Favourite Children’s Books | Top 5 Wednesday

Todays discussion is a Top 5 Wednesday topic where I’ll be discussing my favourite children’s books (or middle grade books) this week! This list consists of books that were mostly read in my childhood, so I apologise in advance if I have very little to say about them.

Personally, I very rarely dabble in books that are children’s or middle grade books, as I typically don’t enjoy juvenile aspects. However I can appreciate the following books in this list for what they were!

5. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Volume 1: BFF by Amy Reeder

This is graphic novel was actually a very recent read. If the word ‘dinosaur’ is attached to a title, and a superhero novel at that, I am a very very likely to pick it up. The premise was incredibly inticing – a nine year old girl black girls, is who canonically the smartest protagonist in the Marvel Universe, teams up with a dinosaur? (Honestly, that sounds a little like a wet dream I had once.) Unfortunately whilst this book didn’t live up to my own expectations. I think it’s been wrongly genre’d as Young Adult, but I can definitely see this book appealing to those who fall under the Middle Grade audience.

4. The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton

I had a wonderful teacher in primary school who used to read this to my class. She had the most animated wonderful voice, that enamoured children who didn’t enjoy reading. This book has stuck with me ever since because of her. In fact, majority of the books I read pre-teens wasn’t self read but read via this teacher.

3. The WitchesMatilda and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl is a treasure trove of children’s stories. The Witches, Matilda and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory are my specific favourites of his. He creates clever and innovative stories that every child should get to experience. Also Matilda and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory were some of my favourite movies as children. Even now I could watch those movies and still be enamoured by the stories!

2. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

I must admit I haven’t read the physical editions of the Narnia books. I did recently listen to the BBC audiobooks for the first two books, but they were shortened versions of the story and not really satisfying. I loved the movies when I was younger and would love to revisit these stories some day.

1.Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

Similarly to my experience with The Enchanted Wood, this was read to me by the same teacher. I have faded memories of my class erupting in laughter because of this book and by extension the following instalments. I’d highly recommend this book for children.

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Thank you so much for reading my T5W list. Here is a link to the goodreads group with more information if you’d like to participate in future discussions! Carly

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Favorite LGBTQ+ Reads

Todays discussion is a Top 5 Wednesday topic where we’ll be discussing favourite books that feature LGBTQ+ characters or are by LGBTQ+ authors. Here is a link to the group if you’d like to participate in any discussions.

I’m really excited for today’s discussion, as I haven’t done a T5W in a while. But I’m also really excited because as a queer reader, I get to talk about LGBTQ+ books.

Of course I had to cheat this week and recommend a little over five books – so hopefully there will be something for everybody looking to get into LGBT+ fiction.

Highly Commended –  If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

The protagonist, Sahar is so thoughtful and I loved following her stream of conscious  Although this book features some mature themes, I do think it’s accessible for a variety of audiences. This book discusses the religious and political aspects regarding homosexuality in Iran exceptionally well.

Honourable Mention – None of The Above by I.W. Gregorio 

The exposition of intersexuality by Gregorio was great. The author does a great job of immersing the reader into Kristen’s shoes, so the reader experiences everything alongside the narrator. More over, the way Gregorio personified her characters was great. I remember it being just a little bit juvenile for me, but other than that it was a great read.

5. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

The most polarizing aspects of this book are the writing style, the main protagonist Aristotle and also the plot or lack thereof. However it absolutely captivated me and I loved reading about Ari and Dante’s budding relationship, it was very sweet and heartfelt. This book is both racially and sexually diverse and the representation of Mexican culture and the family dynamics was particularly great.

4. Jerkbait by Mia Siergert 

An incredibly heartwarming read that deals with a plethora of heavy subjects such as suicide, homophobia and gender stereotyping. Tristan is such a likeable narrator, and watching his relationship with his twin Robbie blossom was one of my favourite aspects of the story. Whilst the story is in Tristan’s perspective, the author also excellently illustrates Robbie’s tragic story unfold through Tristan’s eyes.

3. I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Jandy Nelson’s heavy metaphorically induced writing style made me quite nostalgic about Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me Trilogy. Initially I felt very alienated by it, but as I got to know the characters and essentially became apart of their complicated relationships – I couldn’t help but love this story. In a dual then and now perspective, Nelson illustrates heartbreaking moments between the twins and their journey to reconciliation.

2. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Of all the books I’m recommending to you today, this book is most definitely the tamest in regards to subject matter. It’s a cute, fluffy juvenile read, that felt really modern and I truly believe you can’t go wrong with it if that’s what you’re looking for. The progression of story was great as well. I can’t describe it to you other than how natural it felt. The author manages to construct really meaningful relationships between Simon and his friends and family and also Blue via emails. Also, the book was overall laugh out loud funny.

