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I’m a former national newspaper journalist and budding children’s writer. A self-confessed girly swot, I spent much of my formative years with my head stuck in a book. Here are the ones I remember most…

tHE LAND OF GREEN GINGER BY NOEL LANGLEY: Aged ten, I found this in the school library. I immediately fell madly 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.

HE LAND OF GREEN GINGER BY NOEL LANGLEY: Aged ten, I found this in the school library. I immediately fell madly 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 LAND OF GREEN GINGER BY NOEL LANGLEY: Aged ten, I found this in the school library. I immediately fell madly 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 and immediately wanted to get a T-shirt printed with 'ASLAN' across the front because she loved him soooo much. (My dad refused to let me, 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 and immediately wanted to get a T-shirt printed with 'ASLAN' across the front because she loved him soooo much. (My dad refused to let me, 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 and immediately wanted to get a T-shirt printed with 'ASLAN' across the front because she loved him soooo much. (My dad refused to let me, by the way, on account of him being an atheist physics teacher who'd worked out the fictional lion was "bloody Jesus".)

THE MAGIC FARAWAY TREE BY ENID BLYTON: In the cul de sac I grew up in, there was a summer when we 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 - until I realised it was a way of keeping me, as one of the littler kids, from climbing to the upper branches (Silkie lives near the bottom of the Faraway Tree). When I picked this book up 30 years later to read to my daughter, I was full of expectation. Sadly, Blyton's writing hasn't aged well - and the gender stereotyping is toe-curling - but there is forever a place in my heart for Dick, Fanny, Moonface, Saucepan Man et al.

THE MAGIC FARAWAY TREE BY ENID BLYTON: In the cul de sac I grew up in, there was a summer when we 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 - until I realised it was a way of keeping me, as one of the littler kids, from climbing to the upper branches (Silkie lives near the bottom of the Faraway Tree). When I picked this book up 30 years later to read to my daughter, I was full of expectation. Sadly, Blyton's writing hasn't aged well - and the gender stereotyping is toe-curling - but there is forever a place in my heart for Dick, Fanny, Moonface, Saucepan Man et al.

THE MAGIC FARAWAY TREE BY ENID BLYTON: In the cul de sac I grew up in, there was a summer when we 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 - until I realised it was a way of keeping me, as one of the littler kids, from climbing to the upper branches (Silkie lives near the bottom of the Faraway Tree). When I picked this book up 30 years later to read to my daughter, I was full of expectation. Sadly, Blyton's writing hasn't aged well - and the gender stereotyping is toe-curling - but there is forever a place in my heart for Dick, Fanny, Moonface, Saucepan Man et al.

THE WEIRD STONE OF BRISINGAMEN BY ALAN GARNER: 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.

(*Belated thank you, Mrs. Smith!)

THE WEIRD STONE OF BRISINGAMEN BY ALAN GARNER: 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.

(*Belated thank you, Mrs. Smith!)

THE WEIRD STONE OF BRISINGAMEN BY ALAN GARNER: 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.

(*Belated thank you, Mrs. Smith!)

HELP ! I'M A PRISONER IN A TOOTHPASTE FACTORY BY JOHN ALTROBUS: Structurally, this novel is to the three act structure what Finnegan's Wake is to lucidity. It's bonkers. It stayed with me though. I still sometimes check my toothpaste for secret messages.

HELP ! I'M A PRISONER IN A TOOTHPASTE FACTORY BY JOHN ALTROBUS: Structurally, this novel is to the three act structure what Finnegan's Wake is to lucidity. It's bonkers. It stayed with me though. I still sometimes check my toothpaste for secret messages.

HELP ! I'M A PRISONER IN A TOOTHPASTE FACTORY BY JOHN ALTROBUS: Structurally, this novel is to the three act structure what Finnegan's Wake is to lucidity. It's bonkers. It stayed with me though. I still sometimes check my toothpaste for secret messages.

THE ENCHANTED CASTLE BY E.NESBIT: I read pretty much everything E. Nesbit wrote, but this was my favourite. The best scene is when two of the main characters, Cathy and Mabel, become living statues and hang out with a load of Greek gods. I was also fascinated by the Ugly-Wuglies, a bunch of clothes and accessories magicked into people. I had to read about them through my fingers though. There's just something so sinister about them.

THE ENCHANTED CASTLE BY E.NESBIT: I read pretty much everything E. Nesbit wrote, but this was my favourite. The best scene is when two of the main characters, Cathy and Mabel, become living statues and hang out with a load of Greek gods. I was also fascinated by the Ugly-Wuglies, a bunch of clothes and accessories magicked into people. I had to read about them through my fingers though. There's just something so sinister about them.

THE ENCHANTED CASTLE BY E.NESBIT: I read pretty much everything E. Nesbit wrote, but this was my favourite. The best scene is when two of the main characters, Cathy and Mabel, become living statues and hang out with a load of Greek gods. I was also fascinated by the Ugly-Wuglies, a bunch of clothes and accessories magicked into people. I had to read about them through my fingers though. There's just something so sinister about them.

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