There’s something about this time of year that seems to makes me nostalgic. I think its because I have so many happy childhood memories from this season. As a family we used to go on big country walks, I’d jump in as many puddles I could find and kick up all the colourful leaves, then we would head home as it was getting dark. Arriving home I would be summoned to have a bath after getting so mucky, I’d change into my pjs and snuggle down into my bed ready for my bed time story. I loved being read to; both my Mum and Dad did their best to bring the characters to life for me, and what a bunch of characters I was introduced to! These are some of fabulous books that influenced my girlhood!

Sophie Book1. Sophie from The Sophie Collection, by Dick King Smith

I found the Sophie books on a visit to the library and instantly fell in love them. Sophie’s described as a furiously independent girl who had one goal in life: to become a ‘lady farmer’. I understood her: like me she had two older brothers, was a bit of a tomboy and loved going on adventures. I followed Sophie as she collected money for her farm, visited country shows and even learnt to ride a horse. Sophie inspired me so much that for vast time in my girlhood I too wished to be a ‘lady farmer’, a dream I have sadly not pursued!

railway children2. The Railway Children, by Edith Nesbit

I originally saw the stage play of this at the age of 7. I loved all things old so this story was for me. I liked the character of Bobby the most I think because of the fact she was in charge, a characteristic I recognised in myself. She was strong and courageous, especially in the famous bit of the book, where she stops the train from hitting the line by standing on the track and waving her petticoat!

tracy beaker3. Jacqueline Wilson

I’m not even going to attempt to choose a book by her, as I have read almost every book she has published, and each of them influenced and touch me in their own way. Like most girls my age I first discovered her through Tracy Beaker, the feisty girl who lived in care. I loved Tracy Beaker, as she did things I wouldn’t dare to do, and I got to go along with her naughtiness without having to suffer the consequences. Jacqueline Wilson taught me a great deal about empathy as she opened me up to situations I was lucky enough not to face. I was taught about what I was like to be in care, what it was like for your parents to divorce and that everyone falls out with their best friend!

my naughty little sister4. My Naughty Little Sister, by Dorothy Edwards

I got this book one Christmas as a present; I can still remember my mum reading them to me. As the title suggests, the book was about a young girl that constantly got herself in trouble. I remember being shocked by some of the things she would try to get up to, especially attempting to cut off the cat’s tail. I think the main reason I loved this book so much was Shirley Hughes’ illustrations, she bought every character to life on the page!

katie morag5. Katie Morag, by Mairi Hedderwick

I loved loved loved Katie Morag! She was a little girl with shocking red hair who lived on a Scottish island, everybody knew who she was and she had freedom to explore the island without her parents! I was captivated by every book!


-Lucy Palmer
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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