Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Could Reread Forever

Happy Tuesday!! I am so excited about this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic because it features one of my absolute favorite parts about being a bookworm: rereading. I adore rereading my favorite books over and over and over again for countless reasons: the comforting familiarity, the brilliant writing, the characters that feel like old friends you haven’t spoken to in a while… the list goes on and on! It is my pleasure to share with you this list of ten books that I could reread forever. 

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

I know I mention this book all the time but that is certainly not going to stop me from highlighting it here! I’ve read this novel more times than I can count and each time I do I become invested in Taylor and Jonah’s story all over again. It contains everything I love: characters with depth, a boarding school setting, stories within stories, literary references, beautiful writing, and a plot twist at the end that I never saw coming.

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

I first read The Hobbit when I was in fifth grade and then continued on with the trilogy before the following summer was out. I love these books to pieces and they’ve played such an important role in shaping me into the avid reader that I am today. (Favorite of the bunch? Definitely Two Towers. For some reason I’ve always had a dear attachment to it!)

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

What would a list of rereads be without mentioning good old Harry Potter? I’m sure I’m not the only one who has featured this in their list this week. I’ve read many of the books a handful of times, although I can’t remember ever rereading Goblet of Fire now that I think about it…. (that’s my least favorite of the seven). I could definitely reread these books (and rewatch the movies) forever!

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

I reread this book for the first time last summer and was taken aback by how many new things I noticed. I’m now a firm believer that Faulkner is meant to be read more than once and I’m already looking forward to reading this brilliant, fascinating, bewildering novel again and again in the future. (The same goes for basically all of Faulkner’s works for me!)

The BFG by Roald Dahl

I was first read this adorable book by my fourth grade teacher in elementary school– and then again in fifth grade by the same teacher. Since then I’ve reread it once or twice and have loved it even more each time. Road Dahl is the master at creating timeless stories that captivate readers of all ages. There’s nothing like going back to this old favorite!

The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsburg

I purchased my first and only copy of this book at a Scholastic book fair (I miss those so much!) when I was in third grade and I have read it nearly every summer since then. Not only is this simply an entertaining, clever summer camp story, but it’s also a novel about growing up and realizing that even adults don’t really know what they’re doing (what’s more liberating than that?!).

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is definitely one of those classics that never get old. There are countless fascinating ways to read and interpret this novel, from focusing on colors and other motifs to thinking about location, the American Dream, the role of women, prohibition, narrative voice– the list goes on and on! I’ve studied this in two different classes over the years and I honestly hope I get to study it again before undergrad is over.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

This may be John Green’s debut novel, but it remains my absolute favorite out of all the ones he has written. I love how the story seems so simple yet involves all of the complex and confusing emotions we each experience at one point or another. Besides, this novel has some of my favorite quotes in it!

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

It’s generally rare for me to want to reread mystery novels once I know how they end; however, this book has always been the exception to that rule. This murder mystery is so cleverly executed that I never tire of tiptoeing around its twists and turns over and over again. (If anyone has seen the BBC mini series, I’d be really interested to hear what you think of it because I have yet to watch it!)

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass

I. Love. This. Text. I’ve written numerous papers about it for various classes over the years and Douglass’ story never ceases to amaze, inspire, and intrigue me. Douglass’ life story is as captivating as his writing is eloquent, making Narrative a text that I’ll undoubtedly return to again and again in the future.

What books could you endlessly reread? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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Awards

Sunshine Blogger Award | 4

Hi everyone! I hope you’re having a lovely day! To brighten up this wintery mood I’m going to share the Sunshine Blogger Award. Thanks so much to Dani @ Perspective of a Writer for nominating me!

  • Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Who is the one person that is the sunshine in your life?

Just ONE?!?!?!? I’m going to cheat and say all of my family and friends. How can I pick just one?!?!

Do you prefer all happy movies, or occasional sad movies?

Preferably all happy movies. I’ll watch sad movies if I’m with other people who also want to watch it, but I definitely try to avoid reading sad books if I can help it.

What is the one food that always makes you happy?

PIZZA. Or oatmeal… there’s nothing better than a steaming bowl of oatmeal and raisins in the morning.

What is the sunshine on your blog?

The comments section! I love reading everyone’s comments even though I’m usually pretty slow at finding time to respond to them all. I appreciate each and every one of them ❤

What is your favorite holiday?

CHRISTMAS.

