My 5 Most Favorite Childhood Books

My 5 Most Favorite Childhood Books

Reading is perhaps the most fond memory from my childhood. My dad had filled our bookshelves with loads of books, would take us used-books shopping to these tiny little stores on the weekend and patiently hang out while we’d take ages to decide the ones that we’d want (there was a quota on the number of books we could get on each trip so it was always a critical decision).

I lost touch with books somehow when I got into college and have only now made my way back to them over the last couple of years and can’t understand why I’d stopped (part of terrible life decisions).
I was recently trying to find book covers of my favorite childhood books for a DIY project and it suddenly became important and urgent that we talk about our favorite books from childhood. So here’s my top 5 (there are so many more but let’s control ourselves). I cannot imagine what my life would have been like without these books. They actually, truly, SERIOUSLY changed my life.
1. The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. This is a series and also my sneaky way of sliding more than just five books into the list. This series was about three kids, Jo, Bessie and Fanny (my brother and I actually named a few of our dolls/action figures after them, don’t ask how they were all in the same game together) who discover this enchanted tree that has these giant branches that reach into the clouds and you can get to strange, magical lands by climbing it. The lands would rotate every now and then so you had to come back down before that happened or you’d be trapped in a different land forever. The tree also had tiny houses and occupants which the kids hung out with. It was just the BEST. I’m kind of losing my mind just reliving it. HONEST. Cannot wait for the movie to come out, when is it coming man?! Hashtag impatience.
Image credit: Abe Books
2. The Five Find-outers by Enid Blyton. This was also a series and there were about 15 books in it and I read them all (my childhood was owned by Enid Blyton therefore 70% of my favorite books are by her). These five kids – Larry, Fatty, Pip, Daisy, Bets and a dog would solve mysteries in their town during every holiday (such eventful lives) and would always beat their local policeman, Mr. Goon, at it (I had my sympathies for him). I loved these guys SO much and the mysteries were actually so solid I could never crack them.
Image credit: Peakirk Books
3. St. Clare’s by Enid Blyton. These books made me want to just leave my home and go live in a boarding school. This was a series where two sisters were gradually moving through grades at their school, St. Clare’s, and it was SO GOOD, you guys. Their lives at the boarding school, their friends, dorm life, challenges, it was amazing. They practically grew up in the books from first grade to the sixth (?) and it was super fun to join a new class/graduate with them each time.
Image credit: Childrens Bookshop
4. Anne Of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery (and sequels). SUCH a favorite. Anne is a red-haired orphan girl, who’s shy and awkward (initially) and gets sent to the wrong family by mistake, who were actually expecting an orphan boy to help out around their farm. The story follows Anne’s life as she moves in with her new family, her school, around town. She grows up from a kid to a teenager in the series and because I read these when I was slightly older (about 12 or 13?) it was an absolute blast having that age demographic to read about. This is also coming out in a movie, does anyone know anything about that, please? CosIwannawatchit. 
Image credit: Amazon
5. Taleem-o-Tarbiat. This isn’t a book but an Urdu magazine but one that I was obsessed with and would read cover to cover as soon as I’d get my hands on it (my dad would get a copy at the beginning of the month without fail just for me). And because it would come out once a month only, I’d read the same copy many times in wait of the next one. My absolute favorite in it were the stories on Chacha Bhulakkar, I LOVED that guy. I wish I still had a couple of old copies of this magazine, *insert sad face*.

I recently got a couple of these books for N’s niece because she’s in that age and I really want her imagination playing up the way that these books do. If you have kids, you should definitely get some of these on their bookshelves, they’re worth more than any other recreational activity you could work out for them. PROMIS.
There are so many more books from that time that I love, love, love. SO MANY. Sigh. Tell me yours?

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+ If you’re a fan, there’s an actual Anne of Green Gables clutch that you can buy. Here‘s the link for Pakistan (and everywhere else too because international shipping) on Polly & Other Stories.


  1. OH MY GOD I love Anne of Green Gables (wasnt she the absolute BEST?) and Enid Blyton especially The Naughtiest Girl series and of course Famous Five and Secret Seven. Now you have inspired me to do a post like this on my own blog 😀 I was a Sweet Valley Kids ADDICT but I slowly got into other books as well. This is such a nice post, LOVE.

    1. Author

      Yessssss The Naughtiest Gir, Famous Five and Secret Seven for me too! I got into Sweet Valley pretty late but I did like them 😀

  2. I love you for doing this post because not many people read these days. And I'm the person people like to describe as 'reads too much.' Huh? Like is that even possible?

    Anyway, my favourites from childhood are:
    Adventures of Tom Sawyer
    Alice in Wonderland
    The Secret Garden

    These three were like the best thing that happened to me in my childhood.

    Also there was this story that my mother used to narrate to me in Urdu. I have completely forgotten it (and my mother has passed away so no way of remembering it anymore) but I still remember how it used to make me feel. So excited and thrilled even though I knew what was going to happen. And now I feel nostalgic.

    1. Author

      Tom Sawyer and Secret garden for me too! Alice in wonderland somehow used to depress me :/ And I got tiny goosebumps hearing about your Urdu story. It was speshul.

