Saturday, February 6, 2010

Books I love(d)

The Babysitter's Club! <3

As an English teacher, it comes as no surprise that I was a voracious reader growing up. This stems from my wonderful parents taking my sister and me to the library multiple times per week, with the only rule being that we followed the 12-book check-out limit. Many of my favorite memories are from the Jackson Public Library- that was the sacred place I first fell in love with reading. The smell of books takes me right back there, and in my mind, it will always remain an incredibly magical place. I remember sitting for hours at the small, child-size tables, sifting through book after book, making piles of the ones I wanted to check out, and then teetering, tottering out of the building, carrying a stack of precariously perched books atop my little hands. My parents would offer to help, but I was adamant that I could carry them all on my own. Then came the glorious afternoon, when, arriving home, I could spend the entire day reading my new treasures, exploring, and feeling so inspired. My earliest memories are books- my mother and father reading to me, my sister and I reading to each other, the aforementioned trips to the library. Lauren and I would join the library's book club, summer reading groups, and we especially loved "Book It," which was a reading-reward system that Pizza Hut sponsored. Personal pan pizzas for reading books? Ok! To me, reading was always cool. And it still is...there isn't a time in my life when I haven't enjoyed it, and I am so grateful for all of this.

Being at my parents' home, I am surrounded by my past. Old photos, old letters, and namely, old books. Tonight I was reminded of so many of the old titles I used to hold so dear, the books I would devour in a single sitting. Some of my favorites: The Babysitter's Club series and The Sleepover Friends. I couldn't get enough Judy Blume or Beverly Cleary either. A couple of my favorite titles: "Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret?" and "Ramona Quimby, Age 8."

With that said, what are some of your favorite childhood books or series? This is on my mind as I've decided to embark on a nostalgic journey and begin reading a long list of my personal favorites, and I'd love to know what some of yours are. So feel free to share some series or books you adored growing up! I'm so curious! :)

62 comments:

  1. I read (and still own) every Baby-Sitters Club book there is up to the mid-90's. I outgrew them at that point. I loved Sweet Valley High/Twins, too. There was another series about a group of friends and they left notes for each other on the walls in their closets, but I can't remember the name of it now. I inhaled books when I was a kid.

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  2. i love the picture of you, hehe.

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  3. LOVED the saddle club, baby-sitters club, sweet valley high...the library used to make me bring 'permission slips' from my parents because they said sweet valley high was too 'mature' for me lol. i really should re-visit some of those classics.

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  4. Sweet valley high! I remember those days... I think I started off reading SV Twins... then realised there were completely other series so went through SW Kids, High then eventually College. Elizabeth was my favourite (the 'not as cool' twin haha i guess i could relate) but I always wanted to be like Lila, she seemed so glam.

    hellocathe2ine.blogspot.com

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  5. My absolute favorite book as a child that I read countless times was Baby Island by Carol Ryrie Brink. I think it was written in 1937 or something, it used to be one of my mom's favorites. The Boxcar Children and The Littles were my favorite series, I could still read them all now!

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  6. well, i had aaaall the books written by enid blyton...i´m actually not sure, i think shes a british writer, so i`m not sure you know her, but she has written several series including famous five and st. clares...i surely loved them!

    xoxo trine

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  7. I've read the entire 8-book Anne of Green Gables series about 1x/yr for the last almost 20 years. love love

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  8. I was animal/horse crazy so I read all the the Animal Ark books my local library had, and then moved onto Thoroughbred series by Joanna Campbell. In my very early teens I adored Tomorrow when the War Began series. I'm so glad I grew up reading as much as possible (only child). And I haven't grown out of it =)

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  9. the babysitters club was the all-time fave, I couldn't even tell you how many I've read. The wizard of oz and francesca lia blocks books were favorites as well.

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  10. I loved the American Girl series, Junie B. Jones, Number the Stars, and The Giver. Though the last two will never stop being favorites of mine. :)

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  11. OH sweet valley high! lol. Those were awesome even though they deviated from my normal penchant towards mysteries. The Bobsy Twins, Nancy Drew, The Boxcar Children. I'm trying to collect (preferably vintage) hardbacks of these as I find them in thrifty stores.

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  12. I think this might be my first comment on your blog, although I've been following for a couple of weeks now. So, hi! :)

    I know what you mean about the library because I was just like that as a child, too! I adored going there and being totally surrounded by books. Some of favourite series' were Baby-Sitters Club, Sweet Valley Kids and Sweet Valley Jr. High (I got over those characters before reading the high school books, lol), Sleepover Club, Ally's World by Karen McCombie, and the Girls series by Jacqueline Wilson.

    When I was very little it was Care Bears and Winnie The Pooh. :)

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  13. You can't forget Roald Dahl! Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the BFG ... To name a few! Ahh pure joy.

