The prompt this week is "Throwback Freebie". I decided to look back on the heavy hitters of my childhood/adolescence this week. Some of them I still love and some of them I just have to shake my head at. Seriously, past Tara what were you thinking?
The Islanders Series
by Katherine Applegate
"What did it take, anyway? She’d been pretty obvious. It wasn’t like Benjamin was incapable of grasping subtleties, the jerk. He could figure out someone’s entire life history after hearing them say three words. But oh, when it came to her, well, then he was utterly impervious."
I cannot even begin to express how OBSESSED I was with these books. There are lines in this book that I still think about and find hilarious. They are the book version of Dawson's creek. The physical copies that I had way back when had the first person "diary" parts in different handwriting which I loved. They have been updates and have new covers now. I read them again last year (maybe the year before) and they hold up surprisingly well if you are into high school soap operas.
Night World Series
By L.J. Smith
“You don't love a girl because of beauty. You love her because she sings a song only you can understand.”
This was my Twilight. I am still pisssed that the last book of this series was never written. A FRICKIN' war was set up and I have been left hanging for these many years. What the actual hell. Let's take a moment to roll our eyes at High School Tara.
“Sheep are in.”
I think that these might have been the books that made me a reader. I remember that my class went to the public library and I got a card and checked out the first Super Special. My best friend and I together had all the first 40 or so books which we both read to shreds. Seriously, they were falling apart. Of course there was much debate of which one of the babysitters we were. I was Stacy. Looking back that was wishful thinking. I was never that cool. I was so a Mary Anne.
The Lords of Discipline
by Pat Conroy
“Happiness is an accident of nature, a beautiful and flawless aberration.”
I read this book probably a dozen times over my senior year of high school alternating with To Kill a Mockingbird. It is odd to think about it now because I still am not sure what drew me to it. Pretty much everything in it was guaranteed to make me hate it. I don't think that I would recommend it without some extreme reservations. So much racism, homophobia, sexism, and toxic masculinity. But the characters are so complex that even now I feel as if they are people that I have met and the writing makes me happy. #RightOnTheEdgeOfPurple #MaybeOnTheOtherSide
The Secret Garden
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
“At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done--then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.”
I had a copy of this book from way back. I think it might have been something that I picked up at a bookfair? And I remember that my mother read it aloud to my siblings and me and some point. But I used to check out the big hardcover from my library because it had the illustrations by Tasha Tudor. I love this book. I have probably read it 50 times over the years and I never get sick of it.
Roots: The Saga of an American Family
by Alex Haley
“Carrying little Kunta in his strong arms, he walked to the edge of the village, lifted his baby up with his face to the heavens, and said softly, “Fend kiling dorong leh warrata ka iteh tee.” (Behold—the only thing greater than yourself.)”
This was the first "grown up" book that I ever read. My mother bought it for me when I asked her to when I was in the third grade because I had seen the miniseries and begged her. I don't recommend that. There was a lot that I didn't understand at the time. I have read it a couple of times since then but I still find myself thinking about it every few days.
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
I have read that it gets challenged as a required reading quite often. I guess it makes sense as there is a whole lot of racism displayed which would suck to HAVE to read about if you were an AA student. I read it my junior year of high school, turned back to the beginning and read it again. Like Five time. I still love it.
Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman
by Dorothy Sterling
I was very very obsessed with Harriet Tubman as a child. I had like eight books about her but this one was my favorite. I thought that being a Quaker was a job and for a long time I wanted to be one so that I could help on the Underground Railroad (I thought that it was still in place just in case). She gets hit in the head with a metal weight at some point and I think it caves in her skull but she is so tough that she lives. That part still freaks me out and angers me.
BTW: Any recommendations for an adult biography on her?
Helen Keller's Teacher
by Margaret Davidson
I had a blind doll when I was small. My grandmother sent if from Germany when I was seven and I named her Helen and decided she was blind. You also had to finger spell to her although I never thought she was deaf. The doll stayed in my room until I went away to university and is in my mothers attic still. You can see that Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan played a large part in my childhood. My mother bought our copy of this book when she was 10 years old off of a bookmobile in South Dakota. I read it in Buffalo when I was 7 and knew from then on that I was going to be a Special Education teacher. Sometimes things just click. She still has that copy on the shelves at her house so maybe it will get picked up by my neice or my nephews and influence another generation.