Jacqueline Wilson: This fabulous British author was my first introduction into contemporary YA and will always have a very special place in my heart. I started reading Wilson’s books when my family was going through some tough times and really connected to her writing and each of the characters. Aside from her newer titles, I’ve read most of her books countless times and have a massive collection. Luckily, I was able meet her about eight years ago at the Sydney Writer’s Festival. I was waiting in the lobby of the convention centre where everyone would line up to get books signed when she walked in early and spent about 20 minutes signing my massive collection of books. I’ve never forgotten that special day and those books remain some of the most special in my collection.
Georgia Byng: Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism was one of the first ‘big’ chapter books I can remember reading. I was hooked from the first page and read it over and over again. The story of an orphan who finds she has the power to hypnotise people and escapes her horrible orphanage for New York was just magical to 9-year-old me.
Enid Blyton: I adored Blyton’s magical worlds when I was little and treasured these copies of her books, which my mum bought me at a garage sale. These were some of the first books I remember spending hours revisiting as a child.
Roald Dahl: I can’t exactly remember what my first Dahl book was, but I do have a vidid memory of starting to read The Witches in the car and looking out the window wondering which of the women walking along the street could possibly be witch. Dahl was the ultimate storyteller and each of his books held me completely captive until the very last page. Apart from The Witches, I always adored Matilda (for obvious reasons). In recent years I’ve loved discovering his adult short stories which always have a wicked twist.