This week’s Filipino Friday question is something close to my heart. Well, it is books so that’s a given, but it’s also about children’s books (which I’d include young adult fiction).
What were your favorite books as a kid or while you were growing up? Do you still read children’s books? If you could give your younger self a book to read, what would it be?
Difficult, difficult question. I had a lot of favorite books when I was a kid. Every weekend my parents would let me buy one toy or book, and my godmother/aunt would give me books every birthday and Christmas. Not to mention the people I could borrow books from: other aunts and uncles, friends, the library.
I suppose if I had to trim it down, my favorite books would be the works of Enid Blyton, my Lolo’s big book of stories, the Nancy Drew series and Sweet Valley Twins. Enid Blyton was the first British writer I’ve ever read, so at a young age I was already aware of pixies and brownies and lorries and bobbies. Her stories were those of mischievous kids and other-world beings that spoke of grand adventures, treasure hunts and mysteries.
Nancy Drew, of course, is a classic. To a young girl, she embodied the “girl power” kind of mantra. Because Nancy goes out and solves mysteries, fights bad guys and always wins in the end. The Sweet Valley series gave me glimpse into a world very different from my own. Middle school (or in my case, Intermediate) for me didn’t have cliques or bullies or cheering squads. Girls and boys don’t date (but crushes are all right) and we were still kids by Pinoy standards, but in Sweet Valley, twelve seems so mature.
The book my grandpa had was one he brought home from the time he studied in the U.S. It’s a very thick book filled with hundreds of stories: some fairy tales, some excerpts from other works, some adaptations and the like. Unfortunately, someone borrowed it and lost it, which breaks my heart.
Ok, I’ll stop at these because if I don’t, this post will reach a thousand words.
Couple of YA books that I have, still fairly new. The rest I’ve got stashed back in Zamables.
Now, to the question do I still read books like these? Of course I do. I love going through the Young Adult section of bookstores looking for new reads. I think that a lot of the works geared towards the YA crowd are often more interesting and fun to read. I’m not a fan of zombies or vampires, but I do enjoy reading fantasy. I’m a fan of Diana Wynne Jones’ works, and I honestly prefer Neil Gaiman’s YA books over the ones geared toward an older crowd (but then, even his YA works have dark themes). Chris Colfer’s “Land of Stories” (both books) are also fun reads. Recently, I finished reading “Escape from Mr. Lemonciello’s Library” and that was fun too. I gobble up as many YA books as I do the other genres I read. I am currently reading Rick Riordan’s “The House of Hades”.
And I realized that I still qualify as a kid (well, teen, if you want to nitpick) when Harry Potter came out so that definitely counts as one of my favorite books while growing up. I remember trying to read “The Sorcerer’s Stone” while on a holiday in Bicol. My cousin and my brother were slow readers, so I was impatient reading with them. Snuck the book out one time, and I was hooked ever since.
Finally, what book will I give my younger self? Hmm. I would like to give my younger self (MYS) a book that will inspire her to be fearless, to take her dreams and make them come true. At the same time, I want to give MYS something that she’ll enjoy. I can’t think of a specific book though.
Looking forward to reading your answers!
P.S. Don’t forget Filipino ReaderCon this November 9 at the Rizal Library of Ateneo de Manila!