The best way to become a great creative writer is to be a dedicated reader and to develop a love of books from childhood. I have been reading ever since I was a child and I could not image my life without books.
Books are magical portals that allow their readers unmitigated access to new and undiscovered worlds, and they provide uninterrupted journeys into the soul. They can take us on a journey into the realm of the imagination, and allow us to become part of another person’s life experiences. Here is a list of the Top Five Best Books for Children.
Anne of Green Gables. Lucy Maud Montgomery.
The timeless tale of the adventures of Anne Shirley, the spirited red headed orphan with a heart of gold, continues to capture the hearts and imaginations of children all over the world. Lucy Maud Montgomery published eight novels that feature Anne and her family, and the spirit of Anne lives on in additional short story collections like The Chronicles of Avonlea and The Road to Yesterday.
The Famous Five. Enid Blyton.
The Famous Five is a book series that was written by English author Enid Blyton, and was first published in 1942. The series follows a group of children, Julian, Dick, Anne, Georgina (George) and her dog Timmy, who live in Dorset, South-West England. The children’s adventures range from finding buried treasure, exploring secret tunnels, and exposing smugglers. There are 21 novels in the series, so there are plenty of adventures for children to explore.
The Secret Garden. Frances Hodgson Burnett.
The Secret Garden is a timeless drama/fantasy novel, which was originally published in 1910. The heroine, Mary Lennox, is a sickly, unloved and selfish ten-year old who is born to wealthy English parents living in India. Most of Mary’s life is spent being cared for by servants, and after her parents die from Cholera, she is sent to live in Yorkshire, England, with her morose uncle, Archibald Craven, at Misselthwaite Manor. Mary continues to be a rude and disagreeable child, and spends her time being confined to the gloomy and mysterious manor. But after discovering a secret garden, Mary begins to learn about the healing power of friendship.
Matilda. Roald Dahl.
Matilda is an intelligent, caring and gifted little girl who is often mistreated or neglected by her boorish parents. From a young age Matilda has to fend for herself, but finds a welcome escape from her troubled home life through her insatiable appetite for reading. In response to her parent’s neglect she often amuses herself by playing pranks on her family like gluing her father’s hat to his head.
At school, Matilda befriends her kind teacher, Miss Honey, a kindred spirit, who encourages Matilda to develop her exceptional intellectual abilities. Miss Honey hides her own pain and sorrow as her sadistic and manipulative aunt, Miss Agatha Trunchbull, is also the headmistress of the school. The Trunchbull, as she is tagged by the students, delights in inflicting cruel and unusual punishments on the children for minor infractions. While Matilda, Miss Honey and the other students live in fear of the tyrannical Trunchbull, Matilda discovers her growing power of telekinesis, which she uses to finally oust the headmistress.
Matilda’s wish for a loving family is finally bestowed when her father, a corrupt car salesman, decides to escape from the police, and he readily agrees to let his misunderstood daughter live with Miss Honey.
Dahl’s wonderful tale is an empowering book with an anti-bullying message flowing through the narrative, and it also teaches children to embrace their gifts and to respect others despite their differences.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was first published in 1950 and its magical tale of adventure will never lose its literary appeal for children or adults. A classic fantasy tale of good versus evil, it also has an emphasis on the innocence of childhood, and the power of friendship.
The story begins where a group of English children, Peter, Susan, Lucy and Edmond, are sent to live with their uncle in his house in the countryside, after a wartime evacuation. After discovering a magical wardrobe, the children discover Narnia, a world of talking animals and mythical beasts who live in fear of an evil witch who keeps the land enslaved in a perpetual winter.
The continuing appeal of these Top Five Best Books for Children goes beyond the world of books as all of these stories have been turned into television series, films and stage-plays.