The power of great storytelling

by The Wardour Team – Jul 13, 2022

A selection of our favourite childhood books, that still leave an impression to this day.


The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Joan Aiken

Published in 1962, the year I was born, I read this when I was seven and have never forgotten it. Set in a fictional nineteenth-century England, wolves have migrated from a bitterly cold Europe in the grip of climate change via a new Channel tunnel. Its heroines, Bonnie and Sylvia, battle the evil plans of their governess and through many twists and turns, win through. Imaginative, with powerful female characters, I look back and realise how innovative and ground-breaking this was in its day.
Julian Thomas, Planning Director


Northern Lights, Philip Pullman

One of the first books I remember having a real impact on me growing up was Northern Lights by Philip Pullman. The story jumps between the real and fantasy worlds in a clever way and the themes felt a bit fresher and more accessible than some of the older, more classic kids’ literature stories.
Fred Heritage, Content Creator


The Valley of Adventure, Enid Blyton

I was very precocious as a young child and loved my stories. I’ve read since before I can remember existing – my mother tells me she took great pleasure in showing off that I was well through the likes of Enid Blyton before I was five years old. She was, however, less impressed and less vocal that I was still reading them at 12, and that her first-born son had effectively peaked even before school age.
Dan Butcher, Head of Business Development


Nought & Crosses, Malorie Blackman

I read Noughts & Crosses in my early teens, where the Crosses (dark-skinned people) were superior to the Noughts (light-skinned people) and segregation exists between the two groups. The story is a classic Romeo & Juliet-style romance, with a Nought falling in love with a Cross and how they were forbidden from being together. But this book made me think and understand racism in a way that nothing ever had in the past. Partly because as a white girl growing up in a white area it wasn’t something I’d ever had to think about, and partly because it created a world where white people were seen as inferior and by doing this you instantly related to it because you could see yourself in the characters. The penny dropped for me, when Callum the Nought talks about how they don’t make plasters in his skin colour and I realised that I’d never even thought about things like that, that in my head plasters just so happened to be similar to my skin tone, but I’d never stopped to consider that this was not the same for everyone. This book gave you an understanding of the injustices in our society by simply flipping the perspective and allowing you to see the world from another perspective.
Katie Williams, Project Manager


Jamaica Inn, Daphne du Maurier

My mum gave it to me to read as I was interested in reading more adult fiction. My family are Cornish and I loved reading about windswept Bodmin Moor, mysterious goings on and tales of smuggling. It got me into her writing and Rebecca is one of my favourite books.
Charlotte Tapp, Senior Account Manager

Published Jul 13, 2022

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