RTW: Book Memories

Road Trip Wednesday is a “Blog Carnival,” where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on their blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This Week’s Topic: What books were you obsessed with as a kid? 🙂

I was a voracious reader during my childhood. Sadly, my tastes weren’t exactly literary. I am proud to say I read (and reread) the Baby-Sitters Club, Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley High series pretty much in their entirety. I was also a big fan of Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books and R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series. I had shelves and shelves of paperbacks that I deeply regret garage-saling when I grew too old (too cool?) for such tomes.

My very favorite author growing up was Judy Blume. (Who am I kidding? I still love her.) I adored Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Blubber, and Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret.  I read them repeatedly. But, my favorite of Judy’s, my favorite book of childhood really, was Just as Long as We’re Together.  

This was the cover I had!

I read it so many times the binding actually split, leaving me with two separate bits of book that I held onto and continued to read. Now that I think about it, Just as Long as We’re Together might’ve been the launching point for everything I love about YA literature today: Coming of age, dynamic families, complicated friendships, longing for unattainable boys, and evolving self-images. There are all kinds of quirky things I remember about this book, even though I haven’t read it for close to two decades: Alison’s talking dog, Steph’s love of donuts, and Rachel’s undying perfectionism. Just as Long as We’re Together even taught me about the color CHARTREUSE. 🙂

So, what about you? What books were you obsessed with as a kid?


26 thoughts on “RTW: Book Memories

  1. Sophia Richardson says:

    I second the Sweet Valley love. When I first read the question I couldn’t even remember any books I read as a kid (bad long term memory, me) but you reminded me that I used to love those books. I had a long row of them all in our bookcase and used to go to this bookstore called Bookmarks on the American RAF base near us to buy new ones and archie comics. Good times.
    – Sophia.

    • katyupperman says:

      Thinking about it for this post makes me want to reread it! I want the same cover that I remember from childhood though. Clever girls wandering around spouting Shakespeare on Halloween. 🙂

  2. Tracey Neithercott says:

    I love all of those that you mentioned! I was such a fan of Ramona growing up that I begged my mom to let me squeeze an entire tube of toothpaste into the sink, just like Ramona did. (She said no.) And whenever I hear the national anthem I always think of Ramona asking Mr. Quimby what the dawnzerly light was.

    • katyupperman says:

      Oh my gosh! I’d forgotten about the dawnzerly light! Now I’ll think of Ramona too. 🙂 When I was around 8 I used to ask for a haircut like Ramona’s whenever my mom took me to the stylist. I rocked that little haircut!

  3. Alison says:

    Judy Blume *sigh*

    I reread Judy Blume books with my daughter now. And Ramona. And 39 Clues. And Maximum Ride. It’s awesome getting a second chance as a kid – because I don’t remember reading some of them – I may have – just don’t remember. Sad, right?!

    Great choices!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Alison! I’m already rereading favorites with my three-year-old. So far we’ve read Matilda, Ramona and The Boxcar Children (along with lots of Junie B. Jones!).

  4. Rebecca B says:

    LOL at chartreuse. I love everything Judy Blume’s written. I can’t wait to see TIGER EYES as a movie!

  5. Wes says:

    I was obsessed with the Three Investigators as a kid. I devoured that series ravenously. First series I was really into. That’s the series that hooked me as a reader.

  6. Jessica Love says:

    I read this book SO MANY TIMES. As soon as I saw that cover, so many random details about the book popped into my head. I can’t really remember the characters’ names, but I remember them walking each other home around the lake in their housing tract, one of them freaking out because the other one bought designer jeans, the girls screaming when they saw each other, the teacher dad freaking out about the beginning of school, covering their binders with wallpaper, the cute boy who played soccer. Oh man, I could keep going if you gave me a few minutes. I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. Now I really want to read it again. What a great choice.

    • katyupperman says:

      Yes, the cute soccer boy with the chartruese jacket! I wish I could remember his name… And I’d forgotten all about the designer jeans and wallpaper binders. I’m definitely going to have to hunt this book down and reread it.

  7. katharine says:

    Judy Blume rocks the casbah, for sure. Have you checked out her website? She gives the background on what was going on with her life while she wrote each book. I want to hug her (not in the stalky way).

    • katyupperman says:

      Well, if you’re a stalker, I am too. This is why you need Twitter. Judy has it! 🙂 I haven’t visited her website, but now I definitely want to!

  8. Amie Kaufman says:

    I never got into Sweet Valley (just didn’t get my hands on them), but I loved Babysitters Club. I read the Narnia books over and over again, and my collection of Enid Blytons still weighs more than I do.

  9. Margo says:

    Oh my, I think this may be the only Judy Blume i haven’t READ! I will fix that at once! And while I’m at it, might revisit the others you mentioned too.

    I have a question for you… I was thinking about posting a bit of what I’ve learned from the Show me the Voice contest. Would you mind if I mentioned your entry (esp. since it was in the top 3 – CONGRATS! – it was certainly most deserving. Hope to see it in print someday!)

    • katyupperman says:

      Yes, Margo, read Just as Long as We’re Together… it’s one of Judy Blume’s best!

      Please feel free to mention my Show Me the Voice entry–in fact, I’d love that! And thank you for your kind words. I’d love to see it in print someday too! 🙂

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