Welcome to the first journey in my new series – diving into the murky depths of my reading over the past seventeen years.
Let’s hop in the time machine and travel back to November 2001…
The world was still reeling from 9/11 and the War on Terror had begun. American Airlines Flight 587 crashed. The first Harry Potter film was released. George Harrison died. In the UK music chart, there were number one singles from Afroman, Westlife and Blue. And a thirteen-year-old bookworm was reading…
Face by Benjamin Zephaniah (1999): This is about a boy whose face is disfigured in an accident (if I recall correctly, he’s in a racist gang too) and how we shouldn’t judge anyone on looks. I got this from the library and remember the cover well – it was a portrait with blankness instead of a face. Although I preferred fantasy, sci-fi, adventure and horror, occasionally I liked to read more hard-hitting realistic books such as this one.
The Babysitter II by R L Stine (1992): I admit I was a big fan of Point Horror books. I read all the titles the library had. Not that I remember most of the stories now. Some of them were good, others were not. This one is described thus: ‘Jenny’s last babysitting job nearly ended in death. But she’s a survivor. She’s getting over it. The crazy guy who was after her is gone and she’s even got a new babysitting job. When she answers the phone, she hears a familiar voice, a voice from the past, from the grave.’ It sounds dated now. Books about babysitters are so nineties.
Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech (1990). I don’t remember this one at all. Here’s the blurb: ‘Mary Lou has what she calls a normally-strange family. That is, until her cousin Carl comes to stay. She had plans to enjoy the summer hanging out with her first ever crush, but there’s something so quiet and sad about Carl, and Mary Lou knows that no one else in her chaotic home will bother to find out why. So it looks like it’s up to her and what she discovers is far from normal and rocks the family to its heart.’
The Falcon’s Malteser by Anthony Horowitz (1986). I still have this book, which I’ve read several times. I’m a Horowitz fan – his writing is funny, his characters larger than life and his plots are clever. This easy-read is the first of the Diamond Brothers series, starring hapless detective Tim and his smart younger brother Nick.
Point Blanc by Anthony Horowitz (2001). The second in the action-packed Alex Rider series, this gripping novel sees our reluctant teenage spy infiltrating an exclusive but sinister school. The series is still popular now. I last read this book in 2013, according to my book record.
The Perfume by Caroline B Cooney (1993). Yep, it’s another Point Horror. ‘When Gentle Dove first puts on Venom, a new perfume, she unleashes a part of herself that has been locked away all her life – the second self she never knew existed, and it’s evil.’
The Accident by Diane Hoh (1992). And another Point Horror. ‘On the eve of her “sweet sixteen” birthday, a girl meets a ghost with a tragic past’.
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (1961). I only read this children’s classic once and I don’t remember being too impressed with it. Maybe I found it a bit too allegorical when I was expecting a straightforward fantasy story. One for the ‘I didn’t like it the first time around but I want to try it again in the future’ pile.
Let’s leave 2001 behind now and go back to the future.
I hope you enjoyed the trip.