What is one thing you love about yourself?

My ability to remember song lyrics even when I haven’t listened to a song in years.

What is one thing you love about the blogging community?

I love how incredibly kind and supportive everyone is in the blogging community, especially when it comes to inclusiveness.

What is the one book that made you smile the most?

Definitely The BFG by Roald Dahl. No matter how many times I read this book it will always make me laugh!

Where is your corner of sunshine in your home?

At the moment, it’s the Christmas tree in the corner of our living room. I love when the house is decorated for Christmas!

What is your favorite color or colors?

Probably yellow and mint (or is it called turquoise/teal? It’s the color of my blog…).

What is the one movie (or drama) that always makes you happy?

Definitely Jurassic Park. It’s such a wacky story and I love the cheesy, witty banter between all of the characters.

As per usual with these kinds of posts, I’ll pass along the same questions that I answered for those that I’ve nominated. Thanks again to Dani for nominating me! Answering these questions was a blast!

What are your answers to these questions? What do you think of mine? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Settings I’d Love to Visit

Happy Tuesday!! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic set by the bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish highlights the ten bookish settings we’d love to visit. At times it has felt like I have been living in a fictional setting for the past few months (shout out to Oxford for being so magical!), so I was very excited when I saw this topic on the list. I’ve tried to avoid mentioning the really obvious ones (AKA Hogwarts and Middle-earth) so hopefully these are a little more interesting. In no particular order, they are:

The Yorkshire Moors of Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

This is quite a realistic goal for me considering that I’m currently studying abroad in England. I would love to visit the beautiful rural backdrop of this tumultuous Victorian novel.

The forest in Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

The forest in this charming little book sounds so idyllic and peaceful (plus there’s that beautiful magic spring!). I’d love to take a strong among the tall trees and have a chat with Winnie Foster.

Cabeswater in The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater

Another magical forest I’d love to visit (can you tell I have a thing for magical forests?!). Exploring it with Blue and her crew would be an added bonus!

The BFG’s home in The BFG by Roald Dahl

I would give anything to see the rows and rows of dream jars in the BFG’s cavern… and maybe try a snozzcumber or two while I’m at it! Little ten-year-old me was so jealous of Sophie’s adventures and friendship with the Big Friendly Giant.

Jurassic Park in Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Even though the park ends up being a total disaster, it would still be incredible to see such huge dinosaurs up close. Besides, who doesn’t want to cruise around in those fun jeeps?

The circus in The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Confession: I’ve never been to a circus before. I feel like the amazing, whimsical, fantastic circus of this novel would be an incredible first circus experience… and a very overwhelming one!

The towers in The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsburg

I’ve read this book so many times, but I can never quite imagine precisely what the towers in the garden might look like with all of their different pieces and parts. I would love to finally see them for myself!

The Lands Beyond in The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

I would go to the Lands Beyond just for the sake of the amazing puns and wordy cleverness (and also Tock, the watchdog). It sounds like the ultimate destination for an English major!

Florin in The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Rolling hills? Looming cliffs? Fire swamps? (Minus the scary R.O.U.S. of course.) Sign me up! I would love to visit the amazing landscape of Florin (especially with Westley by my side…).

Outer space in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Adams makes me want to achieve my childhood dream of being an astronaut (although it probably wouldn’t be as hilarious as he makes it out to be!).

What bookish settings would you love to visit? What do you think of the ones I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Thankful For

Happy Tuesday!! It’s one of my favorite times of the year: THANKSGIVING! Even though I won’t be in the States for Thanksgiving this year (shout out to my college at Oxford for having a dinner for the American students!) it’s still fun to get into the festive spirit. Today I’ll be sharing ten books that I’m thankful for (besides Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings because I feel like those are a given for me).

The BFG by Roald Dahl

I distinctly remember my fourth and fifth grade teacher reading this book aloud to us on multiple occasions and I simply adored it. Dahl’s creative, whimsical, witty stories are one of the things that made me fall in love with reading from a young age.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I read this novel several summers ago and it is one of the books that made me realize how fun and rewarding reading classics can be. It also expanded my horizons of romantic classics beyond the usual Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

My Ántonia by Willa Cather

THIS. BOOK. I read this book in on of my freshman year literature classes in college and I’m convinced that it’s one of the reasons I fell in love with literary criticism and now want to be a professor. It’s amazing how one book can change everything!

