Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Guest Post: Clementine Beauvais's Favourite Middle Grade Stories!

Anna and Holly have spotted an advert in the paper for a Holy Moly Holiday – the intergalactic vacation of a lifetime. They simply CAN'T not go. But how will they get enough money? Easy: they'll become royal babysitters for a day. Unfortunately, the girls are in for a shock. Once King Steve and Queen Sheila have left, they discover there isn't just one prince to look after. There are six. And worse, the country's arch enemy, King Alaspooryorick of Daneland, has decided to stage an invasion. Will the girls be able to keep their royal charges safe and still go on their dream holiday?

Clementine Beauvais is the author of The Royal Babysitters, which is published by Bloomsbury in the UK. It's a really funny MG book that I loved (review coming soon) and that I'll be recommending to everyone!

Many thanks to Clementine for writing this post for me!


Favourite Middle Grade Stories
by Clementine Beauvais
Like many ‘middle grade’ authors, I remember my favourite books from primary school as hilarious, comforting, full of suspense and adventure… and they smelt of bubble bath, clean duvet covers, hot chocolate and warm Sunday afternoons.
Unsurprisingly, they were all series:
1) The Pippi Longstocking series, by Astrid Lindgren – fabulously funny dialogues, incongruous animals, and myriad sweets.
2) The Jennings series, by Anthony Buckeridge – oh, the mix-ups and the escalating lies and the endless talking at cross purposes… I still cry with laughter when reading Jennings.
3) The Fantômette series, by Georges Chaulet – not translated into English yet, but I’m making it my life plan to bring this fabulous sleuth to British kids one day or another. Alongside Pippi Longstocking, it’s a major influence for my Sesame Seade series.
4) The Young Nicholas series, by Goscinny and Sempé – this one is translated, so it’s your opportunity to dive into this charming and hilarious French classic about 1950s family life.
5) The Worst Witch series, by Jill Murphy – the sweetest worst witch, who primed me, like many other readers, for the Harry Potter series.
6) The Tintin series, by Hergé – perhaps not technically middle grade, but gluttonously consumed by the comics fan I was, and hugely important for my life and writing.
7) The Astérix series, by Goscinny and Uderzo – I was less of an Astérix fan than a Tintin fan, and yet Astérix influences in The Royal Babysitters are undeniable!
8) The Groosham Grange series, by Anthony Horowitz – another precursor to Harry Potter, extremely funny and scary.
9) The Little Vampire series, by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg – why aren’t all children still reading those wonderful, deliciously un-Twilighty adventures?
10) And finally, of course, the Harry Potter series. I read the first three when they came out in French, at ten years old, and with them I learnt English, storytelling, and much of life, death and the problems and joys of existence.
What about contemporary middle grade fiction? Oh how I wish I were a child again and had the time (and society’s blessing) to reread a million times Katherine Rundell’s Rooftoppers, Jamie Thompson’s The Dark Lord, Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid, John Newman’s Mimi, Chris Priestley’s Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror, Lois Lowry’s The Willoughbys, and all of David Walliams…


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