The Child That Books Built: A Life in Reading

Front Cover
Macmillan, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 224 pages

In this extended love letter to children's books and the wonders they perform, Francis Spufford makes a confession: books were his mother, his father, his school. Reading made him who he is. To understand the thrall of fiction, Spufford goes back to his earliest encounters with books, exploring such beloved classics as The Wind in the Willows, The Little House on the Prairie, and The Chronicles of Narnia. He recreates the excitement of discovery, writing joyfully of the moment when fuzzy marks on a page become words. Weaving together child development, personal reflection, and social observation, Spufford shows the force of fiction in shaping a child: how stories allow for escape from pain and mastery of the world, how they shift our boundaries of the sayable, how they stretch the chambers of our imagination.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TimBazzett - LibraryThing

A book about books and reading. How could I go wrong? I thought. But somehow I did, or maybe Spufford did. Because this is not really much of a memoir. And, to be fair, the author does say early on ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SeriousGrace - LibraryThing

The Child That Books Built is an explanation for an addiction. Francis Spufford's addiction. Right up front Spufford admits to his insatiable need to read, starting when he was a young child. He would ... Read full review

Selected pages


Confessions of an English Fiction Eater
The Forest
The Island
The Town
The Hole

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About the author (2003)

Francis Spufford is also the author of I May Be Some Time (Picador). He was named Sunday Times (London) Young Writer of the Year and received the 1997 Somerset Maugham and Writers' Guild Awards. He lives in London.

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