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass

I read this in the very first college literature class I ever took and it completely changed the way I think about narrative, form, and linguistic expression. In many ways it’s the text I keep coming back to over and over again what it is that I really love about literature.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Not only did this collection spark me to read and write more poetry recently, but it also made me think about myself and the world from a different perspective. Rupi Kaur’s words have gotten me through many rough days, for which I am incredibly grateful.

How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky

I couldn’t be more thankful for this essay collection’s wit, humor, and important message: absolutely no one is perfect. Reading this book also launched me into the world of Watsky’s music, which you should definitely check out if you haven’t already!

1984 by George Orwell

I’m so grateful for this novel’s ability to spark and continue important conversations about where today’s society is headed tomorrow. The parallels between our modern world and the fictional society in this novel are terrifying and uncanny and real.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

I’m thankful for the way this book has made me laugh, think, and realize that I wasn’t the only one experiencing frustrating high school drama. John Green is amazing at making you feel less alone.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

This book is a hilarious reminder that success doesn’t come easy, not even for those who you admire or who seem like they have everything figured out. (Besides, Mindy always makes me smile!)

The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsburg

I’m thankful for the way this book has made me smile, laugh, think, and look back on my own childhood nearly every summer for over a decade now.

Which books are you thankful for? What do you think about the ones I’ve mentioned? Do you have any fun Thanksgiving traditions or plans? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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Location Book Tag

I hope you’ve all had a lovely week! Today I’m here with the Location Book Tag from ages ago (I was tagged in the summer, I think). Thanks so much to Charlotte Annelise for tagging me!!

1. You’re sat in a coffee shop trying to read when a group of excited six year olds come in with their parents and begin screaming in the play area. Which book can you push past the noise and lose yourself in?

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. Not only is this book incredibly suspenseful and gripping, but it’s also such a fun story. I could block out any and all noise while reading this!

2. Your (rich) friends dare you to spend the night in a haunted house for an undisclosed but inevitably large sum of money. Which book do you bring to distract yourself with?

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Imagine reading Frankenstein in such a spooky atmosphere! It’s kind of like the time I read Stephen King’s The Shining while staying at a lodge on a mountain in the wintertime…

3. Though the landscapes are beautiful, your delayed train journey is starting to drag. Which book do you take out?

Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. While reading this book I couldn’t help but think about the beautiful landscape it must have taken place in.

4. It’s beach time! You have your family and friends around you and don’t want to miss out on the conversation too much but still want to read. Which book do you choose?

Probably something I’ve read before and loved, such as The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsburg. I’ve read this book so many times that I feel like I know it by heart at this point!

5. You’re backstage ready for your big emotional scene but the tears just won’t come. Which book do you get out to make you cry?

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. This collection of poetry is so emotional, raw, and honest that it’s bound to make me tear up at times.

6. You’re camping in the woods with your friends and you’re the first to wake up. Which book do you read under the early morning light?

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. This lovely story set in a magical woods would be perfect to read from a cozy sleeping bag in a tent.

7. You’ve had an amazing day on your solo trip but now that you’re back at the hotel, you’re starting to feel a little homesick. What do you read to feel less lonely?

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. This book always reminds me of my childhood and is sure to make me feel less homesick.

8. You’ve been invited for an interview for a place at a prestigious university. Which book do you lay flat on your knee to hide the cover while you wait?

Probably something Shakespeare that I feel like I should have read by now as an English major.

9. The book exchange stall at the library finally has the book you’ve wanted for so long, and you have a book in your bag that you’ve been dying to get rid of. Which do you give away, and which do you take?

I’d give away The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han and I’d pick up Turtles All the Way Down by John Green.

10. You were just browsing the children’s section of the library and boom, you’re hit with a sudden blast from the past. Which book have you found that you haven’t seen for years but that you used to love as a child?

The BFG by Roald Dahl. I loved this book SO MUCH when I was younger. Recently I reread it and it was everything I remembered and more. Roald Dahl is a brilliant storyteller!

