Typically, just after I hit publish on the post about doing the #bookaday prompts I saw on twitter than another publishing company has taken over BookADay and there is a new list of prompts for July. Maybe I’ll do those in one hit in an entry on the last day of the month? I think to be honest at first glance I prefer the June list.
My post explaining this and listing the prompts is here.
Favourite Book From Childhood
This is a tricky one. Because if I were looking back now I would say my favourite books from my childhood are the Chalet School series by Elinor M. Brent Dyer. So assuming this is a prompt for the book or books I look back on now with the fondest memories they are the ones I should say. And the ones I will say.
But then I get to overthinking the matter and I don’t think they were my favourite books when I was a child. My favourite books when I was a child varied a lot. I was a huge (huge) Enid Blyton fan working my way through her various series of books with a particular love for The Famour Five and Malory Towers. I read The Secret Seven but don’t remember reading many of them or being particularly enamoured by them. I think I then went to Chalet School for a while before a big phase that lasted a couple of years of reading The Babysitters Club by Ann M. Martin. I went pretty much straight from The Babysitters Club to reading Star Trek books – my first one was A Rock and A Hard Place by Peter David which I got for my 12th birthday and loved. Peter David remains one of my favourite Star Trek authors even now (holy crap how is it 20 years later?!). I did read a lot of what would now be called YA in my teens too – I don’t know what it was called back then probably just teen fiction. Kate Cann and stuff like that.
If this prompt is about an author that I have the fondest memories of and who I still read now for comfort and fun and because I simply still enjoy them I still come back to The Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent Dyer. I was still in primary school when I moved on from them but then in 2004 or early 2005 I went on ebay and I bought a couple of the ones I’d never read. And then I bought more. And more still. I think I’ve probably read all of them – I don’t have all of them even now but I reckon I’ve read them. Not necessarily in their full unabridged state but I’ve read them. Loved them too. Over the last few years I’ve been reading many of Elinor M. Brent Dyer’s non Chalet School books. And frankly some of them were crap. But others were just as brilliant as those ones I first fell in love with aged 9. I guess that’s why I loved them back then and still love them now – they’re timeless in a way they probably shouldn’t be.
I think the Chalet School was probably also my first real attempt at writing fanfiction. Only I was nine and I’d never heard of fanfiction. I bought School at the Chalet to take on holiday to France. And I probably read it several times on that holiday. I also had a notebook where I wrote lists and letters to parents from Madge Betttany about the school and a trip the girls were going on and stuff like that. I’ve written one real Chalet School fanfic too that is online but I don’t have the link to hand and the idea of re-reading it makes me cringe.
The series as a whole is my favourite but I have a couple of favourites within the series as well. I love The Chalet School in Exile because it combines the last days at the Tiernsee with intrigue and it’s the one book showing the school in Guernsey. Highland Twins at the Chalet School because the Welsh books are probably my favourite ones in the series and the twins are brilliant characters underused in the rest of the series. And finally my absolute favourite probably has to be New Mistress at the Chalet School – if I re-read one Chalet School book and only one in a year you can be pretty sure it’ll be that one.