Ep 98; Children’s Classics & Finding The Books That Go Under The Radar (A #ReadersRevolution)

Welcome to the latest episode of The Readers. This fortnight Simon and Thomas children’s classics and reading them as an adult as well as the books which go under the radar and how we can find them, which starts Simon off on a Readers Revolution.

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Catching Up () Simon and Thomas have had a catch up on all the things that have been going on lately. Thomas seems to be over his readers block and Simon tells us all about London Book Fair.

Children’s Classics () Thomas and Simon take up two subjects that you lovely listeners have sent in. The first is from Uncle who wanted to hear more on Thomas and Simon’s thoughts about reading children’s books, in particular the classics, as an adult. So what do Thomas and Simon have to say on the matter? Which children’s books and classics have they read, and re-read, plus which ones have they missed out on and wouldn’t mind reading at some point in the future? Which ones have you read and would you recommend?


Fiction Uncovered; How Do We Find The Books That Go Under The Radar () One of our lovely listeners Sue wanted to know how people can find the books that go under the radar and we might love much more than all the books that are hyped. This subject is quite fortuitous as this month Simon is the guest editor of Fiction Uncovered which is an initiative looking for the books and authors that might go under the radar, which he discusses. Thomas and Simon then look at how they find the books that might go under the radar and then out of nowhere Simon starts a Readers Revolution, listen for more details…

Next time on the Readers () Thomas and Simon will be back in two weeks with more book based banter. Simon will be back next Tuesday with You Wrote The Book! Until next time thanks again for listening…

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8 thoughts on “Ep 98; Children’s Classics & Finding The Books That Go Under The Radar (A #ReadersRevolution)

  1. Some of my favorite children’s books that I read for the first time as an adult were read aloud to my children (I think that made a difference in my enjoyment of them): Swallows and Amazons (Ransome), The Wizard Children of Finn (Tannen), The Dark is Rising series (Cooper), The Saturday’s (Enright), and the Chronicles of Prydain series (Alexander). The last children’s book that I “read” (listened to audiobook) without my children was The Railway Children (Nesbitt)–no, Thomas it is not the same as the Boxcar Children which was a favorite of mine as a child.

    I really think that the fact that I either read them aloud, or listened to the audiobook made a difference. Perhaps children’s chapter books were made to be heard more than read? Another favorite read-aloud was All Creatures Great and Small (Herriot), not a children’s book but it was extremely popular with myself and my children.

  2. I looked up The Boxcar Children after we recorded the podcast and it reminded me how much I loved those books as a child. I am also a little embarrassed I didn’t remember the name of the author Gertrude Chandler Warner.

    I can totally see how reading to kids would make books come alive. I should read Herriot, I loved watching the series when I was a kid.

  3. My father loved watching All Creatures Great and Small but as a child whenever I joined him it seemed there was always some animal birthing scene going on and it disturbed me. I assume there are lots in the books as well.

  4. Simon mentioned The Railway Children, but Nesbitt wrote many other superb books – for example the story of the downwardly mobile Edwardian middle class Bastable family (Story of the Treasure Seekers, etc) – or the magical books – Five Children and It, The Phoenix and the Carpet (which CS Lewis outrageously copied for some parts of The Magician’s Nephew, the Narnia prequel). I’d recommend any of them.

    I’m glad that Laura Ingalls Wilder got a mention – I think her books are amazing, not at all twee (anything that teaches you how to butcher a pig or build a log cabin can hardly be twee).

    You might have mention Ursula le Guin’s Earthsea books, or all the other books in the Oz series (prequels and sequels – I remember The Marvellous Land of Oz and Glinda of Oz but there were many more – including one where a character starts as a boy and turns into a girl) – or Stig of the Dump, of LM Boston’s Green Knowe series, about an ancient manor house and the different ghosts that inhabit (and protect) it.

    Watership Down itself is a wonderful book too, it’s really not talking animals but about conflict, fascism, civilization… all kinds of things.

    I think in a previous programme Thomas mentioned the Bagthorpe series, which I also loved – just hilarious but also moving. There’s also The Family from One End Street, a really quite gritty 1920s/ 30s(?) series. Or Alan Garner (The Weirdstone of Brisingamen/ The Moon of Gomrath/ Boneland – a trilogy he began in the 60s and only finished a couple of years ago, so the early books and definitely children’s and the last much more adult in theme).

    Getting so many memories coming back now!

  5. Also, Barbara Willard’s Mantelmass Chronicles (The Iron Lilly, The Lark and the Laurel, etc). I think they may have been the the first time I went into as bookshop and ordered anything (the whole series, as the library hadn’t got/ couldn’t get them)

  6. Looks like I’m alone here in thinking the time for children’s books is childhood. However, I did read The Wind in the Willows about 10 years ago, and loved it.

    Maybe I’m particularly jaundiced as I recently wanted to bump up my monthly book total by reading a book bought years ago when seemingly going through a whimsical phase. It was so short – under 100 pages and with lots of drawings. It took me longer to read than a Dickens as I found it cloying, badly written and dull. It was ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupery and it’s finished at last!

    Favourite book I read to my children was ‘The Gruffalo’ – but they have no memories of it at all. Sigh.

  7. Pingback: Going Under The Radar; A Mini #ReadersRevolution | Savidge Reads

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