Reading children's books is one of the many pleasures of being a teacher and I am an avid reader. Cutting the list down to just 10 books has been somewhat of a challenge so I have thought hard about the significance of the books I have selected.
1. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian.
I read this wonderful book to classes many years before it became a television film. My favourite memories are of my class in the mobile classroom in Lincolnshire when we all cried because Willy's Jewish friend Zac was killed in the Blitz. Then we cried again when Willy called Mister. Tom "dad". The children in that class are mums and dads now so I hope they share our love of books with their children. I was later delighted when my favourite actor John Thaw was chosen to be Mister Tom-absolutely brilliant casting.
2. Meteorite Spoon by Philip Ridley
Philip Ridley uses weird and whacky characters to write about serious issues. Children love Meteorite Spoon because the language is repetitive and has wonderful phrases such as muscles on muscles. The story is about two children who worry about their parents continually arguing. They are taken back to the honeymoon where mum and dad are all lovey dovey and it culminates in a volcanic explosion on the fantasy island of Honeymoonia. The book is not in print and I have lost my only copy so I am trawling second hand sites to replace it.
3. The Ghost Hunter by Ivan Jones
The first of The Ghost Hunter books is a jolly escapade of a ghost story, perfect for readers aged around 9 years old. It is written by a good friend of mine, Ivan Jones, who lives in Shropshire. The book is part of a trilogy, with the second book demanding more of the reader so the series develops with the reader.
William Povey, a Victorian shoe shine boy, appears in Roddy's bedroom one dark night. He is hiding from the Ghost Hunter who is trying to sniff him out to bottle him up. The hilarious adventures are typical slapstick humour and are very satisfying for the reader-not frightening at all. The books were made into a CBBC series which are available on Youtube with the books themselves available to read online via Amazon. Great also to read aloud.
4. The Amazing Broccoli Boy by Frank Cottrell Boyce
5. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
6. Bill's New Frock by Anne Fine
7. The Crow Starver by Dick King Smith
8. Where My Wellies Take Me by Michael Morpurgo
9. War Boy by Michael Foreman
10 Heidi by Johanna Spyri