Hi everyone! Welcome to my first Top Ten Tuesday post! I’ve had my eye on these posts for a while, some of my favourite bloggers regularly take part in, but The Broke and the Bookish were on a summer break and then I missed their return!
This week’s theme is Ten Hidden Gem Books in X genre – I’ve cheated slightly a picked ten hidden gems from my childhood. So it’s covering books from early childhood through to YA. These are books that I remember absolutely loving at time but weren’t super popular like Harry Potter or Goosebumps. That said I must admit I’ve not read them since I was younger so there’s probably a huge heap of nostalgia built into this, and if I were to re-read them I might find huge problems with! But at the time I loved them so they make the list!
Further disclaimer – These may have not been as hidden as I remember them being, it could be I read them after their main wave of popularity had passed, or I’ve just forgotten how popular they actually were!
Windy Edge Farm series by Jill Dow
I remember loving these books when I was little. I had Molly’s Supper and Bridget’s Secret as hard back books as well as a few little paperback and I have a really distinct memory of their smell, it’s bizarre but I loved it! They weren’t long books by any stretch of the imagination, but they were cute short stories, each focusing on a different animal on the farm.
Brambly Hedge series by Jill Barklem
These books lived up the road at my grandma’s but along with Winnie-the-Pooh were my go to books whenever I stayed there. The books were cute stories about a group of mice who lived in a hedgerow, my grandma had the first four books in the series, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, and I probably read them on a monthly basis for years.
My Naughty Little Sister series by Dorothy Edwards
Again this was a book that lived at my grandma’s but I so loved reading about the exploits of the naughty little sister, whether she was biting Father Christmas or eating all the trifle at Bad Harry’s birthday party.
The Railway Cat series by Phyllis Arkle
The Railway Cat series combined two of my favourite things as a child, railways and cats! Even better a mischievous cat who got into trouble but also saved the day on more than one occasion!
The Sophie series by Dick King Smith
I loved that Sophie wasn’t your stereotypical girl, she loved animals, lived in her wellies and wanted nothing more than to have her own farm. I loved following Sophie’s story as she grew up throughout the books, and increased her collection of animals, starting with a snail she managed to accumulate a rabbit, a cat, a puppy and eventually a pony!
The Josie Smith series by Magdalen Nabb
I had two books from this series, Josie Smith at Christmas and Josie Smith in Hospital, but I borrowed several others from the library. In general I remember really liking Josie but being annoyed by her friend Eileen!
The Suitcase Kid by Jacqueline Wilson
Now don’t get me wrong I know Jacqueline Wilson is a hugely popular children’s author, but I feel like The Suitcase Kid never reached the same hype as some of her other books like Tracy Beaker and The Girls In Love series. I’ve no doubt that part of my love of this book comes from the fact Jacqueline visited my local library when I was ten, and although I didn’t get to go to her talk, that was just for the year sixes, I was allowed to go over the road afterwards and get a copy signed, it was my very first signed book! Plus it dealt with an important issue in divorce and parents beginning new relationships. Plus it had sylvanian families and at my mum’s house I still have my large stuffed rabbit named Radish in honour of this book!
Murderous Maths series by Kjartan Poskitt
The only non-fiction books to make this list. Now I loved Horrible Histories and Horrible Science. What child wouldn’t love a book called Blood, Bones and Body Bits? But I feel Murderous Maths was the forgotten cousin of the humourous educational family. I was a maths geek anyway but I had the first five books in this series and loved them!
The Making Out series by K. A. Applegate
The first YA entry on my list, I picked up this series in my secondary school, and managed to find the rest of them at my local library. This series dealt with some quite big subjects, from first relationships, to blindness, molestation and alcoholism. I remember feeling so grown up reading them, and I loved the idea of living on an island off the coast of Maine and needing to get a ferry to school in the morning.
The Fearless series by Francine Pascal
Everybody’s heard of the Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal, or at least they had when I was reading them, slightly longer ago than I care to admit, but when I discovered the Fearless series I so preferred it. It’s about a girl called Gaia who was born without the fear gene, she’s fearless! She was the daughter of a CIA agent, and had an evil uncle. She was a martial arts expert and just totally badass! There was still romance in the series but it felt a lot edgier than the standard YA romance that existed at the time.
Although they did change the covers 30 books in which I still haven’t forgiven them for! I even neglected to read the last few books in the series because of it, but I’m determined to pick them up from Amazon at some point.
So there it is, my first ever Top Ten Tuesday! And although I cheated slightly I hope you all enjoyed reading about some of the hidden gems of my childhood, please share yours in the comments below!