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  • Writer's pictureFrancine Cunningham

Favourite books from my childhood

I've always loved reading. Since I can remember, staying up way too late with a book has been my life. I was thinking recently about the books that I loved and how exciting it is going to be when my nieces and nephews get older and I can start to give them my favourite books.

Here is a small sample of some of those books, well the ones that still live on my book shelf.

Howliday Inn by James Howe. This is the story of Harold (big shaggy care free dog) and Chester (slightly insane, paranoid and narcotic detective Cat) and their stay at Chateau Bow- Wow. They have to, gasp, solve the mystery of the disappearing animals and keep themselves from checking out early. This is only one book in the life of Harold and Chester. As their family grows, Bunnicula a vampire rabbit who sucks the juice from vegetables, and Howie a small little dog who may or may not be a werwolf according to Chester. All of these books are just super fun, and what can I say, I was a sucker for the mystery books as a youngster. Which also may account for the reason I loved the Murder She Wrote TV show.

The Stevie Diamond Mysteries, 7 book series by Linda Bailey. These books take place primarily in Vancouver which is just super awesome. I remember reading them and wishing I could someday visit Vancouver and go see all the places Stevie talks about, like Kitsilano pool and the seawall. Guess what? I live here now and I swim in Kits pool almost everyday. And it is just like how she said it would be.

These books are about Stephanie who prefers the name Stevie and her partner is crime Jesse, a boy that lives in her co-op. They get pulled into the world of detecting and end up in and out of more trouble than they can count, but they always solve the mystery by the end of the book and become better friends. This is a great series for a reader around 10-14.

Goblins in the Castle by Bruce Coville. This book got me hooked into fantasy at a really young age. There is an opening scene in which William is sitting in the library at Toad-in-a-cage Castle and he wraps himself in a huge red curtain and reads his book. This made me want a home library with curtains like blankets. Someday.

William gets pulled into the mystery of the moaning and wailing in the castle halls that seem to originate from the dungeon. He sets out one night to find out where the noise is coming from….and then he figures it out. I won't spoil it but if you have a juvenile reader in your house maybe spend an afternoon reading to each other and find out.

The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank. This book was my transition from juvenile fiction to more adult fiction. After this book I advanced to my parents books shelves. This book was perfect for me to read in grade seven, Anne, while going through things I cannot image was also going through normal girl things, things I was going through, and I felt a kinship with her. I loved reading the conversations she recorded from the Annex and I really appreciated my safe life in Canada. I cried so hard the first time I made it to the end and realized that Anne died. I reread that book so many times growing up, because while I was reading it Anne was still alive.

Puzzle Island by Paul Adshead. I recently ordered a copy of this book as mine from my childhood had vanished over the years. This book is one of many many puzzles. I never figured out all the puzzles. It haunted me. So when this book came in a few weeks ago, my roommate and I decided to tackle it, I mean it is just a kids book right? HA! We still haven't solved the last puzzle. This book is challenging. It took us three hours to almost make it to the end and then we had to put it away and walk away as our frustration levels rose. We are now letting things bubble in the background and hopefully we can finally figure out the last puzzle, and not in another 25 years.

Nancy Drew by all the ghost writers Aka Carolyn Keene. As is clearly demonstrated I loved mysteries. I learned so many detective tricks from Nancy Drew, like if you have a pad of paper your main suspect has written on all you have to do is take a pencil and run it along the blank page. The indents made from their writing will still be on the blank page and BAM you have your next clue.

All the Goosebumps books by R.L Stein. I am excited about this new Goosebumps movie. I saw it and it was like flashback to laying in bed with a flashlight needing to read till the end so the monsters didn't get me at night. I actually had the pleasure of meeting R.L Stein, shaking his hand and letting him know how much his books meant to me as a kid. It was really cool. It was at a Fan Expo and there was a super long line of people in their 30s doing the exact same thing so I am sure it wasn't as exciting for him as me but it was cool.

All for now, hope you enjoyed and if you have those books you just loved loved growing up let me know on my Facebook Page.

Remincintly yours,


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