Sharanya Misra

That I love to read is no secret! With the much needed social distancing keeping us all locked in our houses, this I believe is a great time for many of us to read. But for those of us who are parents with children keeping us busy all day long, the lockdown is a struggle, making us scratch our heads to come up with activities that can keep our little ones busy! Well, looks like it’s time to give the kids books too!

Reading is a habit that every parent must help his/her kid develop. Books are companions that last for life. They are portals into far away worlds that let our imaginations soar! Growing up, I was always surrounded by books. I travelled to magical places, ate exotic foods unheard of in our household and unlike many other kids, was extremely content left alone as long as there was a book nearby 😉 Memories of my childhood would be incomplete without books, I have even shared stories from back then in my post here.

Today I list some of the books that I absolutely LOVED growing up. I lost myself in them for hours on end and still love cozying up with them every now and then. I would recommend them strongly for kids between the ages of 9-15. If you have kids of this age, do give them a try.

1. HEIDI by Johanna Spyri

This book would probably be enjoyable to even younger kids. I remember falling in love with it as a child. It’s about a little girl who finds herself in the care of her grandfather in the Swiss Alps and how she finds happiness in her new surroundings. Heidi is a spirited little girl who wins you over with her innocence and sincerity. It is a fantastic book, for children and adults alike!

2. THE SECRET SEVEN / THE FAMOUS FIVE by Enid Blyton

I could speak for days on end about books by Enid Blyton. I have written volumes in fact, you can read it right here! But let it suffice when I say Enid Blyton knew how to capture the minds and hearts of children. She was a fantastic story teller and it was through her books that I had already travelled across the UK even before I set foot there!! She wrote many series, two of the most famous ones being The Famous Five and The Secret Seven. Both of them are about smart kids who find themselves on adventures and end up helping adults solve crimes. I also loved her series ‘The five find outers and dog’ although I am not sure how many books she wrote in it or if they are easily available. Enid Blyton’s books are an absolute MUST for new teens!(One quick mention here about a couple more children’s sleuth novels series – Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys, although not by Enid Blyton. While not my favourites, they are quite good too!)

3. The HARRY POTTER Series by J.K.Rowling

The world of Harry Potter took mine by storm. With each book that J.K.Rowling realeased, I found myself swirling in the depths of the tale, unable to let go of my love for it. The book is a fantasy fiction about a young boy Harry who ends up in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and together with his friends Ron and Hermione, prepares to face the most terrifying dark wizard of the age if he must save the wizarding world, and himself! The books are legendary, to say the least.

4. The Adventures of SHERLOCK HOLMES series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The series is all about the cases worked upon by genius detective Sherlock Holmes and his friend and confidante Dr.Watson. Sherlock Holmes awed me. His supreme intelligence and deductive capabilities captivated me, and his social awkwardness amused me. A great series for children with interest in the world of detective work and criminal investigation.

5. THE PRINCESS DIARIES by Meg Cabot

This one may be more appropriate for the slightly older kids. It is about a young girl living with her mother in the US who discovers she is actually the princess of a distant country, how her life turns around and the challenges of her growing years as a teenager. I used to love the series for its wonderfully sarcastic sense of humour and witty style. The format of the book too is different, having been written as a diary of the main protagonist.

While these would probably my TOP 5 favourites growing up, there are a few more books that I would like to mention for being really great reads for kids.

6. DIARY OF A WIMPY KID Series by Jeff Kinney

Ok so I definitely did not read this series in my childhood!! I read them when I was wayyy past my teens. But I thoroughly enjoyed the books and believe they are a great place to start if you are just introducing your children to the habit of reading. The books are about a young lad Greg and his attempts at becoming popular at school. His family and friends being thrown into the mix make for a hilarious read. The books are illustrated with cartoons.

7. Books by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie wrote many detective novels and short stories. Her detective Hercule Poirot is probably as famous as Sherlock Holmes, leaving a split fan base amongst readers. While I personally always preferred Sherlock Holmes for his unique style, I have to admit Agatha Christie’s books were great reads too!

8. Abridged versions of famous CLASSICS

In this category I would like to mention some classic books that are wonderful for young children ( like Heidi) – The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleburry Finn by Mark Twain and Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. These were some of my favourites, especially Robinson Crusoe which is about a man left stranded on an island and how he makes a life out of it.

So there, these are my recommended books that can keep your children occupied this Covid-19 season. Many (in fact I think ALL) of them have been made into great movies, and while watching them would tell you the story, no movie can ever be as good as the book it is inspired from 🙂 So do encourage your children, and maybe pick a few of these yourself and get reading!

*Image source – Unsplash & Google.

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