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  14. I read lots and lots as a kid (not much has changed) and loved anything by Enid Blyton. I particularly loved The Faraway Tree books and The Wishing Chair books. I also loved the Heidi series, Alice in Wonderland and of course the amazing series about Dorothy and OZ. I was lucky to inherit a lot of these from my Dad's childhood collection (hardbacks from the 50s), the rest I collected myself and some I've even passed on to my eldest... so many books, so little time to write about them! Thanks for such a great topic.

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  15. I too loved the Enid Blyton books and also a series called the Chalet School, there were loads of them though and I never did get through the whole series.

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  16. Wow, this post brought back so many similar memories for me! Especially the Book-it program! I hadn't thought about that in years.

    I used to love all the Ramona books too. I secretly used to wish my name was Ramona. Great post!

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  17. Ooooh! I so totally wanted to be Claudia Kishi (or Dawn, depending on my mood). I also loved the Sweet Valley series, the game was fun too! No one ever wanted to play Enid though, lol!

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  18. My all time favorite children;s book is 'The Solitaire Mystery' by Jostein Gaarder. From time to time I read it again. And still loving it.

    I also loved The Christmas Mystery by the same author.

    Jostein Gaarder shot to fame with the publication of Sophie's World. Originally a high school philosophy teacher, he has written a number of novels for adults and children. He is Norwegian and lives in Oslo with his wife Siri. They have two grown-up sons.

    You should try it!

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  19. My first grown up book I read was A Wrinkle in Time. I loved it! Then I read Tiger Eyes. I don't really remember it, but I remember the title. :) Then I was all into the Sweet Valley High books. Have you signed up on Goodreads.com yet?

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  20. Before I tell you a few favorite books, I need to just say what an inspiration you've become to me! I just began my very first teaching position a few weeks ago (Middle School English in a very urban setting). I love hearing you talk about your love for teaching because I can relate so very much! How neat would it be to create a community for fellow English teachers that love to blog & yet still find time to be creative? That'd be neat! :)

    Anyway! Onto the books! I was an avid reader of the Chronicles of Narnia series. I still have the original set that my family bought me when I was a child. I also love(d) Charlotte's Web, The Trumpet of the Swan, & The Little Prince!

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  21. When I was little I loved Roald Dahl and Lurlene McDaniel. Dahl's books often scared me, but I loved how they made me see every little thing--amazing details. And honestly, I don't know why I liked McDaniel's books--they were sooooo sad! Every book was about a young girl with a terminal disease! I think it may have had something to do with my mom and the fact that she is surrounded by death all the time. Literally, every time I talk to her, even now, she tells me about someone who is sick or dying or that passed away.

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  22. I too was a lover of the library and it was extra special because my Aunt was the librarian. Sometimes my mom would fill in if she needed coverage and that meant extra time at the library :)

    I can still to this day picture where my favorite picture book was kept in my elementary school library. I was fascinated by the photographs in the Lonely Doll books.

    As an adult, my husband bought me the 50th anniversary reissue. When I revisited my childhood favorite, I was a little disturbed! It is actually a little freaky. Then last year, I read a book about the author and she lived a very strange life- think Gray Gardens weird. No wonder the book appealed to me as a child but disturbed me as an adult!

    My favorite chapter books- and ones I always recommend to my students- were The Phantom Tollbooth and A Wrinkle in Time.

    I'm a little older than the rest of you and so my students were the ones reading Baby-Sitter's Club ;)

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  23. LOVE the boxcar children :) :) I love love lovedd reading as well as kid.

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  24. ahhhhh books! how i love thee!!!
    i know your feelings, danielle, and totally relate!

    loved Judy Blume and Beverly Clery. Blubber was my favorite. Then, i started reading far too maturely for my age with all of Christopher Pike's books! But, man, they were fun! and devoured Margaret Atwood and Madeleine L'Engle's catalogs. By 12 I had read The Cider House Rules by John Irving and it still is my favorite novel.

    It's amazing how the books we read when we're young stay with us so vividly...

    great post and great comments!

    !!!and a shout out to those that brought up The Boxcar Children and The Littles! I loved those stories when i was little!!

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  25. I was a Babysitter's Club girl ALL THE WAY! I LOVED those books so much!

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  26. What wonderful memories!!! I loved the Babysitters Club too but had ALL the Sweet Valley High ones and would read them as soon as they came out and then couldn't wait for the next one to release. I was a big reader when I was young too! I owe it to my dad who loves books soooo much and in his spare time would ALWAYS be reading!

