Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Hoi! Today I’m here with Livs, she used to be a bookseller. Yes, for seven years I worked at Tales on Moon Lane which is a beautiful children’s independent in South London. Basically what happens to me in the office quite a lot is that someone will mention an author or a title and I'll just go ‘eugh?!’ I was raised in the Netherlands and read mostly Dutch children's literature and I missed out on quite a lot, and Livs knows all about these books so today we're gonna run through some of the kind of children's literature that’s still appropriate for YA readers that she thinks that I should read. British people don't hate me if you think that these are really obvious, or that they’re not classic enough or something like that, because I wanted to give books that I adore, I think are really good examples of British children's books and YA books that Sanne and her viewers would be interested in reading. So here we go! [dun dun dun]. She hasn’t seen any of these. No, I don’t know what this is. "A Little Love Song" by Michelle Magorian. See this is one I’ve never heard of before. Okay have you ever heard of "Goodnight Mister Tom"? No. [Gasp] "Goodnight Mister Tom" it's a book that probably every British kid has read at primary school or the beginning of secondary school. Okay. And it was made into a really heartbreakingly brilliant ITV drama with John Thaw. Michelle Magorian who wrote "Goodnight Mister Tom", it’s her most famous one, this is another that she wrote. It’s called "A Little Love Song". Me and my twin sister probably read it when we're about 12 or 13 and in fact in this edition there’s my sister’s really bad handwriting. It follows two sisters, Rose and Diana. Diana is the beautiful, confident older sister, Rose who is the main character in this story is sort of in her shadow and quite happy there but beginning to get a bit uncomfortable. I think it’s 1943. And they’re sent away to a tiny coastal village to be out of harm's way whilst their parents are doing very important things for the war. So they live in this cottage in this tiny, tiny village and it's basically one summer where they really find out who they are. I’m one of three sisters so I love any books about sisters, you will notice this actually in all of these books. And it's just really beautifully written, very British feeling. I kept seeing this from the corner of my eye thinking it was cheese. It’s oranges, they play - yeah, orange bizarrely play a part. The other thing I should say, there’s a kind of, Rose discovers a kind of sub storyline that echoes back the past and stuff. "Fly by Night" by Frances Hardinge. It’s about a girl called Mosca in a world where reading is banned and people are terrified of the printing press. It's got a homicidal goose, a man called Eponymous Clent who is a wordsmith by nature, and floating coffeehouse barges. Frances Hardinge’s writing is unbelievably brilliant. She creates metaphors that you - will never have entered your brain before and yet somehow they’re the most perfect things you’ve ever thought of. It’s quite clankity and sort of rhythmic and brilliant and Mosca is full of gumption and a really sharp tongue at its so entertaining, but purely just for some absolutely fantastic unique writing. If you like Neil Gaiman, you will like Frances Hardinge. A lot of you are gonna be like ‘ugh, how obvious’, with this one, but she's never read it. "I Capture the Castle" by Dodie Smith. That’s a really nice edition! This, thank you, this was the Vintage Classics edition before they did the one with that girl with the, holding the blue bells And now you’ve got the Vintage Children’s Classic which is the blue with the silhouette castle. So this was given to me by my Godmother when I was fifteen. I'd already read an edition of it when I was 11, hadn’t really enjoyed it that much, and then at fifteen found this book and found, I think the meaning of life. So it follows the Mortman family, who live in a ramshackle Castle. It’s narrated by Cassandra. And it’s diary. And then there’s her beautiful, frustrating big sister Rose. They have no money, they live in the middle of nowhere, nothing's going on. Their mad that ex-artist's model stepmother Topaz, who goes out communing with nature wearing nothing but a pair of wellies. And their ex-famous writer father, who basically wrote the seminal novel kinda two decades before, or something like that, a decade before, and now is all dried up due to writer’s block, and has become a grumpy hermit. I cannot say enough good things about this book. Everyone I know who’s read this book, which is a lot of people, everyone has a different favourite moment, everyone has that different bit that has just totally connected with them. I think this is actually the perfect novel, great love story as well. It’s full of references to other books. One of the things is that they sort of have learned how to be women from Jane Austen as opposed to 1930s, 1940s films that they grew up with, So Rose when the two heirs come into it is sort of all batting her eyelashes and she’s sort of ‘aah, and Cassandra is mortified for her and it’s all very, very funny. There’s a Joanna Trollope quote on the back of this that says “I know few novels except Pride and Prejudice that inspire as much fierce, lifelong affection in their readers” and it's so true. I feel like if there's one book you would make me read it would be that one. That one. Totally. And here is the last one. Now this technically isn’t a YA book. This is one that me and my sisters read when we were about 14. So the Mitford sisters were six sisters - Wait you told me about this! I’ve told you about this! And if you don't know there were six sisters who, Nancy the eldest I think was born in 1904, I think Deborah was born in like 1924 or something, And they kind of basically met everyone and did everything he could have done in the thirties, forties, fifties, sixties. They met everyone from Hitler to JFK, and I've just been fascinated with them since I was about thirteen because they were women that just did whatever the hell they liked And really defined some eras, and just, they are just fascinating. Mary S. Lovell wrote a great biography about them just so you know. Anyway, this is actually an anthology of some of Nancy’s books. Nancy was the eldest and she was the most famous writer. The first two - her most famous two - are "The Pursuit of Love" and "Love in a Cold Climate". Again set during the twenties/thirties - there’s another theme. Tells the story of a girl called Fanny and her cousins, who are just mad. There’s hundreds of them and they were all very much based on Nancy and her family. It's about Fanny and her favorite cousin Linda and finding love. It incorporates the Spanish civil war, and coming out balls at Buckingham Palace, and - Oh my god - And Nancy is most famous for her really, really biting, witty tongue. I mean it could cut you. But they're really enjoyable, the characters are larger than life. And what's amazing about it is that so many of them are actually, you know, based on real people. They’re adult books, but they’re the perfect kinda introduction to adult books for anyone, and if you are an adult watching this and you haven’t read them - you fools! There are a couple of books to add to my ‘to read’ pile. Seriously have to read them. And you’ll make me read them. Yeah I will. So in the comments you can let me know which one of these books you’ve read and like which ones you would add to the list. Yes totally, what have I missed out?! Thank you so much for being in the video with me and educating me. It’s my pleasure, thank you so much for having me, it's been super fun. If you wanna chat with Livs you can do so on Twitter - Absolutely - I will put her Twitter in the description as well. Goodbye. Doei!