So the other day I was thinking about the books I loved as a child. There were many of them and I can remember how excited I was when I would get a new book. I was the best customer of a local bookseller in my small hometown. He always told me when new books were coming out in the series that I loved and he often held the newest book for me until I came in. I also adored my local library and was well known there.
Here are some of the books I read as a child. Anyone else remember these?
Books by Beverly Cleary
Ramona Quimby. This was an entire series of books revolving around a young girl named Ramona Quimby, her sister Beezus, and their parents and friends in the neighborhood. I LOVED these books and read them from the time I was in fourth grade on up. They took place in Portland, Oregon and I lived in Oregon at the time I read them so that may have been part of the appeal. These are great books for young girls.
Ralph S. Mouse. These books followed the adventures of Ralph S. Mouse, who lives happily in room 215 at the Mountain View Inn. A young guest gives him a toy motorcycle and Ralph takes off on several adventures.
Dear Mr. Henshaw. This book was a single book with no series. A young boy writes to his favorite author, Mr. Henshaw. The boy shares his feelings about school and his sadness at the loss of his father to divorce.
Books by Judy Blume
Blubber - this is a great book about the pain of peer pressure and bullying.
The Fudge Series: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, Superfudge, Fudge-a-Mania, and Double Fudge. This entire series focused on Peter and his annoying brother, who was nicknamed Superfudge.
Deenie: Deenie chronicles the life of a young girl whose mother wants her to become a model. Deenie is diagnosed with Scoliosis and the back brace she must wear ends her modeling career, which doesn't bother Deenie, but upsets her mother greatly.
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret: This book needs no explanation. I think every woman in the world has probably read this. If you haven't, you should no matter what your age.
Forever. Ah, the quintessiential young adult sex novel. Katherine, a high school senior, falls in love with Michael and they have sex for the first time. The book chronicles the journey of the relationship, the highs of falling in love and the lows of discovering that love doesn't always last forever.
Sweet Valley High - A series of books revolving around 16-year-old identical twins, Elizabeth and Jessica, who attended Sweet Valley High in California. This series also had a "pre-series" of Sweet Valley Twins, with the twins at 12. I loved SVH and really wanted to be friends with Elizabeth.
The Baby-sitter's Club This revolved around four girls who started a babysitting club. I wanted so badly to do that and to be a member of their club.
There were so many more, but these are the books that stick out in my mind. I remember reading many of them over and over, particularly the works of Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary. I identified with a lot of their books and I believe kids of every generation will do the same. They are timeless.