    I love it when my kids want to read together or when I find Brennon reading something. I still loooove when they get book orders because all those great books from my childhood are still in there and I get to order them!! hehe

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  27. I was in love with The Box Car Children, my cousins and I had an old building at my grandparents house and we would play the box car children such wonderful memories. I also loved The Saddle Club and the classics like Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, and Little Women.

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  28. omg i totally remember pizza hut's book it!! my favorite as a kid were boxcar children and babysitters club. i also remember these books that were about girls and their horses, but i can never remember the title. :)

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  29. I loved Book It!! Getting rewarded to do my favorite thing? OK! I'd still do it. :)
    My favorite series were American Girl. I read them all until I outgrew them. I wanted one of those dolls sooo badly!

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  30. Ok so after reading every other girls comment I have concluded that I was even more of a nerd growing up then I thought.

    While I loved the usuals...Judy Blume, Sweet Valley High, The Boxcar Children, and The Babysitters Club I especially loved Sci-Fi books meant for little boys. I was an avid Star Wars fan (obsessed, actually) so I guess it shouldn't be that surprising to me that I love a series called Animorphs. They are out of print now but they were about the coolest kids ever that could change into any animal they touched because of aliens that were invading the planet. I know, I'm a nerd.

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  31. I thought I would check your blog out after seeing your button on all my fav blog's. What lovely sweet blog. LOVE your tattoo's lady! I want to go get more my self.
    I loved babysitter's club growing up, also all Judy Bloom books too, Anne of Green gables and was obsessed with Sweet Valley high, I swore I read each one... Those were some good wholesome books, so glad that Twilight was not out when I was a little girl or I would be obsessed with Vampires and probably be pregnant at 15...LOL

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  32. Ramona books for sure (which by the way they are coming out with a movie called Ramona and Beezus with Selena Gomez) and then I like the Mouse and the Motorcycle too.

    AND GOOSEBUMPS!
    man those Choose Your Own Scare books were great

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  33. OMG this is too funny not to comment. I LOVED the Babysitters Club. My parents had a 70's pop up camper and I remember sitting in that hot trailer all day reading Babysitters Club! I also love all the Little House on the Prairie books as well as Sweet Valley High and Roald Dahl.
    When you mentioned Are You There God, It's Me Margaret it reminded me of the episode of LOST when Sawyer makes himself reading glasses and is reading books from the plane. He reads that book, but doesn't like it because it's predictable and there's not enough sex. Ha!

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  34. I still have all of my old Baby-Sitters Club books too :) My husband always grumbles when we have to drag them through moves, but I want my daughter to have them someday (and I still get them out and read them occasionally).

    My other favorites were My Side of the Mountain, The Cay, A Wrinkle in Time and Christopher Pike novels.

    Great post! It brings back a lot of memories.

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  35. oh man, I loved Book it! me and my sister still joke about it.

    I loved the box car children, the wrinkle in time books, anything roald dahl, harriet the spy (i still love rereading it to this day), harry potter (of course), ramona quimby books, little house on the prairie series, and anything eb white.

    i spent all of my time at the library. my parents would drop my off right after school and pick me up before closing. this post brought back alot of those memories.

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  36. i have also always been a reader. the first book i remember staying up super late to finish was the sweet valley kids book where the twins get their tonsils out. i also loved babysitter's little sister and then babysitter's club. however, my favourite books were probably the chronicles of narnia. every once in a while i read them again.

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  37. My favorite book series as a youngster was Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events. I was never really into girly books, I've always been drawn to darker literature (even as a child). Reading is most definitely for the cool kids though. Books are sexy!

    -Malori <3

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  38. love the glasses...u look like a hott little tattooed librarian!

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  39. I loved reading the Babysitter's Club and American Girl books growing up, but my all-time favorite book from my childhood is 'To Kill A Mockingbird'. My 4th grade teacher would read one chapter to us each day. I couldn't wait to get to school to find out what happened next! It's such a classic, I think everyone should read it at least once.

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  40. I've always Roald Dahl, I think he's genius. And.. this might sound weird. But I read a lot of Agatha Christie when I was younger. I mean, I still do. I love Poirot and Ms. Marple. And I also enjoyed reading the Twilight series and Harry Potter. And last but not least, Nancy Drew :) And I'm 19 if anyone wonders.

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  41. You totally reminded me of reading babysitters club. I grew up reading Enid Blyton, all the books were really battered but loved it.

    I remember spending evening reading with my dad and him doing the voices. One memory I have is sitting in the garden with him reading wind in the willows.

    A teacher gave me a really old battered copy from school that they no longer needed of 'wolves of wiloughby chase'

    Postman pat was my childhood beginning into reading.

    I love to get lost in other peoples stories

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  42. Yessss I loved the Babysitters Club! Dude I even indulged in the Babysitters LITTLE SISTERS series. Oh, Karen Brewer lol.

