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I’m a former national newspaper journalist and budding children’s writer. When I wasn’t playing with my Sindy, I spent much of my formative years with my head stuck in a book. Here are the ones I remember most…

Aged ten, I found this in the school library. I immediately fell in love. Camp, clever and sidesplittingly funny, it's one of my all-time favourites. The narrator's asides are genius. If you don't like it, I am literally not talking to you, like, EVER.

Aged ten, I found this in the school library. I immediately fell in love. Camp, clever and sidesplittingly funny, it's one of my all-time favourites. The narrator's asides are genius. If you don't like it, I am literally not talking to you, like, EVER.

Aged ten, I found this in the school library. I immediately fell deeply in love. Camp, clever and sidesplittingly funny, it's one of my all-time favourites. The narrator's asides are genius. If you don't like it, I am literally not talking to you, like, EVER.

THE NARNIA CHRONICLES BY CS LEWIS: Ok, so everyone my generation loved this series. But not everyone finished The Last Battle aged 11 and immediately wanted to get a T-shirt printed with 'ASLAN' across the front because she loved him soooo much. (My dad said no, by the way, on account of him being an atheist physics teacher who'd worked out the fictional lion was "bloody Jesus".)

THE NARNIA CHRONICLES BY CS LEWIS: Ok, so everyone my generation loved this series. But not everyone finished The Last Battle aged 11 and immediately wanted to get a T-shirt printed with 'ASLAN' across the front because she loved him soooo much. (My dad said no, by the way, on account of him being an atheist physics teacher who'd worked out the fictional lion was "bloody Jesus".)

THE NARNIA CHRONICLES BY CS LEWIS: Ok, so everyone my generation loved this series. But not everyone finished The Last Battle aged 11 and immediately wanted to get a T-shirt printed with 'ASLAN' across the front because she loved him soooo much. (My dad said no, by the way, on account of him being an atheist physics teacher who'd worked out the fictional lion was "bloody Jesus".)

n the cul de sac I grew up in, there was a summer when the kids played endless games about the Faraway Tree, in a huge tree in a neighbour's garden. I was always Silkie the fairy, which I was well chuffed about at first - until I realised it was a way of keeping me, as one of the littler kids, from climbing to the top. I re-read this book to my daughter a while back. Blyton's writing hasn't aged well and the gender stereotyping is toe-curling, but I will forever have a place in my heart for Dick, Fanny, Moonface, Saucepan Man et al.

n the cul de sac I grew up in, there was a summer when the kids played endless games about the Faraway Tree, in a huge tree in a neighbour's garden. I was always Silkie the fairy, which I was well chuffed about at first - until I realised it was a way of keeping me, as one of the littler kids, from climbing to the top. I re-read this book to my daughter a while back. Blyton's writing hasn't aged well and the gender stereotyping is toe-curling, but I will forever have a place in my heart for Dick, Fanny, Moonface, Saucepan Man et al.

In the cul de sac I grew up in, there was a summer when the kids played endless games about the Faraway Tree, in a huge tree in a neighbour's garden. I was always Silkie the fairy, which I was well chuffed about at first - until I realised it was a way of keeping me, as one of the littler kids, from climbing to the top. I re-read this book to my daughter a while back. Blyton's writing hasn't aged well and the gender stereotyping is toe-curling, but I will forever have a place in my heart for Dick, Fanny, Moonface, Saucepan Man et al.

A teacher* read this dark fantasy to my class in primary seven (year six in England). Although its protagonists go under the somewhat-less-than-illustrious monikers of 'Colin' and 'Susan', it's packed full of eerie creatures, evil magic and nail-gnawing tension. I was hooked.

(*Belated thanks, Mrs. Smith!)

A teacher* read this dark fantasy to my class in primary seven (year six in England). Although its protagonists go under the somewhat-less-than-illustrious monikers of 'Colin' and 'Susan', it's packed full of eerie creatures, evil magic and nail-gnawing tension. I was hooked.

(*Belated thanks, Mrs. Smith!)

A teacher* read this dark fantasy to my class in primary seven (year six in England). Although its protagonists go under the somewhat-less-than-illustrious monikers of 'Colin' and 'Susan', it's packed full of eerie creatures, evil magic and nail-gnawing tension. I was hooked.

(*Belated thanks, Mrs. Smith!)

After reading this I kept checking for secret messages in my toothpaste tube.

After reading this I kept checking for secret messages in my toothpaste tube.

After reading this I kept checking for secret messages in my toothpaste tube.

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