Top Ten

There's a nice little thing in the Guardian archives with several very good children's writers listing some of their picks for children's books.

Jacqueline Wilson's list includes Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle which would definitely be on my list too (if anyone cares to know). She writes that she knows the first paragraph off by heart, which was excuse enough for me to go look it up. And here it is:

I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. That is, my feet are in it; the rest of me is on the draining board, which I have padded with our dog's blanket and the tea cosy. I can't say that I am really comfortable, and there is a depressing smell of carbolic soap, but this is the only part of the kitchen where there is any daylight left. And I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring I wrote my very best poem while sitting on the hen house. Though even that isn't a very good poem. I have decided my poetry is so bad that I mustn't write any more of it.


Sharon said…
What a wonderful paragraph. That bit alone is enough to make me read the book. Thanks!
Reading this paragraph takes me back to the exact time and place when I read this book - it is such a distinctive opening!
Sara O'Leary said…
Yeah, it's pretty wonderful, isn't it?

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