Books I Grew up on is a blog series featuring guest bloggers who discuss reading in their childhoods: the books they loved, the paths they found to developing a love for reading, and how reading helped them become who they are today! Today’s Books I Grew up on guest blogger is UK-based science fiction and fantasy writer, Steven Guscott.
Hi! My name is Steven. I’m thankful to Thunderstone Books for inviting me to write a little bit about the books that I loved when I was younger.
There are a few stories/series that came to my mind straight away when thinking about my childhood and what books had an impact on me. They are The Puddle Lane series, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and The Horrible History series. I do remember some story-tape books (younger people, you might have to internet search what ‘story-tapes’ were) to do with classical music, and there’s also one series of books I think is for younger teens and younger children called The Edge Chronicles.
I don’t remember much about the Puddle Lane series except it had a wizard and a cat, and perhaps a dragon in it. What I do remember is that I loved having them read to me. I have little doubt that the reason I enjoyed these books was because they were weird and magical. Anything like that captures my imagination and in time my love for stories that are unique and magical would grow and grow.
I also remember being at my lower school, aged about six/seven, and when we had reading time I would find a bean bag in the painted castle part of the library and often choose a Horrible History book by Terry Deary. My favourite was Dark Knights and Dingy Castles; I certainly had an affinity for knights and castles.
In my young teens I read the first of the edge chronicles, Beyond the Deepwoods, by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell. This story really captured my love of the unique and creative. I then went on to read a few others of the series before my reading tastes moved on to the likes of Sabriel by Garth Nix, The Black Magician Trilogy by Trudi Canavan, and The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien.
Those are all the main stories I actually remember from my early childhood, but in truth I did spend more time making things or playing football. It wasn’t until my mid teens I really came to appreciate a good story.
P.S. I wish I had had the Gruffalo as a child, now that is an incredible children’s story.
As Steven has said, he loves unique stories and favours fantasy and science fiction. He especially loves stories that have characters he can learn things from or relate to. The first time he really found the value of such characters was in his last year at High School when his English Class studied Shakespeare’s, Hamlet.
Steven also likes to spend time with his family and friends, draw, and keep fit when he can. Under the name of Steven J. Guscott, he also writes stories. He has published two books with Kristell Ink: The Book of Prophecy and The Diary of Frankenstein. Check out Steven’s website to learn more!