What are your answers to these questions? What do you think of mine? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Non-human Characters

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic highlights characters that share specific qualities. This could be literally anything under the sun: gender, race, location, beliefs, names, magical powers, etc. In no particular order, here are ten great books with non-human characters: 

What are your favorite books with non-human characters? What do you think of the books that I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Pictures Worth Ten Thousand Words

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Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is one that I don’t talk about often on this blog: pictures and visuals in books. Though I haven’t read very many graphic novels or comic books, I have come across some memorable illustrations and creative uses of images in many of the books I’ve read. Here are ten books whose illustrations, images, and design I’ve thoroughly enjoyed:

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What are your favorite books with pictures? Any specific illustrators you like? Have any recommendations? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Tags

Stationary Book Tag

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Hello, hello! Today I bring you another tag, this time about one of my favorite things: stationary! I love school supplies, paper products, pens, pencils, notebooks– if it can be found in an office supplies store, then chances are that I adore it. Luckily, this lovely Stationary Book Tag exists for stationary lovers such as myself. Thanks so much to Giovanna @ Book Coma Blog for tagging me!

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  • Thank the creator: Sam @ RiverMooseReads, Thank you!
  • Answer the questions.
  • Add pictures! (If you want to)
  • Tag (about) 5 people.

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The_BFG_(Dahl_novel_-_cover_art)PENCILS: FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK.

Definitely The BFG by Roald Dahl. I reread this childhood favorite of mine this past summer for the first time since fifth grade and I absolutely adored it. How can you say no to the Big Friendly Giant’s cute, oversized ears?

the great gatsby coverPENS: A BASIC STAPLE FOR ANY READER.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, hands down. There are just so many great reasons to read this classic American novel– the beautiful writing style, the many modern references to the story, the abundant symbolism and questions and raises about the so-called “American Dream.” I think everyone should read about good ol’ Gatsby!

the hobbit coverNOTEBOOKS: BOOKS YOU OWN MULTIPLE COPIES OF.

Surprisingly enough, I think the only book I own multiple copies of is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. I’ve thought about buying different editions of the same book depending on the different covers, but I just can’t justify spending the money when I already own a copy of it.

A Darker Shade final for IreneMARKERS: BOOKS WITH BEAUTIFUL COVERS.

A Darker Shade of Magic and the other books in this fantasy series by V.E. Schwab. I love the color scheme as well as the simple but interesting use of geometric shapes. Plus, just look at that font!

harry potter and the sorcerer's stone coverGLUE: TWO CHARACTERS THAT WORK TOGETHER EVEN IF THEY AREN’T TOGETHER.

Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I’ve always wanted these two wonderful characters to end up together– they’re both quirky and kind and would be so cute as a couple!

29069989SCISSORS: WHAT BOOK WOULD YOU LIKE TO DESTROY.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany.  (A bit harsh? Maybe. Do I apologize? Not in the slightest.) I was just really disappointed with this book, as you can probably tell.

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne CollinsART KIT: WHAT COMPLETED SERIES YOU OWN.

From my glory days in the elementary school reading enrichment program I still own the entirety of the Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins. This was back before she was of Hunger Games fame… boy, that feels like ages ago!

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  1. Marta @ The Book Mermaid
  2. MC @ Blame It On The Books
  3. Emily @ Rose Read
  4. Conny @ Literati Girl
  5. Amy @ Curiouser and Curiouser

What are your answers to these questions? What do you think of the books that I’ve mentioned? What is your favorite kind of school supplies? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Tags

The Jingle Bell Tag

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If I had to name my favorite genre of music, it would probably be Christmas music. Not only is there a song for every mood and situation and level of festivity you’re feeling, but holiday tunes also never fail to make me smile. (Except for “Christmas Shoes.” That song is the definition of SAD.) As you can imagine, I was so excited when I discovered that I had been tagged in the Jingle Bell Tag, created by Richard @ The Humpo Show. Thanks so much to Amy @ Curiouser and Curiouser for tagging me!

Now, on with the merry festivities!

“All I Want For Christmas Is You…” | What book do you want to see under the Christmas Tree?

I actually didn’t ask for any books for Christmas this year (*gasp* I know, I’m trying to show some self-control). Honestly, if Santa could buy me my textbooks for next semester that would be superb…

My Antonia“Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time…” | What book that you have read this year have you enjoyed the most?

Oooh, what a tough question! I don’t think I’ll be able to choose just one because I’ve read a bunch of fantastic books in 2016, so I’ll go with three that come to mind: My Ántonia by Willa Cather, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, and Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

The_BFG_(Dahl_novel_-_cover_art)Elf | What book unleashes your inner child?