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  43. Wow!!!...reading this brings back sooo many memories!!! I remember reading ramona quimby over, and over..oh, and sweet valley high..love them, i remember begging my dad to buy me the entire collection of babysitters club at a garage sale..the lady selling them was so taken back by me wanting them so badly, she just gave them to me..i was in heaven!!...i'm not sure if you know or remember this series of books called "the boxcar children"..i loved reading those too!!! on a side note: i enjoy reading your blog sooo much!!...i took half of my day and went back and read all your posts!!..very inspiring and therapeutic. I love how you put everything out there in the raw!..thank you for that!!! your awesome!!...and i wish my english teacher in high school sported tattoos and looked as cute as you!!!

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  44. Aw i loved The Babysitter's Club!

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  45. I completely forgot about "book it"!! I loved that program....I read so many books. I loved all the babysitters club, Ramona Quimby Series and Sweet Valley High. Just thinking about all those books makes me want to re-read them all. Going to the library was the best.

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  46. loved loved loved: bridge to terabithia (though i actually checked it from the library first because it was close to my name - tabitha), afternoon of the elves, sweet valley high, babysitters club, the saddle club, any books like jack london's books about the wild and alaska and dog sledding, all of the superfudge books . . . oh those weekly trips to the library - i'd check out as many books as possible while waiting for my turn on the computer to play "oregon trail!" yessss!!!! also, my parents read to us every night before bed - all of the little house on the prarie books, the narnia series, charlie and the great glass elevator, anne of green gables et al . . . wow! this takes me back! my sister is about to have a baby so i have been revisiting the smaller books from my past like little golden books, etc. so great.

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  47. Did anyone else try to start their own Babysitter's Club IRL? Or am I the only one?

    I loved the library so much as a kid that I became a librarian :-)

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  48. oh my gosh! i STILL start every pray with "are you there god it's me jamie" hahaha
    i loveeee those books! i was OBSESSED with the babysitters club!
    cute post!

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  49. I too enjoyed the Baby Sitters Club books, but I also loved the Nancy Drew series, A Wrinkle in Time, The Witches by Roald Dahl, the Choose Your Own Adventure series, The Secret Garden, and all of the early Goosebumps books. :)

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  50. My favorite little kid book is Where the Wild Things Are... But I always loved The Giver, I recently read it again for the first time in a decade or so, and it was even better than it was when I was a kid!!

    Love those glasses, too!!

    xo,
    susannahbean

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  51. babysitters club,sweet valley twins and high (though not so much!),judy blume,point horror,christopher pike,paula danziger...<3

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  52. This was more middle school to high school for me, but my favorite book ever was The Last Silk Dress by Ann Rinaldi. She actually wrote my second favorite book, too titled Time Enough For Drums.
    You really should read them if you get the chance!

    Favorite classics: Lord of the Flies, Pygmalion, The Great Gatsby.

    -Staci

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  53. I read the Christie Miller books by Focus on the Family.

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  54. i loved judy blume, and baby sitters club for sure!
    i love this idea! this is too cute!
    and of course, cutest photo everrrr of you ;)

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  55. Oh, I absolutely loved all those books too! I so wish I still had my Babysitter's Club stash. I have been trying to find a copy of Flowers in the Attic lately, to no avail. Just for old times sake.

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  56. I loved the BSC books and the RL Stine books too, but I pretty quickly headed for more intense reading. I've read The Giver at least 10 times in the past 15 years. My teacher called my parents in 5th grade because I was reading a John Grisham book during free reading time and she didn't think it was appropriate. LOL. My mom used to take my brother and I on a trip to the library on allowance day and we could stop at the convenience store and buy a candy bar and an icee before being at the library for hours. They had a 4 book at a time rule because it was a small place, but it's amazing how much i appreciate reading. I worked with young children a couple years ago and I have such respect for the people who taught me to read after trying to help little ones learn how.

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  57. It amazes me how some kids NEVER read while growing up. Like you, I went to the library frequently and loved every minute of it. Luckily for me it was close to my house so as I got older I could go by myself. I would spend hours in there until my mom came around for me or the library was closing.

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  58. I loved Babysitter Club books too, and find it very difficult not to buy them when I see them at the second-hand book shop. Also, anything by Enid Blyton, especially the Faraway tree, Secret Seven and Famous Five series. I also loved Pippi Longstocking.

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  59. I use to read The BSC books until they fell to pieces... no joke!

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  60. Oh oh Babysitters Club! I was also a fan of Ramona, and series about a girl named Anastasia (she had a little brother named Sam), but I can't remember anymore. When I was younger I also loved Amelia Bedelia, and when I was older, Sweet Valley High. Ohhh books!

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