope.
3. Flour Babies by Anne Fine
Flour Babies is a story I read when I was around 11 years old, but I’ve been told that it’s probably aimed an age group a little bit higher – but that shouldn’t stop anyone from reading it. It’s a book I’ve not heard anyone ever talk about and so the perfect book for this list!
Flour Babies tells the story of a class who are given sacks of flour to look after as though they are babies as a science project. Although it initially comes across as a very odd story, underneath you find a tale of struggling kids discovering a lesson in responsibility, with the main character considering this against the backdrop of his dysfunctional family.
4. Iron Man by Ted Hughes
No, this is not a Marvel story. This is better. If you’ve seen the movie adaptation, The Iron Giant, then you’ll know the basic premise of this book, though overall I’d say the two are very different. Again, this is a story that’s going to stay with me forever and it’s a book I believe every single person should read at least once.
5. The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips by Michael Morpurgo
Like many Michael Morpurgo books, Adolphus Tips is set during the second World War. Now you may be wondering why Private Peaceful isn’t on this list, and it’s not because I don’t love it, but because I think it’s one of Morpurgo’s more well known stories. Adolphus Tips has never had the recognition that I feel it deserves and will stand proud as one of my favourite books I read when I was young.
Adolphus Tips follows the story of a girl called Lily and her cat, Tips. Lily and Tips live on a farm in 1943 but soon it is out of bounds due to air forces practicing their landings for D-Day. But Tips has a different idea and goes on a bit of an adventure. And Lily follows her, trying to find her to make sure she’s alright.
6. Children of the Dust by Louise Lawrence
Children of the Dust follows the aftermath of a nuclear war. The planet as we know it has been destroyed and we follow the story of Sarah and her family who were among the lucky few to be able to hide in an underground bunker for years. When they finally emerge, hoping to find the world without radiation, what they find is a planet they do not recognise, with humans who have been exposed to radiation and children who have been born to this new planet.
Children of the Dust is another book that crosses over into more of the YA category, but I enjoyed reading this book so much when I was 12 I just had to include it. It’s not a book that’s talked about, pretty much at all, even though I found it such a fascinating and enthralling story.
7. The Twits by Roald Dahl
This is one of Roald Dahl’s more goofy stories, in my opinion, but probably the most underrated. You all know The BFG, Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but Twits is a story that I grew up with and loved. It’s wonderfully disgusting, and delectably funny. The story follows a group of monkeys who have been forced into doing horrible and painful tricks by Mr. and Mrs. Twit when they decide that they’ve had enough and get revenge.
8. Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowotiz
Okay, yes, another book that falls more into the teen/YA category, but I promise, I read this when I was 9 years old and loved it. Stormbreaker follows the story of 14 year old Alex Ryder who finds out his uncle was actually his spy. Not only that, but when his uncle mysteriously dies, Alex is destined to become a spy himself.
9. Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo
Another Michael Morpurgo book, but this is probably one of my favourite books, not only from my childhood, but of all time. Kensuke’s Kingdom is based on a true story about a boy who gets washed up on shore on an island after his family are in a shipwreck. On the island he meets a mysterious man called Kensuke and what ensues is a story about adventure, friendship and family.
I loved this story growing up and the fact that it’s based on a true story makes it even more fascinating. This story has stayed with me for the longest time and I have read it countless times. I would definitely recommend picking this book up if you have not read it already.
10. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
Okay, so yes, people have heard of His Dark Materials. The Golden Compass movie definitely helped a bit but I think it’s fair to say that this series is not unpopular. But for me, I don’t think it’s talked about nearly enough. Northern Lights introduces such an incredible fantasy world that is incomparable, and so intricate and fascinating that holds it in such high esteem against its peers. For me this is one of the best fantasy stories of all time and I wish it got so much more love and hype because it truly deserves it.
So that’s it! Those are my 10 favourite books from my childhood that I think should be talked about more often!
Are there any books you would add to this list? Are there any books on this list that you’ve read? Are there any books that you have been inspired to read? Please let me know in the comments – I’d love to know your thoughts!
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