  3. Faraway tree was my absolute favourite. Plus famous five, secret 7 and I was in my teens when harry potter came out. So that can count too. Heheh.

    – Maheen A

  4. Oh Ma Gawwwwdddd, kia yaad dila diyaa yaaaar.. enid blyton was my childhood idol. I would always dreamt of being a brownie or a pixie and baking cakes living in a small cottage in the woods. I just felt such a strong wave of nostalgia hit me by this post. I grew up reading Enid blyton, harry potter, sweet valley and will read them any day in my life <3

    P.S downloading Enid blyton's book today on my phone and reading it 😀

  5. Taleem o Tarbiat is my absolute favourite!
    Can't wait for my munchkins to grow up and see if they inherited these genes from me.

  6. Lovely post….took me back to my old house in lahore where i read all thes 🙂
    Yes The Faraway Tree series
    Malory towers
    Naughtiest Girl
    Famous Five
    The Happy House children
    There were so many…..
    Enid Blyton rocks!
    Secret garden my fav too
    And yess talim o tarbiyat and hamdard naunehaal..absolute favourites
    We would get these monthly and also I have memories of buying these from railway stations on our way to karachi in summer hols..
    Aladin aur jadu ka charagh
    Mulla nasaruddin k latifay!
    Des des ki kahaniyan (ufff I adored this book)
    One suggestion:
    If you were into listening cassette kahaniyan please do a post on that too…

    1. OhmyGod cassette kahaniyan. Belonged to my moms and khalas and we listened to all of them baar baar. I just want to get a tape recorder and listen
      to those again

  7. Love this post. Enid Blyton is the one who made me fall in love with reading as well. I loved everything she wrote. I've recently been re-reading one of her series and I just can't believe how different children were treated i.e. their lives were so bloomin cool. Now kids are barely allowed to go to the shops across the roads alone.

    1. Author

      Waqai! I feel like we got away with beings kids in a great generation(or maybe all generations say that).

  8. Enid Blyton was EVERTHING as a child!!

    I was the only child until I was 8 so books were my best friend and still are.So this brings back a lot of memories.Apart from your list my childhood picks are:
    Secret Seven series
    Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate factory by Roald Dahl
    Little Princess
    The Secret Garden
    Little Women
    OMG! there is a movie coming out for Anne of Green Gables? Will have to google it up and let you know details if I find something. 😉

  10. I was a true book worm uptil high school and would still read when I had the time during Uni. Have fallen out of the habit ever since I became a mom ? I loved the atmosphere of our school library, so hushed and calm, the rows of towering book shelves, searching through the index catalogue for a particular book, the book fairs they'd organize, the reading corner, the free bookmarks the librarians would keep out on the counter (we used to look out for the new ones for our collection), I think at some point I might have wanted to be a librarian when I grew up (not a dream desi parents would be particularly fond of ?)… Now I absolutely love the smell of new books at the bookstore, it takes me back to the comforting smell of the library's that I remember ?. I was so sad when I finished reading Anne of Green Gables and Avonlea because I couldn't find the next books in the series in KSA. St. Clares, Malory Towers, Sweet Valley, Ramona, books by Judy Blume and of course the classics read by all generations. Sigh feeling nostalgic ?

    1. Author

      I haven't read Avonlea se aagay also! But all the things you've mentioned. Uff, library time was so kickass yaar

  11. Uff! Kiya zabardast yadain! Kiya Zamana! Cassette Kahani – I remember Podna Podni. My first intro to audiobooks. Agree with most of the comments here about Enid Blyton, Taleem-o-Tarbiat and Naunehal monthly magazines. But I also loved Ishtiaq Ahmed's Inspector Jamsheed series (in Urdu). I would devour those in a day. That cemented my love for mysteries that led me to Sherlock Holmes and today's Scandinavian murder mysteries like Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Love the post. Thanks for allowing us to get all nostalgic here. Ahh the feels ��������


  12. St. Clares series… Oh my childhood fav.

  13. Sweet Valley Twins, Hamdard Nonehal and Famous Five series made my childhood. Oh god, I remember being obsessed with Elizabeth and Jessica from Sweet Valley. Such days..

    – Mahnoor

    1. Author

      Yes Sweet Valley would totally make my top ten too. But I started really late on it so I think I was older :O

  14. Omggg I love this post so much. I used to love faraway tree and can't wait for the movie. Also famous five and five find outers were my absolute favorite. And if course st Clare's too. I used to love Mallory towers by enid blyton too. Have you read those? Absolute love. Also sweet valley twins and Nancy Drew and hardy boys. And of course the fear street by r l.stine. And the naughtiest girl series. And naunehal in Urdu. Oh goddd. I miss those times. Such nostalgia. Thanks for doing this post.

    1. Author

      Yessss Mallory Towers! And FEAR STREET. Kya dilaya yaar. UFFFFFF. How could I have forgotten that.

  15. A totally hit post. I was an avid reader of almost all these books but going through some phase of amnesia lol so dont rem anything but i am def doing this for my son. Uff u r tooo good

  16. Anne of Green Gables is my all time favorite! I recently re-read it again with my daughter and loved it even more -(if that's possible!).

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