Lets just say that as a child I was a weird little reader. My school’s reading programme was very rich in diverse selection of (children) books. Yet, I found them boring. I much rather read books my father stored inside our home. Grown up books. Sci-Fi books. Fantasy books. History novels. First book I ever read was Clarke’s “2001: Space Oddysey” at age 8.
I literally made my amazing mom read “Pinocchio” instead of me and tell me what happened so I can write it in my book report.
It is hard to say why I hated children’s literature so much. That kind of storytelling was not what I enjoyed, descriptions were dull, characters were children I would’t relate to. I would much rather daydream about space ships, sand worm, fearless warrior princesses etc.
But as I reached a certain age I realized that I might have been wrong… I guess, adulting gave me eyes to see children’s literature differently. I started reading books I thought I’ll skip altogether, and to my surprise, I loved them!
This is a list of several children’s books I discovered (and loved) as a grown up!
- Savvy , by Ingrid Law
This incredibly well written book is all about superheroes! And by superheroes – think The Incredibles! Savvy is a novel by Ingrid Law aimed at children aged nine to twelve years, but don’t let that stop you from checking it out! Mississippi “Mibs” Beaumont The thirteen-year-old main protagonist. She is born into a very unusual family. Each and every member gets a special superhero ability when they turn 13. Story brings us straight to her 13th birthday, where we feel for a girl who is anxious to find out which special ability she possesses.
Throughout the book, she reminisces about her family and speculates about her own future, as she feels she is on the cusp of growing up. Her SAVVY is to be able to read the mind of people when they have ink on their body, such as tattoos (though when temporary tattoos eventually fade, like Bobbi’s, it is harder for Mibs to “speak” to them).
Book eventually became a part of a larger book series and is a true joy for all generations.
- The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
I have to say, I wasn’t sure if I should put “The Little Prince” on the list of children’s books. The depth, richness and beauty of this Masterpiece (fourth most-translated book in the world and was voted the best book of the 20th century in France) transcends genres and generation gaps.
The Little Prince was first published in 1943, and is the most famous work of the French aristocrat, writer, poet, and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900–1944). The main plot of the book was actually inspired by the author’s near death experience, when his plane, which he was piloting, crash landed in the Sahara desert.
Saint-Exupéry’s classic novella The Little Prince, which begins with a pilot being marooned in the desert, is, in part, a reference to this experience.
The Little Prince is a poetic tale, with watercolour illustrations by the author, in which a pilot stranded in the desert meets a young prince fallen to Earth from a tiny asteroid. The story is philosophical and includes social criticism, remarking on the strangeness of the adult world.
- Harry Potter Series, by J. K. Rowling
Another title that needs no special introduction. I was in middle school when Pottermania reached my little part of the world, and I was 17 when I finally decided to try it out and see what all the fuss is about! I vividly remember reaching the end of the first chapter – “The Boy Who Lived” had me instantly hooked, sending chills down my spine.
You have to know something about me… I was a bit of a dark kid, very emotional, loved to explore human conditions other kids were not interested in (or were sheltered from). I finally found a book that was sad, and dark, and beautiful, and hopeful and extremely well written. The last book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released on 21 July 2007, when I was an eager Music Academy student.
Living that story with Harry, Hermione, Ron, Severus – through the pages of a book – that is what reading was invented for.