Adding Children’s Books to My Own Personal Reading Pile

It rained. It hailed. Lightning flashed, and then a huge ball of thunder rolled across the sky. We all looked up from our computers just in time to see Nora, our puppy, leaping into the air. Over 20 kg of dog landed thump! on Gemma-Rose’s lap.

For a moment, we were all distracted by our quivering frightened animal. When Nora had calmed down, we returned to our computer screens and we all got a shock.

“I haven’t got an Internet connection!”

“Nor have I.”

Yes, we were no longer connected to the outside world. We waited. Minutes passed. More minutes…

“I wanted to post something on my blog.”

“I have to submit a uni assignment this afternoon.”

“I was watching a Youtube video.”

Eventually I said, “It looks like the Internet isn’t going to come back any time soon. We’ll all have to do something else.”

“But what?”

We sat in silence for a while. And then someone said, “We could read a book.”

“I know!” I said. “I’ll read one of those books you added to my library pile the other day.”

“Read HIVE, Mum,” urged Gemma-Rose. “I’ll go get it for you.” She ran off and was soon back with Higher Institute of Villainous Education by Mark Walden.

I made some coffee and then settled down to read. Time passed and pages turned. The Internet remained disconnected, and before I knew it, I was saying, “Finished!”

“Did you like it, Mum?”

“Yes, it was a good story.”

“Did you laugh?”

“Oh yes, it was funny.”

“But did you understand it?”

“Of course I did!” I felt rather indignant. “It’s only a children’s novel. I can understand kids’ books. I’m an adult!”

Gemma-Rose took a step back. “I was just asking!” she said, in a huffy sort of voice.

Later I thought more about the book. Why did Gemma-Rose ask me if I understood it? Is it possible I missed something? Now I’m wondering…

Something did confuse me, but don’t tell my daughters. I wouldn’t want them to think I’m not very clever. Was it a good-defeats-evil type novel? Or perhaps the villainous adults corrupted the good kids? But maybe the children weren’t that good to begin with? And how are they going to keep the story going (there are lots more books in the series), if in fact the children are good? They can’t escape from HIVE… or can they? Actually, I have a lot of questions.

“Gemma-Rose, have we got the second HIVE book?”

We haven’t. I really must borrow it from the library. Or could I buy a Kindle copy? I must find out what happens next.

Yes, I rather enjoyed HIVE. Maybe I should read more children’s books. (I suspect some kids’ books are more entertaining than many adult books.) But which ones?

“What shall I read next?” I shout. “Give me some recommendations.” The girls smile. They want to share all their old friends with me. I think I understand how they feel. There’s something wonderful about sharing favourite books, isn’t there?

Do you ever choose children’s books to read, just for your own pleasure?  And if you do, which ones would you suggest I put in my own personal reading pile? Please share your favourites!

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    • Vicky
    • September 1, 2014

    Children's books are my favourite, Sue. I struggle to get past the first few pages of adult novels, though I am hoping to make some effort to read a few classics. The last one I read was Anna Karenina and, I don't know whether it was due to the culture or the plot, but I found the characters and the story unlikeable. The story made me think, though – I couldn't quite pinpoint the author's moral standing. Maybe, I should have read his biography.

    At the moment, we're enjoying Little House on the Prairie, Just William, James Herriot and some Bethlehem books for our read alouds.

    I like P.G. Wodehouse, too, but I think the humour goes over the children's heads. Bethany couldn't understand why something so simple as Bertie Wooster's abbreviated way of talking was funny to me.


    1. Reply


      I find classics difficult too, but also feel I should make the effort and read a few. It's nice when we can say we have read certain books. It can be quite an achievement! I've also read Anna Karenina. It was awhile ago so I can't really comment because I've forgotten a lot of the details. Have you read 'War and Peace'? I actually found the story compelling. I just got a bit frustrated when the action got interrupted by long passages of history. Too much war and not enough peace!

      Humour is so individual, and yes, it changes as we grow older. I haven't read P G Wodehouse but I do know a little about the books. There was a TV series too, wasn't there?

      I like your read-alouds!

  1. Reply

    Love this! I'll have to ask my kids for recommendations when my library pile runs out. 🙂

    1. Reply

      You have a daughter the same age as my youngest! Is she a big reader? I bet she has lots of recommendations for good kids' books you can read.

      Thank you so much for reading my post and stopping to say hello!

  2. I have HIVE on our list – I will bump it up after reading this!

    Cordie and I have enjoyed reading lots of the same books this summer. It's so much fun discussing them together. She is a much faster reader than me though, so she has to be patient while I catch up.

    We made another book-friend this summer. She is a waitress at the beach cafe we often stop at when we walk our dogs. Ellen would ask about what we were reading and we would swap book ideas. This is the last summer weekend we will be at our beach house, so yesterday we gave our friend a little gift to thank her (a CD with Troye Sivan's song "The Fault in our Stars", which Cordie introduced me to). We discovered that our waitress friend is at college doing English, Creative Writing and Media A Levels – doesn't that sound like fun?

    1. Reply


      My girls read much faster than me too! I tend to get distracted and put my book down, or my mind wanders to other things such as what I'm going to write about next.

      Oh I love sharing book recommendations with other people. If someone likes the same book as me I know they're likely to be a kindred spirit.

      I do like the sound of your waitress friend's A levels. I did all science A levels but would have enjoyed English, Creative Writing and Media much more!

      You will enjoy HIVE, I'm sure!

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