Tuesday, 10 May 2011

U is for...You

Yes, gone for the phonetic get-out clause for the letter 'U'. Try as I might; rack my brains as I did; I just couldn't think of a children's fictional character that began with 'U'. I am probably missing hundreds of famous Una's and Unwin's, but my work-addled brain can't think of them.

This poor A-Z challenge. You see, I can't stop now. If I stop then my side bar gets muddled. I feel like I am one of those people you see struggling through the London Marathon (26 miles or so), dressed as armour-clad knight, doing their bit for the challenge but in their own time. And which media luvvie nicknamed these folk 'fun' runners? Have they tried running marathons for charity dressed as a lumbering dinosaur, London bus, or errant knight? Calling these brave hardy souls 'fun-runners' makes their contribution seem a little less, when struggling around a course with actual equipment is an amazing feat and should be lauded from the sky.

But the point of this post, apart from having a chat with you, as it feels so long since we've had a chat, you and I - is the You part. Firstly for being here, reading this blog. When I started blogging I was confessing my writing fears to the wind. I didn't know, for a very long time, how to find others, and what to do when I did. Commenting seemed a big step. I like to read blogs, and I think of you all massively when I don't get around to visiting. Sometimes life just swells... not because of interesting, exciting things, but because of mundane boring things that pay the bills. C'est la vie, eh?

Agh - see how much I have missed chatting to you! I have gone wildly off target. But the point of this post is I wanted to ask you a question...

Over to you

What books did you read as children? Did you haunt libraries, like me? What books do your children like? Do you write for children - if so, what age? Do you write Young Adult books, and if so, who is your favourite contemporary YA children's author?

14 comments:

Brianna said...

I admire your determination and dedication to finishing the challenge. I've really enjoyed reading your themed posts, but this is the time we've just 'chatted.' It's very nice.

I read all different kinds of books a kid, but my favorite genre was mystery. One of my favorite authors was Betty Ren Wright. I still get chills thinking about The Dollhouse Murders.

Kittie Howard said...

Sometimes life just swells -- what a great way to describe much, Jayne. I spent my formative years in a rural area in Louisiana without a library. But the book-mobile did come around once a month. Not a large selection. But I was happy to read, so it didn't matter. Later, of course, Nancy Drew claimed center stage. Ahhh, yes!

Dolly said...

Have loved following the series and think this is a wondrful post and chat for "U" or "You". As a child growing up in a small village in western Canada books were my own escape clause. They went with my own dreams for what my life would be. I loved English books: Pooh, Paddington and the like. I read beyond my years and remember reading The Iliad and Odyssey at a young age. Then I discovered Historical Fiction and that was that. It lead to reading actual history to find more about the Medieval Age. An English Lit student once called me Jude the Obscure. I like that :)

Plain Jane said...

My favorite were books by Bill Pete. I still wish I had a complete collection of all his stuff. I don't know who illistrated them, though.

Out on the prairie said...

We spent many summer nights at the library, they had air conditioning. We sat and read all the periodicals and always had an exchange of books. The librarian would come and tell us to finish in the next ten minutes before closing.

Laura Marcella said...

I like that you're still doing the A to Z Challenge! I'm really enjoying your posts.

When I was a beginning reader, I loved the Berenstain Bears books, Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, and the Amelia Bedelia books.

Then in 1st grade I picked up "Little House in the Big Words" by Laura Ingalls Wilder and quickly devoured that series! I also loved anything by Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Louis Sachar, Jerry Spinelli, Katherine Paterson, and a host of others! One of my favorite children's books is the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery.

Today my favorite middle-grade author is Sharon Creech. Her books are poignant and have humor at the same time and the writing and characters are so lovely.

snafu said...

The first book I read all by myself was Wind in the Willows and I loved it. I moved on and read anything I could get hold of then I discovered Eric Linklater and his Pirates in the Deep Green Sea and Wind on the Moon, which I read and re-read. As I grew I moved on to Enid Blyton's Adventure series, Biggles and Arthur Ransome. Which leads on to a U for you, 'Uncle Jim', alias Captain Flint from Swallows and Amazons.

Sarah Allen said...

No Flying in the House was one of my favorites, and the Chronicles of Narnia.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

music obsessive said...

Seems most of my childhood reading revolved around schools. The 'Jennings' series by Anthony Buckeridge being a good example. My favourite books were the writings of Nigel Molesworth (the gorila of 3b as any fule kno) by Geoffrey Willans (himself an ex-schoolteacher) and wonderfully illustrated by Ronald Searle. If you don't know them and you don't mind atrocious spelling, give them a try.

Talli Roland said...

Good for you for not stopping!

I LOVED the library. I used to come home with a pile of books - those were the best days ever.

snafu said...

My comment seems to have been lost in the problems Blogspot has just suffered. Amongst other things I wrote, I suggested that 'Uncle Jim' is a 'U' character name. From Swallows and Amazons.
Has anyone ever read Eric Linklater's books? He did not write many, Pirates in the Deep Green Sea and Wind on the Moon spring to mind, both magical children's stories.

Lori said...

Oh Jayne, I can completely identify with you and your comments about finding readership and then wondering how to respond once you have. This blogging is so much like talking into the wind.

To answer your question, as a young girl I loved fairy tales and folk stories - things with magic and morality. From there the books I prefered had more of a historical (or other time and place) base. Little House, Little Women, Heidi, Freckles, and later - Green Mansions...

Reading was an escape so I prefered books with happy endings and mostly nice people. When I got older and read Gone with the Wind I couldn't stand Scarlet. Probably the first book I'd read where I didn't want the heroine to 'win'!

The problem solving in Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie mysteries filled many hours.

I loved the library - the smell of the place. And any book I owned was considered a friend. Many of them were shipped overseas when I moved to Australia. There is something sweet about seeing them still sitting on my shelf - dear old Pooh, and even that pitiful Scarlet.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Good for you for plugging away on the A-Z challenge. I don't think I could have made it through!

My favorite books as a child were Alice in Wonderland, The Cuckoo Clock, The Princess and Curdie, any Nancy Drew Book, any Little House on the... book, and Jerry Todd and the Buffalo Bill Bathtub, among others.

I write for children: Picture Books and Middle Grade novels; but I've also had fiction for adults published as well -- flash fiction and short stories.

The Words Crafter said...

Life swells. Sometimes it swallows! No worries. I like Eoin Colfer, Neil Gaimen, Neal Shusterman, among others. As a child, I loved Mythology and Grimm and Dr. Seuss. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH will always haunt me and so will Charlotte's Web.

Don't you just love climbing around in the attic of your brain, and rummaging through all the memories of the books we had as children? Nostalgic sigh.....