The BFG by Roald Dahl is always my go-to answer for this kind of question. It was my favorite book when I was in elementary school and after rereading it recently I can say that it’s still one of my favorite stories. Not only is it adorable, but it’s incredibly clever, witty, and well-written. If you’re not convinced, here are my top 8 reasons why you should read this lovely little gem (but believe me, there are way more than just eight!).

my true love gave to me cover“It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” | Which book has the most festive look to it?

Definitely My True Love Gave to Me! This collection of holiday stories edited by Stephanie Perkins is perfect for this festive time of year. I love the variety of authors as well as the many different holidays that are represented within the twelve stories. There’s bound to be something for every reader to enjoy, no matter what holiday you celebrate or what kind of festive mood you’re in!

Vicious by V.E. SchwabThe Grinch | Your favourite villain…

Again, here’s another go-to answer of mine: Victor and Eli from Vicious by V.E. Schwab. These villains are dark and twisted, but there’s also a sense of morality and ambiguity to them. This is particularly true with Victor, who might be considered more of an anti-hero than an actual villain. Regardless, these characters have stuck in my mind ever since their first wild adventure.

jane eyre coverThe Holiday | Name your favourite TWO couples…

One: Taylor and Jonah from Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (as if I haven’t talked about this adorable duo enough on this blog…). Two: Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Even though they’re not actually a couple for the majority of the novel, I think the way they come together at the end is really beautiful. They’re certainly not perfect, but they show that love doesn’t have to be.

16130What book would you like to give as a present to your followers?

Oh, so many amazing books to choose from! I think that I’ll have to go with Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. This hefty biography is incredibly well-written and Hamilton’s life is so interesting and unbelievable that it almost reads like fiction. It’s also really fun to read it with songs from the Hamilton musical playing in the background– so much US history at once!!

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I also tag YOU, lovely reader!!

What are your answers to these prompts? What do you think of the books I’ve mentioned? Most importantly, what’s your favorite Christmas song? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Books

8 Reasons Why You Should Read THE BFG by Roald Dahl

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Roald Dahl’s The BFG was one of my absolute favorite books when I was younger. My fourth and fifth grade teacher read it aloud to us both years and I was enchanted by the heartwarming, magical story. I desperately wished that a Big Friendly Giant would scoop me up in the middle of the night– as long as it brought me home safely, of course!

After recently rereading The BFG, I’ve been filled with an overwhelming love for this childhood favorite of mine. In an effort to persuade you to pick up this spectacular little book, here are 8 Reasons Why You Should Read The BFG:

1. The BFG Himself

The BFG certainly lives up to his abbreviated name: he’s kind, caring, and incredibly thoughtful. He’s smart in his own way and isn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes in. Plus, he’s hilarious! Who wouldn’t want to be friends with this jolly giant?

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2. Sophie

Sophie is such a sweet, witty, smart protagonist. She’s mature for her age but still has that lovable childhood innocence about her. I wanted to be Sophie’s best friend when I was younger (and to be honest, I still do!).

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3. The Plot is WILD!

Man-eating giants, jars upon jars of dreams, and breakfast with the Queen of England– what more could you want? Everything about this unique story is unexpected, but it somehow goes together perfectly.

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4. Made-Up Words

Snozzcumbers, frobscottle, and whizpopping, anyone? The BFG uses a plethora of hilarious words that always make me chuckle. If only our everyday vocabulary was as fun as his!

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5. Settings

From the BFG’s cave and the land of dreams to Buckingham Palace, this story takes the reader on a wild adventure to many different places– and all by traveling in the enormous ear of the BFG. What a way to get around!

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6. Lovely Illustrations

I absolutely adore the illustrations in this book. Just look at the BFG. Isn’t he the cutest thing ever?! AND THOSE EARS. ❤

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7. Life Lessons

As with any good children’s book (or book in general), The BFG teaches many valuable life lessons. One of my favorites is when the BFG discusses the senselessness of violence, the way humans frequently kill each other but other species rarely do. It also teaches kindness, compassion, empathy, and emphasizes celebrating and loving our differences. This story sure packs a powerful punch!

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8. The Clever Ending

I’m a sucker for a clever ending, and The BFG is probably what started it all for me. I won’t spoil it for you, but let’s just say that I love when books end like this! It’s simple, but it always takes me by surprise and brings a smile to my face.

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The BFG is and always will be one of my favorite children’s books. I highly recommend giving this Big Friendly Giant a chance. You won’t be disappointed!

What was your favorite book when you were younger? What do you think of The BFG? Have any other Roald Dahl recommendations? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY