#T5W – Books for my younger self

I’m a bit late posting for #T5W, considering it’s now Friday here in New Zealand, but oh well.  I was a bit stumped on this prompt.  Books for my younger self.  I was a voracious reader.  My mother tells me that I was so desperate for reading material that I would read the backs of cereal packets, and once she even caught me trying to read the shredded newspaper we were using to insulate the house that we were building.  It’s not that my parents denied me books, but we didn’t have a lot of money, and I went to a very small rural school.  It didn’t take me long to read my way through the library there.  I remember that going to high school was amazing because they had this huge library that I could explore.

So I read anything I could get my hands on, but I did tend to favour fantasy novels.

In high school, the first books I remember really enjoying were Anne McCaffrey’s talent series and ship series, both of which I enjoyed.  I never got as much into her dragonrider series, which is crazy, because it seems ideal for me.  I read her crystal series and freedom series too.  And then I really enjoyed Jean M Auel’s earth’s children series.

After high school I read a lot of Mills and Boons, partly because they were cheap and plentiful.  You could pick up stacks of them for really cheap.  Win!  Eventually I grew out of those and started looking for romance novels with more depth, and I’ve stayed there ever since.

So…  I have no idea what to recommend to my younger self.  Am I only recommending books that were available back then?  Or ones that I wish had been?  I’m leaning toward the latter.

I’ve actually bought a heap of books for my kids over the years.  Neither of my kids are quite as manic about reading as I was, but I think that’s because they have the internet and I didn’t.  Although we had a computer at home in my later years of primary school, we didn’t get internet until I was 17 I think.  My son is definitely into fantasy, and my daughter prefers feel-good, happy stories, although I’ve noticed she also leans toward fantasy, with fairies and mermaids and things.

So, these are books I’ve bought for my kids.  Which I guess I wish someone had bought for me when I was a kid, except of course they weren’t published then!

The Dragon Defenders (The Dragon Defenders Trilogy, #1)

We lucked out when we bought my daughter’s copy of this book, because the author is a local and he’d signed the book!  Win!  This book also contains digital content that you can scan with an iphone or ipad, using the app.  Very cool, and a way to mix up the two technologies for modern kids.

Blurb:  When evil boss The Pitbull discovers that dragons exist on Flynn and Paddy’s island, he sends his men to kill one, and to bring him back a dragon’s egg. It will take all of Flynn and Paddy’s skill, bravery and cunning to stop them.

This is a trilogy and all three books have been published.


The Lost Twin (Scarlet and Ivy #1)

Blurb: Ivy, I pray that it’s you reading this. And if you are, well, I suppose you’re the new me…

When shy Ivy’s troublemaking twin Scarlet vanishes from Rookwood boarding school, Ivy is invited to “take her place.” But when Ivy arrives, she discovers the school’s true intention; she has to pretend to be Scarlet. She must think like Scarlet, act like Scarlet, become Scarlet. What on earth happened to the real Scarlet, and why is the school trying to keep it a secret?

Luckily for Ivy, Scarlet isn’t about to disappear without a fight. She’s left pieces of her journal carefully hidden all over the school for Ivy to find. Ivy’s going to figure out what happened to Scarlet. She’s got to.

But the staff of Rookwood is always watching, and they’ll do anything to keep their secrets buried…

There are five books in this series so far.


The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, #1)

Blurb: The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?

The School for Good & Evil is an epic journey into a dazzling new world, where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one.

There are four books in this series so far, with a fifth one scheduled for release next year.


Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant, #1)

Blurb: Meet Skulduggery Pleasant

Ace Detective
Snappy Dresser
Razor–tongued Wit
Crackerjack Sorcerer
Walking, Talking, 
Fire-throwing Skeleton

—as well as ally, protector, and mentor of Stephanie Edgley, a very unusual and darkly talented twelve-year-old.

These two alone must defeat an all-consuming ancient evil.

The end of the world?

Over his dead body.

There are eleven books in this series so far.


The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice, #1)

Blurb: They have always scared him in the past — the Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger’s apprentice. What he doesn’t yet realize is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied….

There are twelve books in this series, but then there’s also seven books in John Flanagan’s Brotherband Chronicles which are a spin-off, and my son seems to enjoy them just as much.


So there you go.  Not five books, but five series!  Of all of them, I know my son has enjoyed the John Flanagan books the most, but then, he’s a more avid reader than his sister, and I think he didn’t outgrow those ones as quickly as the Skulduggery Pleasant ones.

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