I didn’t feel like getting all deep and mushy today so I thought a top five is in order. Woot!

Now that I have my own writing style and writerly habits, I can tell that I have come full circle. As you will see below, these a the kid of books I devoured as a kid. There was a big empty gap in high school where I got sick of people telling me to read and I stopped.
When I started reading again, I tried a few of those ‘YA-growing up-this is how puberty works’ books. I never got into them except for Melina Marchetta’s Looking for Alibrandi which was the first time I balled my eyes out reading a book.
So how did I come full circle you say? Well, mostly I read the kind of stuff that I write. I’ve got grown-up books too (Kim Wilkins & Gregory Maguire are favourites) but mostly my shelves are stacked with YA authors Rob Muchamore, Anthony Horowitz, Scott Westerfeld, Garth Nix etc etc.
I’ll write about why I love these guys later but for now, on to the top five…
1. Anything by Paul Jennings

Paul Jennings was the God of kids writing when I was growing up. I owned all the books and I watched Round the Twist on tv, even when they kept changing the actors. I was that dedicated to these crazy stories.

2. Nancy Drew

Yet another chickie having awesome adventures and solving clues. Every Nancy Drew I ever read was second hand and a little ratty which made me feel a bit retro and cool. However I do blame Carolyn Keene for my lazy chapter endings in all my first drafts; they’re not quite “there was a scratching at the window” but they are pretty damn close.

3. Choose your own Adventure

One book and 28 possible endings! Enough said.
4. Teen Power Inc

These were a bunch of kids who *surprise* stumbled upon crimes and solved them. I liked this. In Primary school I wanted to be part of a cool gang too. That never worked out for me but at least I could pretend through this series.

5. Goosebumps

They were disgusting. They were scary. They were ridiculous. I swapped Goosebumps books with friends and taped it when it was briefly turned into a tv show. Yes, I have even played the Tower of Terror boardgame.
If it was a top 6, I would have mentioned Roald Dahl but that is the challenge of the top five. Someone always misses out. I think it is safe to say that I was never going to grow up and write Literature (yes, with the captial) or perhaps books over 70 000 words.
What about you? I’d love to know the top 5 that you grew up on and if you think they shaped the kind of writer (or reader) you are now.

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