1. Cam Girl by Elliot Wake (formerly Leah Raeder)

Elliot Wake is one of my favourite authors. He has a hard-hitting, raw prose that is also beautifully lyrical. This book also deals with a lot of societal issues that I really appreciated and is both racially and sexually diverse. Wake is a transgender author, and has other LGBT+ related novels such as Black Iris and Bad Boy.  A lot of his work I would say is relatively dark and mature.

Thank you so much for reading my T5W list. If you have any LGBT+ books to recommend me please let me know in the comment section!

My Current Favourite Science Fiction and Fantasy Books!

Todays discussion is a Top 5 Wednesday topic. Here is the link to the group page for any further information or if you’d like to do these topics yourself!

I didn’t really have to think long and hard about todays list – these books are easily some of my favourite books in general and I’ve rated all either a four or five stars!

5. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Although the fantasy aspects of book one are really underdeveloped, and I think that aspect is largely over-shadowed by the romance a bit. (Which I personally don’t mind at all.) But Lia, main character, was such a fantastic heroine and had me enthralled the entirety of the story that I just had to have this book on my list. I believe in the second book – The Heart of Betrayal – the fantasy fleshed out a lot more.

4. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Poison Study, aside from being excellently written, is void of a lot of typical young adult tropes that are more prevalent in many young adult fantasy books today. Which makes it an incredibly refreshing to read. Yelena is a fantastic heroine, who perseveres through a lot despite the internal and external struggles she faces.

3. The Star Thief by Jamie Grey

The Star Thief is truly an exciting, adventurous science fiction duology. The author is very well versed in science fiction and does an excellent job of illustrating her world to the reader. I would highly recommend this book for people who like heroines such as Celaena Sardothien from the Throne of Glass series or Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy series.

2. Vicious by V.E. Schwab

I was incredibly impressed and totally surprised by Vicious. It was a fantastic tale about superheroes – or rather, antiheroes – and moral ambiguity that makes the story incredibly intriguing. It’s told in a then and now perspective, which really adds to the suspense of the novel. Lastly, each character is complex and have a lot of value to the overall story.

1. Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Of all the books on this list Warbreak is the one I’ve read most recently and it’s truly left an impression on me. I believe this is such a sensational fantasy book for many reasons. It has definitely made an impact on my reading and has set the bar pretty high for future fantasy books. I am currently working on my review for this book because there is so much I need to say about this book. I encourage any fantasy lover to add this to their TBR pile!

Thanks for reading! 

Fictional Jobs I’d Want to Have

This topic took a little more time than expected, but I loved having to brainstorm about some of my favourite fictional worlds and the jobs relative to them. I largely selected jobs based on what I think I’d enjoy and what looked to be a lot of fun.. but I do think I eventually complied a list of jobs that I would both enjoy and be (relatively) good at!

1. Shadowhunter (Inspired by Isabelle Light from Shadowhunters TV Series)

I stopped watching Shadowhunters for a while as I was pretty unsatisfied with where the show was going. But yesterday I picked up from where I left off early on in season two and absolutely binged watched all the episodes. Essentially this rekindled my love for the show and primarily for Isabelle because to me, she is what makes being a Shadowhunter look like fun.

2. Oompa Loompa (Inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) 

It probably makes me a pretty bad vegan to say I’d like to be an Oompa Loompa… but I don’t think I’m in any minority when I say food and theme parks are some of the many things that I love. To combine the two and have it be my day to day job to experiment with sweets would be pretty epic.

3. Meta-Human CSI Expert (Inspired by Julian Albert from The Flash TV Series)

I thought long and hard about a ‘fictional job’ actually existed within The Flash world, because a lot of the main characters actually have jobs that are rooted within the real world. But alas – thanks to Julian Albert (a new character in S3) I have found my way into Team Flash! Although it would be awesome to be a meta-human expert, I was trying to find a job in this universe largely so I could work with all the characters on Team Flash.

4. Dragonologist (Inspired by Charlie Weasley from The Harry Potter Series)

I really think this goes without explanation!

5. Dinosaur Researcher (Inspired by Owen Grady from Jurassic World)

Simiarly to a Dragonologist, being a Dinosaur Researcher would be equally exciting (perhaps Dinosaur Researcher more so because the Jurassic Park franchise was my first favourite series ever.) I love animals and have thought about working in an industry that relates to animals… dinosaurs and dragons would suit me perfectly!

Here is the link to the Top Five Wednesday group if you’d like to have a look through the discussions and further topics.