Reading was such a formative part of my childhood (along with 'Loony Tunes'), that it is difficult to pin point the most influential book. But, under an interrogation light I would probably have to say 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Bronte.
Childhood is a short season.
My role models were childless: Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen, George Eliot, the Brontes.
Joyce Carol Oates