Every child is special in his/her own way; the innocence and imagination of a child can find the incredible even in the mundane. As a child I used to love escaping from the real world in to my fantasy world. This world had some made up friends, but most of them were characters from children’s books that I had read. Looking back, I still have such fond memories of these books; in many ways they made my childhood special. In fact, I still enjoy reading them sometimes. These books have imaginative stories, great quotes and a funny edge which will cheer you up even when you are sad. Here are the Top 9 must read books for young and adults.
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
World War II, history’s deadliest war brought despair, terror and distress throughout the globe. The war affected the children the most. The German air-force repeatedly hit London, the forefront of the Allies. Worried parents shipped their kids to London’s suburbs for safekeeping. The first book of the Narnia series – “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, depicts the life of four kids — Lucy, Susan, Edmund and Peter who represent the children afflicted by the Second World War. The magical world of Narnia, created by C.S Lewis, was the escapade for the war-torn children. Fifty years, after the first edition was published, this book is still a favorite. It gives the reader an enchanted world where Aslan, the lion, is your best friend; and the everyday wardrobe, the gateway to the magical kingdom.
8. Matilda By Roald Dahl
This story is quite a simple one with Dahl’s at his best. It is a funny, yet inspiring story of a young girl’s thirst for knowledge.
Four year old Matilda, despite being a prodigy, was neglected, despised and scorned by her parents. Her life becomes more dreadful when she goes to school with Miss Trenchbull as the headmistress. The war between Matilda and Miss Trenchbull will remind you that there is always a way to overcome the obstacles and fulfill your dreams.
7. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
This is a “picture” book written in 1922. It is a story of a toy rabbit who wants to become real but he doesn’t know how.
In the nursery where he lives, the rabbit finds a friend, the wooden horse. He explains what being ‘real’ means — “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just play with, but really loves you, then you become real.”
The story brings a nostalgic feeling of the one toy that you really loved and maybe that was forgotten someway down the line as you grew up.
The story centers around love, the love that stays with us no matter however we look and appear. Even though the rabbit became old and crumpled, the innocent child never forgot about him. His love transcended and lived through.
6. The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
I am sure while growing up you have either watched or read Snow white and Sleeping beauty. Disney movies have made these fairy tales like The Little Mermaid, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty and The Beauty and the Beast very popular. Gaiman, the master story teller, with his amazing imagination recreated this book weaving together Snow White and Sleeping beauty together. This is a dark tale where the princesses do not wait for a prince to rescue them; instead they take actions to change their own lives. The black and white illustrations lets the reader fill in the colors with their imagination. This book will probably take an hour to finish and it will leave a deep imprint on your mind.
5. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
This book was originally written in French with the name “Le Petit Prince” and was published along with it’s english translation in 1943. Despite being written by a French author, it was first published in the US and then posthumously published in France three years later.
This is a pocket size thin book, and when you open it you will find images illustrated by the author. The reader could misinterpret it as a children’s book until he/she starts reading it. The author uses a fine combination of imagery and text to convey his ideas. According to the book’s website it is a children’s book intended for adults. The story revolves around the narrator who lands on the Sahara desert and finds a little Prince. He is from a far away asteroid and his only goal is to go back to the beloved rose, left behind at home. This is a heart wrenching story of sacrifice and home coming. Little prince also describes the different people he has met in the planets he visited. And the stories show a child’s outlook towards “grown-up” actions and behavior.
4. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Although this book is classified as a children’s book, the language and the vocabulary is ideal for an experienced reader. It is aptly named the American version of Alice in Wonderland. Milo, a young boy is bored, he doesn’t know why he needs to learn. And he is bored all the time and depressed because he cannot find the purpose of seeking knowledge. One day after a long day at school Milo comes home to find a package waiting for him. On opening, he finds instruction to assemble a tollbooth. After assembling, he uses his electric car to go through the tollbooth but, as soon as he crosses the tollbooth he reaches the kingdom of Dictionopolis and Digitopolis.
The book is full of puns and funny anecdotes regarding the conventional ways of learning. And Jules Feiffer’s illustrations helps the reader connect to the author’s wild imaginations about numbers, words, rhymes and rhythm.
3. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
A young girl, Coraline, comes to live in a new house. Soon, she finds all about his weird neighbors like Miss Spink, Miss Forcible, Mr. Bobo and the nature a. You will realize the peculiarity of these characters once you start reading them. Coraline’s parents Mr. and Mrs Jones represent a large fraction of working middle class who cannot afford to spend sufficient time with their kids because of work commitment. Coraline bored at home starts exploring the house and finds a door. The door that leads to “other” mother. I won’t reveal much about the story but the main essence of the story is family. Even if our family is not the ideal one, still it is the only one we will have. And not only children but most adults need to understand this since the modern day life involves living away from family and sometimes friends too.
2. The Graveyard Book By Neil Gaiman
It is personally, one of my favorite book. The story of Nobody, the kid who grows up in the graveyard. Gaiman finds extraordinary qualities in very ordinary things, Things that to most people are mundane and ordinary — are not so much to Gaiman. A mundane graveyard is made enchanted and special when a tiny kid, orphaned comes to live with the ghosts who reside in a graveyard. Bod will invariably give every aged reader a sense of joy and adventure. And as you read through it you will love Bod, you will love his curiosity, his hunger to study, his eagerness to go to school, his love for everyone he cares for even if those people are not same as he is.
If you are familiar with Gaiman’s works, you should know that he always challenges existing notions. Thus in this work, you will find the warm and caring poltergeists while cold and heartless humans.
1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
The all-time best goes to Rowling’s first book in the Harry Potter series. I have used the British name since that was how I read it as a ten year old. I don’t remember how many times I have re-read this book, but it never gets old. A lot of my friends prefer the later volumes since Harry becomes more mature as the books came out, but I prefer this over all the others since Harry and me both discover the world of magic for the first time.
Ten year old Harry Potter lives with his obnoxious Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon. To make things worse he has the school’s goon and bully Dudley as cousin, whose sole purpose is to make Harry’s life a living hell. As Harry was growing up he has observed queer things happening around him when he is stressed, like the time when he accidentally let a boa constrictor free in the zoo. His life changes on his eleventh birthday he receives his letter of acceptance from the Hogwarts School of Wizardry. Although Hogwarts seems like a traditional British boarding school located in the English countryside, the most amazing part is Hogwart’s students receive Magical Education there.
Article By – Sreyoshi Sur