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Writer’s Picks: 10 Favourite Books with A Child’s Point of View

tom-houghton-hi- resTodd Alexander is the author of the recent novel Tom Houghton. At the centre of this wonderful novel is twelve-year old Tom, a young boy bullied at school and increasingly confused about his sexuality and the relationship with his dysfunctional single mother. It’s part of a long literary tradition of poignant stories told from the point of view of a child. Todd has selected 10 of his favourite reads that feature children as main characters.

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

A stunning and haunting story of an outcast in a small mining town. The recipient of many awards and often voted as a reader favourite, the characters in this novel are unforgettable.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

A modern classic of unrivalled brilliance, it is the quintessential childhood tale woven throughout with major themes such as racism, acceptance, religion, small-town mindedness and justice.

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

Truly original and gut-wrenching, this is the story of Bruno, a boy growing up outside Auschwitz, and his observations of a world made crazy by war.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Pip requires no introduction, nor does the story of an orphan dealing with poverty, death and good versus evil. Intense at times, many of the characters in Dickens’ thirteenth novel have themselves become cultural icons.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

An utterly original and captivating tale of a nine year old boy, Oskar, and his search to make sense of the world in post-attack New York City.   Filled with incredible imagery and moments of beautiful magical thinking.

Breath by Tim Winton

A tender and quietly understated novel about the boyhood friendship between Bruce ‘Pikelet’ Pike and Loonie. Told in flashback by the adult Bruce, it’s an evocative slice of Australian life from one of the country’s greatest authors.

The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night Time by Mark Haddon

The character of Christopher John Francis Boone is arguably one of the greatest child characters created in recent times, a 15 year old boy with ‘social difficulties’ who investigates the murder of a dog.

Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood

Painter Elaine Risley looks back on her career and childhood, with particular focus on three girls who epitomise how children can be inexplicably cruel to each other. Atwood rarely disappoints and this is one of her most accessible novels.

Atonement by Ian McEwan

My favourite McEwan and arguably his best, the character of Briony Tallis is a near-perfect creation and the tension running throughout the book is up there with the best thrillers.

 

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

What should be a bleak and uncomfortable read (set in a post-apocalyptic and desperate world) is rather a mesmerising and meditative reflection on fatherhood and hope.

 


Comments

  1. Janet Ryan

    Good morning – I have written a book in exactly this genre without realising I had joined such lofty company. Would you have any hints about publisher/s that go for such stories? I usually write crime and am published in HK so have no prior knowledge. I’ve written a ‘mystery story’ through the eyes of an eight year old girl in post World War II Darwin. Any assistance much appreciated
    Best regards
    Jan Ryan

  2. Juanita

    Merry go round in the sea – Randolph stowe. All the green year – Don charlwood. Two of my all time favourites

  3. Robina Weir

    What about ‘Barracuda’ by Christopher Tsolkas. It has also been made into a tv mini-series to be shown on ABC soon.

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