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These days, kids have smartphones, tablets, laptops and video games to keep themselves occupied, but back in the day, it was all about getting out in the great outdoors or escaping to a magical world with a good book. Last month, we asked the Over60 community to think back on their childhood years and tell us, what was your favourite book as a child and why? Here’s what you had to say.

  1. “Loved Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five series. As soon as a new one came out I used to love to read them and imagine I was in the story. Great days.” – Bernice O’Brien
  2. Milly-Molly-Mandy [by Joyce Lankester]. I’d get one from the library after school, read it while walking home, finish it before bedtime and then back again next day for another one.” – Jean Clawson
  3. Just William by Richmal Crompton. I bought my own, about 12 of the 39. He remained the same age, and I felt that when I got into trouble it was never as bad as William.” – Jon Harmer
  4. The Secret Garden [by Frances Hodgson Burnett]. I loved the way poor sick Colin found his health with his cousin in his mother's garden. Have seen both movies and passed my book to my granddaughter.” – Margaret Woodhouse
  5. The Billabong series [by Mary Grant Bruce], read them over and over. Two lovely sisters-in-law sourced a few old copies to replace some lost over the years and I now have a complete set again. Little Women [by Louisa May Alcott] was another favourite.” – Joan McPherson
  6. The Children of the New Forest by Captain Marryat. I loved this old-fashioned book set at the time of the Cavaliers and the Roundheads. I really got into the story of the Beverly children and have loved historical novels since.” – Barbara Ibbott
  7. The Hobbit and then equally The Lord of the Rings. I read all the books that my older sister read. These were fantasy, complex characters and escapism, where good triumphs over evil.” – Heidi Vasilevskis
  8. “I loved Anne of Green Gables, went to the house that it was based on in Canada, a lifelong ambition.” – Susan Elizabeth Reid
  9. The Very Hungry Caterpillar [by Eric Carle]. I thought it was clever, funny and beautiful. I still come across it today during work and I can’t help but read it to the kids.” – Rocchini Gigli
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird [by Harper Lee] gave me a strong sense of social justice, fairness and equity for everyone.” – Cindy Drew
  11. “Heidi by Johanna Spyri. It took me to the Swiss Alps and I became involved in the lives of the characters. It gave me wanderlust.” – Margaret Dargie
  12. The What Katy Did books [by Susan Coolidge] and The Diary of Anne Frank had a huge impact on me as a very young teen.” – Ann Rayma Congrene

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