Reading has always been a big part of my life, and I firmly believe that the reading you do as a kid will help shape who you become. When you enjoy the books you read, it’s more likely you’ll keep reading. Long-running series were always better, because you just wanted to read more. I was lucky to have a well-stocked library with a good variety of books. Today I want to share five series I read before my teens, the ones that left a big impression on little me.
Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell
Chris Riddle’s signature art on the cover set this series apart from everything else. I looked for ‘different’ books all the time. Other kids would read the mainstream Dutch books, Goosebumps, or the books their parents or school recommended. I was the deviant. I would read the books no one else wanted to read. The adventures of Twig stayed with me for a long time and I was happy when I saw they released a new one recently. I hope a new generation will the books as much as I did.
Summary of Beyond the Deepwoods
Abandoned at birth in the perilous Deepwoods, Twig Verginix is brought up by a family of woodtrolls. One cold night, Twig does what no woodtroll has ever done before – he strays from the path.
So begins a heart-stopping adventure that will take Twig through a nightmare world of fearsome goblins, bloodthirsty beasts and flesh-eating trees. Can he discover the truth about his past?
Beyond the Deepwoods is the first book of the Twig Saga – second trilogy in The Edge Chronicles. Each book is a stand-alone adventure, so you can read The Edge Chronicles in any order you choose.
Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones
The magic in the Chrestomanci books enchanted me. This is the first series I read from Diana Wynne Jones, and the only one for a long time. Her writing style was eloquent and it fit the story so well. I immersed completely into the books and wouldn’t stop reading until there were no more pages.
Summary of Charmed Life
Cat doesn’t mind living in the shadow of his sister, Gwendolen, the most promising young witch ever seen on Coven Street. But trouble starts brewing the moment the two orphans are summoned to live in Chrestomanci Castle. Frustrated that the witches of the castle refuse to acknowledge her talents, Gwendolen conjures up a scheme that could throw whole worlds out of whack.
Famous Five by Enid Blyton
My mother gave me her old books, and she had a ton of the Famous Five books. I didn’t read all of them, but I read the ones I had multiple times. They kept me company on dark summer nights when I was supposed to be sleeping but it was just too hot. The suspense kept me up until the weather cooled down a little.
The best part? Timmy the dog.
Summary of Five On A Treasure Island
The very first Famous Five adventure, featuring Julian, Dick, Anne, not forgetting tomboy George and her beloved dog, Timmy! There’s a shipwreck off Kirrin Island! But where is the treasure? The Famous Five are on the trail – looking for clues – but they’re not alone! Someone else has got the same idea. Time is running out for the Famous Five, who will follow the clues and get to the treasure first?
Redwall by Brian Jacques
I found these in the library and the title was in red foil with an angry rat hovering over a tiny mouse. I knew I had to read it. This is the series which got me hooked on the fantasy genre. The series was meant for older kids, but I wanted to read it. My mother didn’t mind, she was glad I was reading at all. Some parts were scary, but not scary enough to close the book. It toughened me up for future books, like the books by Darren Shan. I never found another series like this.
Summary of Redwall
A quest to recover a legendary lost weapon by bumbling young apprentice monk, mouse Matthias.
Redwall Abbey, tranquil home to a community of peace-loving mice, is threatened by Cluny the Scourge savage bilge rat warlord and his battle-hardened horde. But the Redwall mice and their loyal woodland friends combine their courage and strength.
The Chronicles Of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
The mythology in the Chronicles of Prydain might not be unknown if you’re from the UK, but as a kid from the Netherlands, all of it was new. These books by Lloyd Alexander were a great introduction. I started reading them when I was about 9 and I kept reading until I finished all of them when I was twelve. This series is the reason I took Introduction Celtic when I was in University.
Summary of The Book Of Three
Taran wanted to be a hero, and looking after a pig wasn’t exactly heroic, even though Hen Wen was an oracular pig. But the day that Hen Wen vanished, Taran was led into an enchanting and perilous world. With his band of followers, he confronted the Horned King and his terrible Cauldron-Born. These were the forces of evil, and only Hen Wen knew the secret of keeping the kingdom of Prydain safe from them. But who would find her first?
Which of these did you read? What was your favourite series when you were a kid?