Our Favourite Books

It’s World Book Day, and to celebrate we’ve asked our Bright Young Things Centre Directors, in Kent and elsewhere, to name their favourite children’s books or authors, and to tell us why they like them so much.

Anita Clemens, Rochester Tuition Centre Director

Anita’s favourite children’s book is Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderlandis an 1865 novel, which tells the story of a girl named Alice falling down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. Even though it’s over 150 years old, the story is still enjoyable for children today, and there is a lot more to it than first meets the eye. I think that Lewis Carroll was a brilliant, wacky author, and his mathematical puzzles are intriguing.”

Arthur Ponsonby, Tunbridge Wells Tuition Centre Director

Arthur’s favourite books are Ian Wright’s autobiography and Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. “I can’t choose between these two! Ian Wright was my hero when I was growing up, and I loved reading about his life’s journey. This book gave me the reading bug, and shows that it doesn’t matter what the material is, just find a book you love and immerse yourself. For me, Great Expectations is Victorian literature at its best. The book paints an enchanting picture in the reader’s mind and generates wonderful characters, something that Charles Dickens was exceptional at. He also touched on social issues that only really came to public prominence well into the twentieth century.”

Emma Heath, Canterbury Tuition Centre Director

Emma’’s favourite children’s book series is the Hextrilogy, by Rhiannon Lassiter.

Hexis a science-fiction story, set in a future where some humans carry an illegal Hex gene which allows them to mentally interface with computers. The world the author creates is rich and vivid, and filled with atmosphere. I love the main protagonist, Raven, who was a strong female character before strong female characters became all the rage. The story is exciting and you can’t stop turning the pages.”

Olivia Best, Harrow Tuition Centre Director

Olivia’s favourite book is The Twits, by Roald Dahl.

The Twits, first published in 1980, may be about a pair of horrible twits, but it also features one of the most-quoted phrases in all of Roald’s books:

If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

I think that is a very wise sentiment. That, to me, is one of the wonderful things about Roald Dahl’s writing: his books are hugely funny, but also contain some serious comments about people and society.”

Sofia Carlson, St Albans Tuition Centre Director

Sofia’s favourite author growing up was the Swedish author, Astrid Lidgren.

“Most of Astrid Lidgren’s novels depict everyday life, but her humoristic and charming writing brings all of her stories alive and creates the most magical children’s world. My favourite book of hers is All About the Bullerby Children, which is a story about six children living in a remote village in Sweden sometime in the early 20th century. The children create the most fun-filled adventures involving everything from crayfishing in lakes to camping out on hay bales. The book really sparked my imagination and I still pick it up from time to time for a nostalgic read.”

What are your favourite reads? What type of books spark your imagination? Do you want to write stories that will ignite a love of books in others?

As well as running English classes on a weekly basis, Bright Young Things runs regular creative writing workshops, story-telling clubs and short story competitions. Keep an eye on our website and social media pages for more details.