I was reading Lynn’s blog, and she posted about something Nicole had done, so I read Nicole’s post and both got me thinking about all the books I read when I was a kid and all the books I rushed out to get when I found out we were having baby, and then a baby girl because I wanted her to read what I read and love what I loved. But really I was kind of the same when I was a kid as I am now – when I find an author that writes a book I love, I read everything else they’ve written.
So this is going to be a little bit about books and a little bit about writers and a while lot about adolescent memories.
1) The Pistachio Prescription by Paula Danziger
I read all the Danziger’s that the library had on its shelves, but this is the one that I read over and over again. I loved her books because they were about girls whose parents had split up or were splitting up and that spoke to me. I mean, I loved Judy Blume but I never understood why all her characters were so excited about getting their periods, so I think my love of Danziger was a reaction to that too.
2) The Fudge series, Judy Blume
I loved these books, I read them over and over and over again and they are sitting on the kid’s shelf waiting for her to be ready for them. I can’t say what it is about them, but Peter and Fudge and Sheila just felt like friends.
3) Starring Sally J. Friedman as Herself, also Judy Blume
This, I think, is one of the lesser known Blume’s, but something about Sally, who is a young Jewish girl living right after the Second World War, spoke to me. I still love that time period.
4) Bruno and Boots, Gordon Korman
I loved Bruno and Boots as characters, I loved their friends Cathy and Diane from Miss Scrimmage’s, and The Fish and Miss Scrimmage herself. It’s a great Canadian series that I think is currently out of print, so I look for them at used book stores whenever I visit them. I’m also a big fan of Korman’s Losing Joe’s Place.
5) All the Babysitter’s Club books
I know that it gets to the point where you can skip the first three or four chapters because it repeats every damn book, but Kristy and Mary Anne and Stacey and Dawn and Mallory and Jessie were good friends of mine for a lot years.
6) And All the Nancy Drew Books
Again, lots of repetition, but still great starter mysteries, and strong female characters in Nancy and George and Bess. I loved these books enough that I got very upset when they casted a brunette in the role of Nancy for a TV series. Every book says she’s strawberry blond. Every book.
7) Rilla of Ingleside, LM Montgomery
Given how much I loved the mini-series, it took me a long time to get around to reading the actual Anne books, but when I did I fell even more deeply with the Anne-girl and Gilbert Blythe. As much as I love those two and their love story, though, Rilla of Ingleside became my favourite of the books. I cried for days.
8) The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler, EL Konigsburg
I had actually totally forgotten about this book until I saw it in the Scholastic flyer and memories came flooding back. There’s something about exploring a museum after hours.
9) The Ramona Series, Beverly Cleary
I remember feeling very much like a Ramona as a child reading these books. I was very surprised to find how old fashioned the first couple of books in the series are when I re-read them with my daughter.
10) Different Dragons and Mine for Keeps, Jean Little
Remembering how much I enjoyed these books I really shouldn’t have been surprised by how much I enjoy having a dog that helps take care of me. Both of these stories are about kids who are emotionally vulnerable and find dogs that know how to make them feel better. (Also Little is another great Canadian writer).