September is always a big month for parents and kids alike, because it always means one thing: back to school. There are a lot of things that can be associated with the start of a new school year; for kids it’s the excitement (and sometimes nervousness) of new possibilities, but for adults it can bring back the nostalgia of their own youth, making them reminisce on their first days back at school.
With this in mind, at Hook Towers we have been thinking about our favourite books from childhood, the ones we read when we were at school, and how this compares to the books we enjoy reading in our adulthood.
So, if you’re looking for a new book for your child to start, or one for yourself now you maybe have some more peace and quiet with the kids back at school, look no further, as we detail our favourite books both new and old.
Hook’s Favourite Books
Nick Fisher, Co-Founder
Favourite Childhood Book: The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
Childhood is defined by borders – one’s horizons are literally as far as one can see, and often barely that. SO, to get the opportunity to go on a magical journey that comprises half-men, wizards and dwarves; the destination of which is a mountain full of treasure guarded by a dragon was a delight.
Favourite Book at the Moment: Lanark: A Life in Four Books by Alasdair Gray
Fantasy and being able to reimagine the world around remain a theme in favourite books – in terms of impact, Lanark and the way it romanticised Scotland and alchemised from a cold, grey place into an imaginative hub full of the weird and wonderful had real impact. Ultimately meaningful books should recast you, and make you think of your life in better, more satisfying ways – these books both do.
Debbie Bray, Co-Founder:
Favourite Childhood Book: Mr Grumpy’s Outing by John Burningham
I have such happy memories about this book as I got to pick it myself at school and loved reading about humans and animals all having fun together.
Favourite Book at the Moment: Buddha of Surburbia by Hanif Kureishi
Not a new book, but one was hooked on from the get-go and read it super quick. It’s one of very few books I’ve gone back and re-read. Being based around South London, where I live made it feel familiar and the need of the main character wanting new experiences.
Amy Salter, Kids & Youth Engagement Manager
Favourite Childhood Book: The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton
I think it’s the first book I can remember reading from start to finish as a child and not getting bored. I actually bought the updated version (with all the name changes!) when I had my first class and read it to them. Not sure if they enjoyed it as much as I did, but I enjoyed it just as much at 21.
Favourite Book at the Moment: That Peckham Boy by Kenny Imafidon
Such an inspirational story. I absolutely love non-fiction/ biographies generally. I think his story is incredible and has a lot of moments that make you think around unconscious bias, the opportunities for people born into poverty, reformation of offenders etc, those who are wrongly convicted. It was also super interesting that it was based around where I live/ work, so reading about places I know, I also find super interesting.
Sarah Wakeling, Senior Project Producer
Favourite Childhood Book: The Fwog Prince: The Twuth by Kaye Umansky
I received a signed copy of this book from the author in 1992 at a school visit, it soon became my favourite childhood book and I still have the original today. This twist on the original fairy tale is a great read with some fun illustrations along the way.
Favourite Book at the Moment: Behind the Mask by Tyson Fury
I like to read biographies and found this one particularly interesting – the daily struggles he faces and what he has had to overcome is inspiring.
Rosie Aiston, Project Producer
My parents bought me this book for my birthday one year, and I remember absolutely adoring it. The book tells a heartwarming tale of friendship, and highlights the importance of kindness, with some amazing illustrations.
Favourite Book at the Moment: The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
This book is one that has resonated with me since I read it a few years ago, and is one of the few books I have read multiple times. The book is a touching story of how one person’s life is able to affect so many people around them, often times without realising. It’s a book that I would recommend to anyone, and one that I will continue to read over and over again.
Let us know your favourite books in the comments!